Home Alone

The Baptists bought a home insurance policy from Nationwide in 2006.  In 2008, they lost their home to foreclosure.  They remained in the house, however, until December 2011 — before a court-ordered eviction date of January 13, 2012, but after fire did serious damage to the house in December.  They made a claim on the Nationwide policy, which discovered that they no longer owned the house as part of its post-loss investigation. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Baptist, No. 13-60726 (Aug. 7, 2014).  While Nationwide won a summary judgment about coverage on the ground that the Baptists no longer had an insurable interest by the time of the fire, the Fifth Circuit affirmed because the Baptists’ “renewals of their policy constituted their affirmations to Nationwide of their initial application for insurance, material portions of which were no longer true.”  Those misstatements allowed Nationwide to rescind the policy under Mississippi law.

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