Hi Amy, First of all thank you, Karen, and many others from United Policyholders coming over to Santa Rosa CA. I have learned a lot about insurance. I have a question and would like to get some help on it. As I understand that a lot of us in Northern California fire are underinsured for home rebuild, but just comparing with my Farmers group, my house is way underinsured. Currently our cover A is barely half needed to rebuild. We would like to know what will be our option(s) to solve this issue. My main question is that if we file a complain to California Insurance Commission, does it affect our legal action if we chose later on to sue Farms? Thank you so much. Lisa
Hi, Lisa. My apologies for taking so long to respond to your question. i’ll spare you the excuses! The answer to your question is no, complaining to the DOI will not affect your rights in any suit you may file against Farmers. Having said that, you should understand there’s not much the DOi can do for you regarding your under-insured situation. Your potential legal remedy is a claim or suit against your Farmers agent, though this is an uphill battle as well. The general rule of law is that, despite what most people might assume, agents don’t generally have a legal duty to advise the client regarding how much insurance to buy. There are exceptions to this rule such as in a situation where the client asks and the agent actually provides the advice, or where the agent holds him/herself out as an expert on the issue. (Merely claiming to be a competent or superior agent isn’t usually enough.) I hope I’ve answered your questions.