Business cannot sue its insurance agent for failing to facilitate communication with insurer
Triangle Business Center, LLC, insured a commercial building with Hartford Casualty and Insurance Company through the Meadowbrook Insurance Group. Triangle received a notice of cancellation for non-payment at an obsolete business address, and two months later suffered a fire. Triangle argued that Meadowbrook, an independent agency, owed it a duty to inform Hartford of Triangle's change of address and to notify it when the cancellation notice was received.
The Court held that Meadowbrook did not owe either duty to the insured. The Court also held that while the insured's expert could testify about the standard of practice in the industry, this testimony did not create a question of fact with regard to the agency's duty to its insured. The Court explained that nothing that Meadowbrook did or did not do was sufficient to create a special duty to the insured, including its prior notification of a cancellation notice from an earlier year.
The court questioned whether the insured suffered any injury and whether it could have paid the premium if it had received notice. It ruled that the insured's agent, Meadowbrook, was not under a duty to correlate changes of address or cancellation notices such that a need to detect and inform an insured of an undelivered notice would have been identified.