Insurance Company Denys Claim

No one in Weatherford, Mineral Wells, Aledo, Azle, Hudson Oaks, Peaster, Poolville, Millsap, Brock, Cresson, Lipan, Willow Park, or anywhere else in Texas wants to hear their insurance company deny a claim they make.
The newspaper, Boulder Daily Camera, ran a story on April 13, 2011, authored by staff writer, Vanessa Miller. The title of the story is, Fourmile Fire Victom Sues Insurance Company For Denying Coverage. It is a story where the insurance company denied a claim and placed the reason for the denial back on the shoulders of the insured.
It it certain that anyone who faces a similar story should do as the person in this story did; that is to seek the advice of an experienced Insurance Law Attorney. Here is much of the story.
A business owner lost her home in a devastating fire that occurred in the area last fall. The insurance company denied her claim for coverage on the grounds that the home wasn’t listed as one of her business addresses.
According to the lawsuit filed, Debra St. Claire, who owns St. Claire’s Organics, Inc., which makes organic and vegan breath mints, herbal sweets, candies and lozenges, said she obtained commercial business property insurance from Sentry Insurance in 2009.
St. Claire said she maintained “research and development facilities” for her products at 997 Dixon Road since 1999, and established production and customer shipping facilities at 2275-A West Midway Blvd. in 2009.
When purchasing the insurance, she says the only question Sentry asked regarding the location of her business was, “What is the mailing address,” to which she provided the West Midway address.
St. Claire says she always believed that the “research, writings, creative work and intellectual property” stored at the Dixon Road location was covered under the insurance policy, which was renewed in May 2010 to extend through May 2011. In the policy there is a list of coverage provided, including a $500,000 limit for “property at any location,” including property that is not at the address listed in the policy’s description of premises.
The Dixon Road property burned to the ground during the Fourmile Fire, which was during the coverage period. Everything that St. Claire kept at the business at the Dixon Road property was lost.
St. Claire notified Sentry of her loss, expecting to be insured, but Sentry never even inspected the property and refused to meet with St. Claire. They just denied the claim. St. Claire filed a complaint with the Colorado Division of Insurance, which is the equivalent to the Texas Department of Insurance. Sentry responded to the complaint saying the claim was denied “for the sole reason that the Dixon Road location was not listed in the policy as a separate business location.”
Sentry then filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit against St. Claire asking the judge to declare that the policy provided no coverage for her lost property on Dixon Road and to rescind her policy alltogether on allegations that St. Claire deliberately withheld information about a second business location.
St. Claire denies those allegations in the lawsuit she filed against Sentry, stating that the agent never asked whether she conducted business at any other locations. She says that if the agent had asked, she would have told the agent whatever the agent wanted answers to and that she was not intentionally withholding anything.
In the lawsuit, St. Claire is asking for two times the covered benefits due, plus payment for economic damages, attorney fees and court costs. In this regard, Colorado law is very much like Texas insurance law.