My house burned down in the Northern California Tubbs fire in October 2017. I am getting the full amount of the stated amounts on my insurance policy but it is not enough to pay for the rebuild. I heard that some insurance companies are paying more than the stated amounts, is this correct and how should I approach my insurance company.
You are not alone. Underinsurance is widespread. If you are underinsured, tell your carrier. Ask them to increase your limits. They may do so voluntarily or try to settle with you somewhere in between, but in most cases they will have no legal obligation to do so (whether they have such an obligation is a complicated legal question based on the specific facts of your case). Before you make that call, try to recall as much as you can about the discussions you’ve had with your agent or broker, and collect any correspondence from them you can find. If the agent or broker made certain promises or representations about your coverage that were false, your case gets better. You have a better chance of getting your insurer to increase your limits if the agent/broker was employed by the carrier or closely affiliated. Moreover, you may have a separate legal claim against the agent/broker (as opposed to the insurance company). For example, you might have a case if your policy is different than what you requested, or if you relied on your agent or broker’s representations about the policy which turned out to be false. This, too is a complicated legal question based on the specific facts of your case. Most if not all agents and brokers carry errors and omissions insurance in the event they are sued for such claims.