Hello, so glad that you are here. I am desperate for help. My condo burned down this past Monday 9/18/23 in Los Angeles (Downey). It is unlivable, red-tagged and left with no belongings. We are homeless. I am now going through an insurance nightmare. At the time of refinance (7/20/20), I was fully covered with my HOA’s insurance: walls in and walls out. Now that I am attempting to put in a claim with the insurance company (State Farm), they are stating that I am only covered from walls out and left with no home owners insurance. Somewhere down the line, the homeowners insurance fell off. I am at a loss as to who dropped the ball and if any way I may have dropped the ball, isn’t the mortgage company liable to force place a policy for their asset? Please help! Otherwise everything will come out of pocket. What are my rights?
We are so sorry to hear about your situation. We suggest you start with the CA Department of Insurance Consumer Services team (https://www.insurance.ca.gov/0500-about-us/02-department/030-csmcb/consumer-services.cfm#:~:text=The%20Consumer%20Communications%20Bureau%20(also,Claims%20and%20Automobile%20Physical%20Damage) and see if they can figure out when and how your unit owners policy lapsed or was canceled, and advise you on whether your mortgage company should have force-placed a policy when it lapsed. You should also consult a policyholder attorney. Those who will represent you on a “contingency fee” basis don’t charge by the hour. You should be able to get a free consultation on your situation. You’ll find a number of policyholder attorneys in UP’s “Find Help” directory (https://uphelp.org/recovery/professional-help-directory/). You may have some recourse. In California, an insurance company must give you notice for any reduction or elimination of coverages. (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=INS§ionNum=678). Do you know if you received such a letter clearly notifying you of the change in coverage? And have you reached out to the agent you worked with to get a clear understanding of what happened? If your agent is at fault, you may be able to recover repair funds from them.