Cancellation of Insurance Contract

July 7, 2006

The Kentucky Court of Appeals recently issued Humphrey v. Ameriquest Mortgage Co., unpublished, which reiterated when an insurance policy is properly cancelled for summary judgment purposes. The discussion of the law is standard, but the facts remind us that these cases involve real people, and well, real people can be stupid.

The case involved Humphrey, a divorced owner of a house on Kentucky Lake, his girlfriend, who was an exotic dancer, her boyfriend, who was her personal trainer, a scene from the movie “Indecent Proposal”,” candles, $7,000.00 in cash, a masked intruder, arson, assault, and robbery. When it was all over, Humphrey’s girlfriend and her boyfriend were in jail, Humphrey’s house was burned, and Ameriquest, Western Rivers, and Grange Mutual Casualty Company had all been sued.

Humphrey claimed Ameriquest was responsible because it had failed to pay insurance premiums on his behalf during the refinancing. He sued both Western Rivers (his agent) and Grange claiming they, among other things, did not give proper notice of the cancellation of insurance. The Court found it was indisputable that Grange gave “proper statutory notice that the policy would be cancelled for non-payment.” It was also undisputed that Grange sent the cancellation notices to the address on the policy where Mary, Humphrey’s exwife, continued to reside. As for Western Rivers, the Court found that it owed no duty to provide Humphrey with notice of the cancellation. Finally, the Court found that Ameriquest owed no duty to Humphrey’s to secure insurance, although it was certainly in its best interest. The summary judgments entered by the trial court were all affirmed.

The moral of this story is if your going to reenact a scene from a movie at least make sure the movie has a happy ending. Or, don’t leave your wife for an exotic dancer and expect she’ll forward your mail. Click on the link above for the complete sorid story.

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