Maxum Insurance sued over coverage of vacant building issue

Andrea Dearden Mar. 21, 2012, 5:22am


An Edwardsville woman accuses an insurance provider and its broker of fraud, claiming the companies lied to her about her policy.

Evette Osuegbu filed the lawsuit March 9 in Madison County Circuit Court against Maxum Insurance Company and Zimmerman Insurance Agency Inc.

Osuegbu says she applied for property insurance from Maxum Insurance Company in May 2011 to cover a building she owns in Alton. In her application, Osuegbu claims she informed the company the building was empty. She says she paid $1,700 for the policy.

Osuegbu alleges Maxum Insurance never told her the application was rejected and, instead, issued a policy which excluded coverage of the East Broadway building if vacant. The company knew it was empty because of Osegbu indicated that on her application for coverage, according to the complaint.

Osuegbu also claims she was never given a copy of the policy by Maxum Insurance or its broker, Zimmerman Insurance, despite requests for one. She says she was told that all she needed was a copy of the declaration sheet. The plaintiff says she understood her property to be covered by insurance because she was allegedly never told of any rejection or discontinuation of coverage, nor was she ever given a refund of her premium.

In July 2011, a fire allegedly damaged a significant part of the building. When Osuegbu filed a claim with Maxum Insurance, she says she was told the building was not covered. The company allegedly refused to pay for the fire damage.

Osuegbu accuses Maxum Insurance and Zimmerman Insurance Agency of fraud and asks for more than $160,000 in damages, including statutory penalties and court costs.

She is represented by attorney Ronald A. Roth of Granite City.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-308

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