Property & Casualty Insurance/Wind pool insurance policy
QUESTION: Dear Sir,
about two months ago I purchased a wind policy, through an insurance agency, Cannot purchase direct "Mississippi wind pool"
I fully understand why The wind pool insurance needs a buffer of protection, thus an agent is that buffer. How ever when the agent accepted the annual premium this amount was deposited in the agents bank, verified by copy of check. In turn the agent attached their check to my application,"the buffer" the contract states insurance policy will not be binding unless the total premium is attached to the application. This is the reason for that buffer, my agent called me and stated that the windpool will not accept the engineering report for a semi wind resistant rating,for the reduced premium paid even though it was an engineer firm that was an approved agency by the windpool. As of this day I did not receive a letter or a refunds? this is now two months, we are in the middle of the hurricane season, my question to you, at what point in time will that protective veil between the windpool insurance underwriters, and the insurance agency be broken? Even though my premium has been paid in full. Am I insured or not? From my understanding The policy should be binding because the limitation to refund the premium has passed.
ANSWER: Hey John,
I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
While I am not totally familiar with the MS wind pool, I can give you some alternatives based on my FL experience.
Most state residual markets (your wind pool is one of those) only do business through agents, as most companies do. It's not because they need a buffer, it's simply because that's the most cost effective way for a company to do business.
If the underwriters at the MS wind pool have read the engineering report, there is obviously something in that report that keeps it from qualifying as semi-wind resistive. Sometimes state wind pool guidelines do not match up with the traditional definition of what semi-wind resistive might be. Based on that decision, the wind pool is looking for you to pay the additional premium between what you originally paid and what the total amount due is.
There are three possibilities here:
1. The pool will use the premium to pay the policy through a short-term date based on the actual calculated premium;
2. The pool will issue an amount of insurance lower than what you requested based on what the submitted premium will purchase;
3. The policy is NOT in force and they are waiting for the additional premium in order to start coverage.
In any of these cases, it is important for you to contact your agent IMMEDIATELY to resolve the situation. None of these is the optimal situation for you.
If you cannot get a response from your agent, I would suggest that your next step would be to contact the MS Department of Insurance and file a complaint.
Please don't delay on this at all. As you stated, we are in the middle of hurricane season and the worst part is yet to come.
I hope this helped a little. Let me know if you have additional questions.
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QUESTION: When my agent contacted me about two months ago, I told my agent that I will not pay for the 300% markup. and that I wanted to cancel the wind insurance immediately. The agent told me over the phone that the paid premium will be refunded directly from the windpool underwriters to me. That was two months ago. I made it very clear that I wanted to cancel this policy.
This seems very odd where the underwriters can hold hostage a fully paid premium indefinitely. There must be a statue of limitation where by a premium paid, and not refunded in a timely manner. will automatically enforce the policy.
I am asking you this question, does the wind pool underwriters have a legal obligation to refund a premium in a timely manner, and, how much time can pass before they are legally on the hook. This relates to all insurance premiums nationally, whereby the underwriters have a legal obligation to refund their new or existing policy holders nationwide. Unless these companies are not held accountable?
You should have received a refund shortly after you told your agent you didn't want the coverage.
You should contact your agent right away. They can find out where your refund is with a phone call to the wind facility. If not, you should call them directly. It should take less than a week to ten days for a refund to generate after you refuse the coverage.
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QUESTION: I am asking you this question, does the wind pool underwriters have a legal obligation to refund my premium in a timely manner? How much time must pass before they are legally on the hook.
If therer is a natural disaster, Am I insured? Yes or No?
Somehow this slipped by me without seeing it. Sorry about that.
I can't answer as to whether or not coverage exists since I'm not completely familiar with the way the MS wind pool works. My guess is that you are probably not covered since the requirements for coverage were not met.
The wind pool is obligated to return premium in a timely manner. Whether or not they return it to you or to your agent is unknown to me. You really need to call your agent and have him/her give you some sort of information regarding the premium and coverage.