By now I’m sure you’ve seen my post about the importance of checking your policy for a “suit limitation” provision.
These provisions generally give either one or two years (typically one) to file suit from the date of loss. However, thanks to a recent decision in Philadelphia, there may be some hope if you missed the deadline to file.
In the case of McNulty v. Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Philadelphia Docket #171204283, Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei filed suit AFTER the one year suit limitation provision because Allstate failed to pay an appraisal award after the one year was up.
Here’s how we were able to do this: Under your insurance policy, there is an appraisal provision. That provision allows 3rd party appraisers to come in to evaluate the amount of damages associated with a loss. Once that decision is made, the insurance company is required to pay that amount, and the homeowner is required to accept that amount for the appraised items. In this case, the Plaintiff had appraisers determine the cost to replace his personal items. Allstate failed to pay that appraisal amount, but only did so after the one year suit limitation period was over. We knew this was wrong, and decided to file suit.
Once the lawsuit was filed, Allstate filed Preliminary Objections, claiming that we were beyond the one year suit limitation and thus were not allowed to file suit. The Court saw through this and overruled (denied) Allstate’s Preliminary Objections. If they hadn’t Allstate would have had a free pass to do anything they pleased after the one year is up.
So what happens if your insurance company does something wrong beyond the one year suit limitation provision? Now there is some hope. Give us a call and we will discuss the options with you and do all we can to help.