Policyholder Question – Is Executor Entitled to Insurance Settlement from Hurricane Matthew?

Policyholder Question – Is Executor Entitled to Insurance Settlement from Hurricane Matthew?

The following is an insurance claim question we answered for a policyholder through the United Policyholders Ask an Expert Forum.

Q. I have been the legal guardian for my mother-in-law. She has recently passed away and I am the PR for her estate, approved and documented by the local courts. I also don't live here full time, but I've had to be here regularly for several years in order to maintain the property which is an asset of the estate. Now I am undertaking the remediation and reconstruction after damage from Hurricane Matthew. Am I entitled to all that the owner would be, such as ALE, etc?

A. Excellent question. Based on your facts, this is not a very common issue we run across in the loss adjusting world. From my experience, since you are a court approved personal representative. you should be able to recover your expenses from the estate which in this case includes any proceeds from a sale of the asset value of the insured property. In addition, as the personal representative it is your responsibility to protect, mitigate, and preserve the value of the estate (insured property). You also have the same responsibility to protect, mitigate, and preserve the insured property from further damage as required by the terms and conditions of the property insurance policy. As to the insurance carrier paying you, including ALE (additional living expenses), this will depend on the definitions found in the insurance policy, specifically as to who is an Insured as defined in the policy.

Insurance policy language may differ from one company to the next, so it is critical that you get the actual policy that applies and read it. I would also suggest you get a CERTIFIED copy of the policy as forms and endorsements may have changed since it was originally issued. Write a letter to the claims manager or presidents office requesting a true and complete CERTIFIED copy of all forms and endorsements of the policy in questions. I would also suggest you send the court approved PR authorization with your letter. At the same time, ask your question above in the letter if you are an insured based on the facts as you have outlined. If the insurance company fails to respond in a timely manner or denies that you qualify as an insured based on the definitions in the policy or your status as a PR you should have a competent first party property insurance attorney review the issue and perhaps write a letter on your behalf if the attorney agrees that you are an insured and entitled to be paid to for your expenses.

If you need help with the adjustment of the claim, consider hiring an experienced licensed public adjuster. Be sure to check references if going that route.  Good luck and thank you for your question.

Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjusters Continues to be a proud sponsor of the United Policyholders of America! Thank You for all your great work!!

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