Can a housing insurance company change your policy without notifying you?

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Can a housing insurance company change your policy without notifying you?

We’ve had the same housing insurance for decades, but a few years ago our agent retired and the insurance company just gave us a new agent. We were never notified of a change, but because of some new neighbors my parents decided to see how much liability we had – the insurance company told us that we had no liability, no wind damage – just fire damage. Our original policy covered us for liability, wind and fire, and they never notified us that ever changed. Is this legal?

Asked on June 11, 2014 under Insurance Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It is not legal for an insurance company to change your policy without your consent (or even notice) unless and only to the extent the terms of the policy specifically give  them the right to do this. An insurance policy is a contact: both parties are bound by its terms, and neither can unilterally (on its own) change them, unless the policy itself allows this. You should check your policy to see what it says about changes; you should also ask the insurance company to explain why they made this change without your consent, and under which authority. If you do not feel that they had the right to make this change, you could, if necessary, sue them for compensation or to reinstate your policy (you would sue to enforce the policy and/or for compensation for its breach, which is breach of contract).


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