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Daniel Harris v. York Insurance Company of Maine

Held July 26, 2012– Docket No. INS-12-2064
Decision Issued:  August 24, 2012

The named insured requested a hearing to contest the nonrenewal of his homeowners and automobile insurance package. The company failed to establish that the cited reasons provided grounds for nonrenewal under the Maine Automobile and Property Insurance Cancellation Control Acts.

Held: For the insured. 24-A M.R.S. § 2916-A(2) permits nonrenewal of automobile insurance when a customary operator of the insured vehicles has had two or more accidents exceeding $1000 while operating a vehicle insured under the policy within the past 36 months. Although two otherwise qualifying accidents had occurred, the involved operator is no longer a resident of the household or a rated driver, has his own vehicle and insurance, and now resides in another state. As the driver is no longer an operator under the policy, his accidents do not provide grounds for nonrenewal of this coverage.
            Additionally, 24-A M.R.S. § 3051 permits nonrenewal of homeowners insurance for a reason that is in good faith and related to the insurability of the property, or based upon one of the grounds for cancellation under section 3049. The company cited the insured’s overall loss activity, but failed to articulate any element, either in its notice to the insured or on the record, that indicates a likelihood of continuing similar claims. The company also failed to identify any similar element amongst the claims. As section 3051 specifically states that “loss record” is not a sufficient explanation of an insurer’s basis for nonrenewal, the company failed to establish grounds for nonrenewal under this reason. The second reason for nonrenewal of the homeowners coverage was the insured’s alleged failure to cooperate in the investigation of a claim on a related policy. The company failed to establish how the minimal lack of cooperation that was demonstrated affected the insurability of this property.

Last Updated: April 15, 2014