Inept Broker Messes Up Windstorm Insurance Coverage

At the end of march 2006, I took out windstorm insurance. At the time, I was informed that I would have to pay the premium in full, prior to the policy taking effect. The amount was $2700.

This was paid in full and a cover note issued to my mortgage company.

At the beginning of June, I received a letter from my insurance broker informing me that a further $550 was due. My wife contacted the broker and sent copies of the check. Two days later, our broker telephoned my wife and informed her that a clerical error had been made and our Windstorm policy was fine and no further payments were due.

Today, I received a further letter from my broker, stating that my "windstorm carrier could not process the request to change your mailing address, as the policy was cancelled effective 6-19-2006, for non-payment of premium".

This is the only other correspondence that I have received since the telephone conversation with my broker.

I called the brokerage today and spoke to the assistant manager, who told me that nothing else could be done other than apologize.  In her own words, she did state the following.

  • 1. The broker was inappropriately trained.
  • 2. The broker mis-informed me.
  • 3. Our policy was incorrectly written.
  • 4. Nobody in the office noticed that the policy written and the policy issued was different.
  • 5. This broker's employment has now been terminated.

At present, I am left without windstorm insurance, and a invoice for a newly written policy, which I can't afford until I receive my rebate check from the insurance carrier.

Could you please advise me of the appropriate actions to follow.

Answer:

If a record of non-payment has gone onto your credit report, you need to get it off immediately.That should be your first priority. First, check your credit report to make sure that you don't have any such report on it. You can request your own credit report from the three main credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Each bureau could have different reports, so you need to request from each one.

If you do have a non-payment report from the insurance company on any of these, then you'll need to get the insurance company to reverse it. Since the whole situation is not your fault, they should do it. If they are not cooperating, you might need to pressure them, but I wouldn't anticipate a problem before it happens.

As far as the problematic service that you received from the insurance broker, I would suggest that this is a closed issue. However, given that you can't afford your next insurance policy until you get your money back from the one that was cancelled, you could suggest to your insurance agency that they "owe you". Speak to the manager and suggest that they should front the money for your policy until your check arrives, in order to make up for the damages that you have suffered from their (now terminated) employee. You might find them willing, in order to keep a client. If you have been with this agency for some time, consider using that to your benefit! After all, if you can't pay for this policy, why would you stay as a client?

These would be the steps that I would take.

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