Successful Defense of Insurance Agency and Agent in Ohio Appellate Court.
We defended an insurance agency and agent in the Twelfth Appellate District of Ohio. The plaintiffs contacted the insurance agent to obtain insurance for two residential properties. The agent obtained the requisite information for the insurance applications from the plaintiffs, including their primary mailing address, a post office box address. The agent advised them that their only insurance option was through the Ohio Fair Plan (OFP), as neither property had been insured in the prior three years. The plaintiffs gave the agent a check for the premium. The agent explained that the OFP would inspect both properties prior to issuing coverage and that coverage would be cancelled if any required repairs were not made. The OFP sent a notice of cancellation to the post office box listed on the insurance application. It also sent a refund check to the agent. The plaintiffs claimed that they never received the notice of cancellation or the refund check. They sued OFP, the agent and insurance agency. After written briefs and oral argument, the court of appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the agent and agency on the grounds that there was no evidence that the agent represented to the plaintiffs that the property had insurance coverage prior to a fire at one of the properties. Further, although the plaintiffs claimed that they never received notice of cancellation, the insurance application indicated that they would be informed directly from the insurer whether or not coverage was going to be provided. Therefore, the agent was not required to inform the plaintiffs of the cancellation. The court also held that the plaintiffs failed to present any evidence the agent fraudulently concealed the refund check from them, even if they did not receive the check.