Homeowners insurance avoids claim by voiding policy based on erroneous application
In Hanson v. Fremont Michigan Insuracorp, the plaintiffs attempted to recover from his homeowners coverage after fire damaged their home. The coverage was denied after the insurer found a "false pretenses" conviction on the homeowners' criminal record involving between $200.00 and $1,000.00. The Company argued the conviction should have been disclosed in the insurance application and that it would not have written the coverage if it had been disclosed.
The lower court agreed, despite the homeowners' claim that the insurance agent had filled out the application and made the mistaken omission. The higher court upheld the summary disposition of the homeowner's negligence and contract claims, ruling that they were, in essence, ineligible for insurance because of the prior conviction: it accepted at face value the claim that no insurer would write the coverage and therefore it was irrelevant that the agent negligently assumed that there were no convictions that needed to be disclosed.