What can I do about an under-appraised building that was a total loss to a fire?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What can I do about an under-appraised building that was a total loss to a fire?

About 2 years ago, I switched insurers. They told me that I was underinsured, so I upped my coverage. We own a farm and they failed to tell me that I needed farm coverage. So our livestock will never be reimbursed for. Then, 2 months ago, we lost both of our barns to fire. Just 2 years ago, they appraised the barns to be built from the ground up at $93,000. After the fire, the insurance company sent out a company to give them a bid for replacement cost. It was bid at $167,000. I was told that I should have reviewed my coverage and that it was ultimately up to me to make sure it was properly appraised. I trusted them and took thier word on this. Now our family is struggling to figure out how we will be able to afford to replace our barns.

Asked on April 11, 2019 under Insurance Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

They unfortuantely are correct in that if you thought the appraisal was too low, it was your obligation to challenge that before you acceped the policy. Once you accepted the policy and the given appraisal, you were contractually bound to it. The presumes that people understand and agree with what they sign, and holds them to it.

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