Can a lease agreement be broken by an insurance company?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a lease agreement be broken by an insurance company?

I filed a claim with home owners insurance for flooding. My insurance assisted me in placing me into a temporary home. I signed a lease agreement for the temporary home which was provided by a third party vendor through my insurance. The lease agreement stated check out day of 09/25. My homeowner’s insurer called me and said the third party vendor made a mistake with the date and my insurance company said they only agreed to pay until 09/10.

Asked on September 8, 2017 under Insurance Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The can't break a lease to which they are not a party: if the lease is between you and the landlord, the insurer cannot break it.
But not breaking the lease is not the same thing as paying for it: that is, they can try to refuse to pay past the 10th, in which event you will have to pay the balance yourself. 
However, if their agent (the 3rd-party vendor; someone they chose to represent them and process this for them) made a mistake, the insurer should still have to pay; they are responsible for the acts of those they employ in this regard. If they refuse to pay, you would have to sue the insurer for the additional 15 days of rent, based on breach of contract: on violating their agent's (the vendor's) agreement to pay through the 25th. It may well be that the vendor will then have to repay them money, if the vendor truly made a mistake, but that is between the insurer and the vendor. The issue between you and the insurer is that someone representing and acting on behalf of the  insurer agreed to pay you through the 25th.
It is not guaranteed you'd win; no case is *ever* guaranteed. But you should have a reasonable chance of winning, based on what you write.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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