Maryville home owners claim Country Mutual underpaid fire loss

Kelly Holleran Mar. 3, 2011, 1:32am

A Maryville couple has filed suit against their insurance company, alleging it refuses to reimburse them fully for the damages caused to their home during a fire that occurred more than five years ago.

Joseph and Kristie Sikora claim they had insurance through defendant Country Mutual Insurance Company when a fire destroyed their home at 4 Annebriar Dr. in Maryville on Nov. 23, 2005.

Before the fire, the Sikoras had procured insurance coverage through defendant insurance agent Dan Slater, according to the complaint filed Feb. 18 in Madison County Circuit Court. However, Slater secured and Country Mutual provided insufficient insurance coverage, which did not provide enough money to cover the full damages caused to the Sikoras' home, the suit states.

As a result, the Sikoras have been forced to incur costs to repair their home, the complaint says.

The Sikoras blame Country Mutual and Slater for causing their damages, saying the defendants negligently failed to properly investigate the value of the Sikoras' property and failed to procure the insurance coverage requested.

In addition, Country Mutual negligently failed to properly determine the amount of coverage it should have provided under the Sikoras' policy, failed to properly determine the replacement cost value, improperly reduced the replacement value by about 10 percent and offered to pay less than the amount of money required under the provisions of the Sikoras' policy, according to the complaint.

In their five-count complaint, the Sikoras are seeking a judgment of more than $250,000, plus costs.

Anthony S. Bruning of Leritz, Plunkert and Bruning in St. Louis will be representing them.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-168.

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