Can an insurance company tell you if you do not except their offer on a payout they will not pay anything?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 21, 2011

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Insurance Question from Stratford, OK

Asked on 06/21/2011

Can an insurance company tell you if you do not except their offer on a payout they will not pay anything? My property, and the property of six others, was damaged during a fire 6 months ago due to the negligence of a Metlife customer. The only contact we have had with Metlife has been a letter from an attorney saying that they would shortly be making offers on payment, but if anyone of the seven affected people did not agree no payments would be made.

Answer given on June 22, 2011

It seems odd that the insurance company would not be in contact with any of the affected parties to this fire loss.  I would venture a guess that someone has been talking to the company.

I would suggest that you try to contact the company directly to see what has been going on.  They may not have your direct contact information so you should reach out to them.  You may find that there has been work going on to try to settle this claim.

The letter you received may seem unfair, it is possible the company must settle with all participants in the claim before they can settle.  Since the company considers this one loss, they would need to be able to settle as one, as it may continue to drag on if one of your group is uncooperative.

If you had insurance at the time of the loss, you may want to talk to your insurance agent or company to see if they can assist you in this claim.  You may be able to file through them and then they can subrogate against the other company for your loss.  This would simplify your part of the claim.

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