Homeowners insurance companies sometimes raise unexpected reasons for the denial of a claim. In a case being handled by Mehr, Fairbanks & Peterson attorney Austin Mehr against Allstate, Allstate argued that since the insured’s son was the resident of the premise, not the insured herself, she had left the home vacant and, therefore, was not entitled to coverage for a fire loss. The court rejected this argument and granted Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Plaintiff’s Complaint for Declaration of Rights stating that:
“…the Court notes that the ‘where you reside clause’ as interpreted by Allstate is in direct conflict with another provision that allows Howard to vaca[te] and leave the premise for an unlimited time period.”
The Order explained:
The vacancy clause allows Plaintiff to leave the premises vacant or unoccupied—that is not to reside at the insured dwelling. If Plaintiff avails himself of the permission to not reside at the insured dwelling, she would violates any residency requirement. Because these terms would conflict, the policy, as Allstate interprets it, is ambiguous and must be resolved in Plaintiff’s favor.
Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment as to coverage was granted, and the Court found that the Allstate policy provides coverage for the subject fire loss.
To read a copy of the Order, please click here. If you believe you have had an insurance claim wrongly denied, please contact our experienced insurance claim attorneys for a free case evaluation.