Can I file the same claim on two separate homeowner’s insurance policies at the same time?
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Asked April 16, 2012
No matter how many insurance policies you have for your home, you cannot collect more than the amount of damages, so filing with more than company will not accomplish much. In fact, if you have 2 policies in effect at the time of the damages, you may have difficulty getting the claim settled with either company because of issues arising from which company is obligated to make the settlement.
You are allowed to own more than one homeowners policy, and you can even file a claim against both companies. The problem is, when more than one insurer is involved, they will both attempt to decline the claim on the grounds that it is the responsibility of the other. So instead of getting the claim settled faster or gaining more on the settlement than you are truly due, you may have trouble getting the claim settled at all.
Because of the dispute over which company is liable for the claim, the best course of action is to choose your companies carefully and never to file the same claim with more than one company. If you have two companies because you are about to drop coverage, and the two policies will only overlap briefly, file the claim with your old insurance company. The reason for this is because you have already paid money into the policy for the old company, and this will be your only opportunity to recoup some of your investments. Even so, if the old company is aware of your new policy, they may still decline coverage.
There is another possibility that you could face with two policies. If you attempt to file a claim with both companies, you could be accused of insurance fraud. Since you cannot receive a settlement higher than the value of the damage, an insurance company which presses fraud charges in this case would have a very high probability of winning the case, and that means you will not get the claim settled and you may be responsible for court charges, intangible damages, and you could even be incarcerated for fraud, which is a very serious conviction to have on your record.
Answered April 16, 2012 by Anonymous