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Alvin & Hilda Mulherin v. Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company

Held November 15, 2012 – Docket No. INS-12-2115
Decision Issued:  November 26, 2012

The named insured requested a hearing to contest the nonrenewal of homeowners policy for no longer meeting company criteria due to the addition of an unacceptable breed of dog.  The company argued only that, because the dog is one of the breeds that make a home ineligible for coverage, the account no longer meets the company’s underwriting criteria.

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 offered no other explanation of how the dog’s breed affected the insurability of the property.

Last Updated: April 15, 2014