Renter’s Insurance Claims

Renter’s insurance claims are not really much different than a homeowners claim.  But one distinction that sometimes appears is the language in a renter’s policy will often times shorten the statute of limitations.  This is seen in the 2018, San Antonio Court of Appeals opinion styled, Terry Granger v. The Travelers Home And Marine Insurance Co.

This is a summary judgment case rendered in favor of Travelers and affirmed on this appeal.  The relevant policy language reads:

9. Suit Against Us.  No suit or action can be brought against us unless there has been full compliance with all of the terms under Section I of this policy. Action
brought against us must be started within two years and one day after the cause of action accrues.
While the policy was in force, Granger submitted a loss for a burglary claim.  Granger failed to respond to requests for a complete proof of loss, documentation of the stolen property, and submit to an examination under oath (EUO).  On January 19, 2011, Travelers sent Granger a letter closing her claim.  On October 13, 2014, Granger filed her lawsuit against Travelers for breach of contract.
Granger argues the “two-years-and-one-day” limit is not supported by consideration for her relinquishment of the four year limitations period defined in Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code, Section 16.051.
Generally, the limitation period for a breach of contract cause of action is four years after the day the cause of action accrues.  In the context of insurance policies, insurance provisions that limit the time within which to file a suit to two years and a day are valid and binding.
This Court points out that the premium payments were consideration for all the Policy’s provisions, including the two years and a day limitation period, and Granger filed her suit more than two years and one day after Travelers denied her claim, thus, Granger’s cause of action for breach of contract is, as a matter of law, barred by the Policy’s limitations period.