Insurer didn't tell homeowner for two years she was canceled, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Mar. 17, 2010, 3:00pm

A woman alleges her mortgage holder canceled her insurance policy without telling her for more than two years, causing her to be denied fire and flood damage claims.

Letitia Jenkins filed a lawsuit March 2 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Select Portfolio Servicing and Balboa Insurance Group.

Jenkins claims she owned a home at 527 St. James in Cahokia when she sustained water and roof damage to her house in December 2007. On March 3, 2009, Jenkins sustained fire damage to her home, according to the complaint.

After thinking she had paid SPS for insurance, Jenkins believed the mortgage holder had secured property, fire and hazard insurance for her home, the suit states. She filed for damages with Balboa. However, on Oct. 23, 2009, Jenkins received a letter from SPS stating that her insurance had lapsed and had been canceled in February 2007, the complaint says.

Jenkins claims she never received proper notification of the cancellation of her insurance policy and remained unaware that her home failed to be covered until SPS's October letter.

Because insurance would not pay for her damages, Jenkins claims she incurred costs of more than $50,000.

Jenkins blames SPS and Balboa for her damages, claiming they failed to maintain and secure her insurance, failed to notify her that they had not secured her insurance policies and failed to notify her that her property was not insured. In addition, she says Balboa failed to send her a cancellation notice.

In her seven-count complaint, Jenkins wants the court to find that a contract for insurance coverage for her house exists or to stop SPS from denying her insurance policy and to pay for her damages. In addition, Jenkins seeks a judgment of more than $250,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jenkins names Assurant Inc., American Reliable Insurance Company and American Bankers Company of Florida as respondents in discovery.

Steven E. Katzman of Katzman and Associates in Belleville will be representing her.

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