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Raymond & Viola Armandi v. York Insurance Company of Maine

Held March 14, 2012– Docket No. INS-12-2015
Decision Issued:  March 26, 2012

The named insured requested a hearing to contest the nonrenewal of a homeowners policy for a chimney fire loss due to lack of maintenance and inadequate clearance to wood framing. 

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. The company argued that proper maintenance requires regular inspection and cleaning of the chimney and woodstoves by a professional, but this insured did his own. In addition, the company argued that the inadequate clearance to combustible material increases the risk of fire loss. Actual inadequate clearance or improper construction was not established. As the dwelling was a total loss and is being completely replaced, any alleged clearance issues in the old construction are moot and have no effect upon the insurability of the replacement dwelling. The nonrenewal action was not allowed.

Last Updated: April 15, 2014