The average person does not realize their insurance policy is a valid, legal, binding contract. It makes no difference if it’s life insurance, vehicle insurance or insured household furnishings, it’s a legal contract, agreed upon by the insured and the insurance company.

Specifically the insured agrees to make monthly payments and the insurance company agrees to pay under certain conditions as outlined in the policy. In the case of loss, eligibility for payment for coverage, depends upon the language of the policy. Not what one’s agent, nor anyone else says, the language of the contract determines one’s eligibility for payment.

To interpret one’s contractual agreement with an insurance company, it helps to understand a bit about contractual argeements in general. Some things are non-contractual. Because a criteria of a contract is that it must have a boundary. You can’t contract for anything that does not have a boundary. For example there is a lot of misunderstanding about a marriage contract. One stands up and agrees to love, honor and obey. What are the boundaries of love, honor and obedience? They have none, therefore, it is an attempt to contract for non-contractuals. Proof of this is in divorce proceedings. No one goes before a judge to seek relief and damage for love, honor and obedience. They get right down to the nitty-gritty of property and care of children, which were not in the marriage contract unless one has a prenuptial agreement.

In this connection it is helpful for anyone to recognize their insurance policy is a legal contract, and represents benefits promised according to the language of each individual policy. However a dispute may arise between the policy holder and the insurance company relative to interpretation, which happened to me recently.

I’m a collector of a number of different things and a sort of packrat. Perhaps it stems from growing up in the Depression years, with parents that did not throw anything away. Living on a farm surrounded by a number of buildings, there were plenty of places to store any and everything one might find a use for at some future time.

Today I live in a six-room house, which has an enclosed back porch, outside back door, a patio with gazebo covering and a large fenced in, gated back yard. Outside the fence is a garage, with a storage area attached to the rear. Leading up to the garage, which is in the rear of the house, is a double driveway.

In May of this year I decided to have a huge yard sale and lined the drive way with tables, plus displaying a lot of stuff in the back yard area and on the patio, back porch and garage. My garage was stacked with storage boxes and three closets stacked with items. I hired two people to help me unpack items, price and display. I really had a lot of stuff I decided to sell at the yard sale. A lot of clothes, some new, china, glassware, books, kitchen items, artwork, decorative items, tools, albums, and etc.

A huge storm came up suddenly, and I brought some items inside, and covered all the tables and racks of clothes with plastic and heavy duty large tarps, and weighted them down with bricks on the tables. A pouring rain all night and heavy winds, blew all the coverings off, resulting in a lot of damage. Some were suitcases of clothing displayed in the suitcases on the tables.

I have renter’s houshold insurance with a $500.00 deductible and estimated the damage to be $3,000, and and called my insurance company for claim forms. Immediately the local agent informed me I was not eligible for claim damage and had no forms. I contacted the home office, and they in turn contacted the local claims officer. He too told me over the phone I was not eligible. I asked him to come and view the damage, he did not want too but I insisted and he came anyway. He again informed me I was ineligible for claim damage. He had an attitude, simply walked through the house to the back yard, turned around, went to his car and handed me some claims forms and left. I wrote to the home office and received a call that my claim was denied, before I filed. They simply told me I was not covered under the policy. Then sent a letter supporting that decision. I read the terms of the policy and disagreed with their interpretation.

In the meantime, a lot of clothes and items were rain soaked, mildewed, smelly, and fading on each other. I discarded several large garbage bags of items. But I dried several loads of clothes in my dryer, despite the fact they were fading, and I thought I would donate them to homeless. Then I wrote another letter to the insurance company describing my interpretation of terms of the policy. In part two, a description of terms of the policy.

Continued in Part Two

LET FREEDOM RING
JUST ME AC

Email: annecleveland@bellsouth.net

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