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Rose and Alonzo Raleigh v. Foremost Insurance Company

Held February 6, 2013 – Docket No. INS-13-2003
Decision Issued:  February 6, 2013

The named insured requested a hearing to contest the nonrenewal of homeowners policy due to the risk not meeting company underwriting guidelines due to polybutylene plumbing. The company submitted an excerpt from its underwriting rules and guidelines showing that homes with this type of plumbing are unacceptable.

Held: For the insured. 24-A M.R.S.A. § 3051 allows nonrenewal for a reason that is in good faith and related to the insurability of the property. Section 3054 states that the insurer must establish the existence of its reason for cancellation or nonrenewal and provide proof that the reason is related to the insurability of the property. Section 3054 further states that a “statement from the insurer that the risk does not meet the insurer’s underwriting guidelines alone is not considered sufficient proof or evidence.” The company did not establish that the home contains polybutylene plumbing, and also offered no explanation of how the insurability of the property would be affected by it. In addition, the company also issued an unconditional offer of renewal which negated the earlier nonrenewal action.

Last Updated: April 15, 2014