insurance

Is this home insurance refund really mine?

Jack HungelmannDear Insurance Adviser,
I received a refund check from my previous home insurance carrier for last year's annual premium. According to my mortgage company, it paid the annual premium for my homeowners policy -- and so did we.

Who is entitled to receive the home insurance refund check: the mortgage company or my husband and me? I don't know how this happened, but I want to do the right thing.
-- Carol

Dear Carol,
That's a fairly common dilemma you're facing. You set up an escrow account with your mortgage company for taxes and home insurance premiums. Then you receive a copy of the bill, forget that your insurance premium is already being escrowed and responsibly pay the bill -- inadvertently making a duplicate payment.

That's a far better problem than assuming incorrectly that you have an insurance escrow with your mortgage company, not paying any home insurance premium, and then having your house burn down and find you have no coverage! Far better!

You should get the refund. The home insurance refund check will likely be payable to you and your husband and to the mortgage company. You will need to have the lender sign off. It probably will do so with no problem. The mortgage company may want to re-evaluate the amount being set aside in escrow for your insurance and your estate tax escrow, but that's entirely up to you.

All the best!

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