Extension request for good cause Ash asked 3 months ago
Extension request for good cause

Hi,

Thank you for maintaining this website. There is so much guidance.

We lost our home in CA LNU wildfire in 2020 and started working with our insurance adjuster. Insurance considered it a total loss and paid part (ACV, misc) of our claim and agreed to pay the rest (ARC, Ordinance) once we show proof of purchase or a signed builder contract in case of new build. We asked the adjuster about any deadlines in general and about a 3 yr deadline that we heard about but wasn’t clear to us and he reassured us (over the phone) many times that there is no deadline to get the additional payments as long as we settle on ACVs within those 3 yrs. So we decided to rebuild at a different site. We faced some challenges with our new site which is very steep and somewhat remote and have been in touch with our adjuster every month and he never mentioned any looming deadlines. After 3 yrs he called us one day and said we are coming up on a 3 yr deadline in a week which was shocking to say the least.

We explained all the reasons that got us delayed and asked for a good cause extension but they denied saying that we wouldn’t have had these delays if we built on the old site. These are the reasons we mentioned to ask for extension.

  1. It took us an year to find an architect and builder who are willing to work on a steep lot and to draw plans. This was during covid so everything just took longer.
  2. Then we had to submit for a variance with the county to make building possible. This took us another     year due to some differing opinions at the county and also severe winter weather that stopped county     officials from coming to the hearing. We could start the actual groundwork like geo tech only after we     got the variance approved.
  3. We had other setbacks due to unexpected health problems for both our architect and structural engineer. At the end of third year our insurance denied our additional replacement cost payment due to the expired 3 yr deadline.

Right now which is 3 yrs after the event we are about to enter a building contract and start construction this spring once the snow melts in the new site. We can even abandon the whole building plan and buy another house which is faster and we could close the whole thing in few weeks, if we can get an extension. Is there any chance of getting an extension in this case if we appeal to them in some way? Please help.

1 Answers
United Policyholders Staff answered 3 weeks ago

Dear Ash,

Thank you for contacting United Policyholders. We apologize for the delay in responding to your question. It sounds like you’ve already been following our tips and perhaps even used our sample letter for making your case for an extension of ALE benefits, but just in case you only made the request orally – put it in writing! When insurers agree to pay beyond stated limits in the policy, it’s generally because they know that they could be vulnerable in a lawsuit due to things they (or their employees) did or didn’t do during the claim process. For example, if an adjuster(s) sat on proof/estimates you gave them and kept you hanging, or asked for redundant proof – that would strengthen your case for getting ALE covered beyond 36 m months. Here, you’ve cited to circumstances beyond your and the insurer’s control that made it impossible for you to complete rebuilding. However – the fact they’re rejecting your additional replacement cost claim due to an expired deadline may be a stronger argument for you in seeking additional compensation. We suggest you consult with an attorney and get their take. Here’s a directory of attorneys in CA who specialize in helping insureds – it’s a good place to start:

Best of luck,
Team UP