Can I sue my insurance agency for failing to notify my lienholder of a change in my policy?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue my insurance agency for failing to notify my lienholder of a change in my policy?

I leased a car 1 year ago and had full coverage at the time. Then, months later, while trying to renew my insurance I some how without knowing took comprehensive and collision off my policy. I never received any notification of this. I was then in an accident 1 week ago, I hit a deer. I called my insurance company and was told I have no coverage because comprehensive and collision was taken off of my plan. They told me my lien holder should have been notified and to get in touch with them. I called my lien holder and they told me they never received anything from my insurance agency. We were in a 3 way call when my lien holder questioned my insurance age

Asked on November 16, 2015 under Insurance Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It depends what you mean by "I somehow without knowing took comprehensive and collision off my policy." If by that you mean that the insurance agent took this coverage off without you instructing them to do so, then you could sue them not only for not notifying you of the chane, but for making a change against your wishes in the first place.
However, if you mean that *you* accidently filled out the form, etc. in such a way as to take off or delete this coverage, then, you most likely do *not* have a valid or viable claim: 1) the agent did what you instructed them to do; 2) even if they should have told the lienholder (and you'd have to prove it was the agent's job, or legal responsibility, to do so, and not your job or the insurance company's job), the real harm was done not by them failing to notify, but by you making the change, even if you didn't fully realize or appreciate what you were doing; and 3) they would be under no obligation to inform or notify you, since they could legally presume that you were aware of what you did. Moreoever, you should have reviewed the renewed policy and any bills/invoices, which would have told you what had happened and given you a chance to fix it--doing so was your legal responsibility, and no one else's. So if you instructed, even incorrectly, the agent to remove the coverage, it is most likely that the responsibility and any consequences are yours, not theirs.

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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