Granite City property owner sues tenants' insurer

Andrea Dearden Aug. 31, 2010, 8:29am

A Granite City landlord is suing the insurance company he says refuses to pay for fire damage to his rental property.

Kevin Link filed a lawsuit against Allied Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Aug. 25 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Link owns a home on Adams Street that was destroyed by fire on Oct. 20, 2009. He says the fire caused more than $232,000 worth of damage. The house was being rented by tenants who had insured the home through Allied Property & Casualty in June 2009. Link argues he is entitled to recover $158,000 from the tenants' insurance policy.

Link says the tenants were leasing the home and had not exercised their option to purchase the home. Because he has sole title and ownership of the property, Link argues the fire loss was sustained exclusively by him.

According to the complaint, Link filed a statement of loss with Allied Property & Casualty on April 1. The company rejected the statement, claiming the insurance policy had been rescinded because of false statements made by Link's tenants on their policy application. Link argues the false statements should have no effect on the money owed to him as the home's mortgagee.

Link says the insurance company's refusal is "vexatious and unreasonable." He is seeking a judgment against Allied for the replacement cost of the fire-damaged home along with court costs and interest.

Attorney Phillip A. Theis is representing Link.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 2010-L877

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