Houseboat owner sues over denial of fire claim

Steve Gonzalez Jul. 26, 2005, 5:10am

J.W. Adams of Edwardsville filed suit against Bret Dixon Insurance of East Alton alleging that the company denied his claim for a houseboat and a nearby boat that were destroyed by fire in January.

Adams claims on Feb. 26, 2004, he purchased a $50,000 property damage policy for a 1984 Gibson houseboat. He and his lender, Liberty Bank, were issued an “evidence of property insurance” certificate by Dixon Insurance.

According to the suit, the certificate noted that if the policy was to be terminated, he would receive a 10-day written cancellation notice.

On Jan. 15, a fire on his boat spread to the one docked next to his owned byRichard Curby. He filed a claim the next day.

Adams alleges that he received a letter from Dixon on Jan. 17, denying his claim alleging that there was no coverage in place. He alleges the next day Dixon tried to refund his premium payment.

“At no time prior to Jan. 17, did Dixon Insurance notify Adams or Liberty Bank that there was no coverage in place as clearly stated in the evidence of property insurance certificate,” the complaint states.

Adams claims as a result of the denial of damages, he suffered economic damages in excess of $50,000 for the loss of his boat, the cost of extinguishing the fire by the Gilbertsville Fire Protection District, removal and disposal of his boat, as well as damage sustained by the boat owned by Curby.

He is represented by Edward Brennan of Belleville; the case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

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