I will try to keep this simple. I had a major house fire in 2018. Took over a year to rebuild–not wildfire related. I filed a claim in 2018 with my insurance company. First one ever in 26 years. Then in 2019 while NOT in our home due to the house being rebuilt, we had vandalism, damage on our property (no one was there). I opened another claim because I actually know who did the damage (a building owner next door) and was hoping my insurance co would go after them. The claim was small.
Now in 2022 (4 years after first claim), I had an accidental fire in my oven that filled my house with smoke. It is unlivable at this time. I attempted to contact my insurance agent to see if I should open a claim or not. In the meantime we had nowhere to live, sleep, cook, etc. I went ahead and opened a claim and started the process.
My agent finally got back to me after 10 days and said my policy may be cancelled because I have had more than 2 claims within 5 years. No one has ever told me of this rule, guideline, law, policy, etc. Or warned me not to open small claims. I don’t remember reading it ever, as I have gone over/through my original policy in 2018. So here are my questions:
1) I have 2 options – don’t submit any payments on my new claim (apparently I cannot cancel a claim already opened), and pay for everything (thousands of $$) myself. If I have no payouts, will this be reflected on my CLUE report? And will this help my cause or will it not really matter. Or should I go ahead and use all the reimbursement I need to clean, replace appliances, mitigate smoke damage, since the claim is already open?
2) The second claim opened in 2019 was because we were not living in the home due to the first claim/event. Is there a way to count that as part of the first claim?
3) What are my other options to fend off State Farm dropping my policy (I have umbrella auto and home with them).
4) Where can I seek legal or professional advice on what to do? (My policy is up for renewal in July, but with this open claim I want to see if there is anything I can do now.)
I have read all the “shopping” tips on your site, but I am afraid I may lose my house (from the bank) if I can’t have it insured. I have also read through what to do if your insurance co drops you.