My clients sustained lightning damage to electrical items in their home. A few weeks later, someone stole their truck from their driveway and torched it. The truck contained a significant amount of Ham Radio equipment as well as other items. They filed claims with Allstate, their homeowners insurance company, for the lightning damage, and also for the stolen/burned items from the truck. (Yes, most homeowners policies cover items stolen from your car).
Because of the amount of electronics and radio equipment involved, as well as what Allstate claimed were other irregularities, Allstate put its Special Investigations Unit on the claims. Prior to us becoming involved, Allstate took 3 recorded statements from our client, and received photographs and documents that supported the claim. Then Allstate set my clients for an Examination Under Oath. At that time we were retained.
Allstate claimed that it had requested our clients to fill out a Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss prior to them retaining us. After we were hired, we requested blank POL forms to fill out, as well as a copy of the policy. Neither was provided to us.
Our clients sat for their EUO’s. The day after the EUO’s were completed, we wrote a letter to Allstate asking if they needed anything else in order to evaluate the claim. They did not respond to that letter. So, we waited, and waited, and waited. Ninety-two days after their EUO’s with no word from the insurer we filed suit.
Allstate defended by claiming that the insureds had failed to timely file a sworn statement in proof of loss, and that the insureds had committed fraud in the presentation of the claim.
The case went to a jury trial in October. We won.
Just prior to the case going to the jury, the judge dismissed Allstate’s claims of fraud. The jury then determined that while the insureds did not file the POL forms, Allstate was not prejudiced by that failure. In other words, Allstate had all the information it needed to evaluate the claim.
I want to thank our fantastic clients who would not back down.
Because we were successful, Allstate will be required to pay all of our fees and costs incurred in prosecuting the case.