Granite City homeowner settles suit over insurance policy

By Ann Maher | May 14, 2014

An elderly Granite City woman who claimed her insurance broker procured the wrong homeowners policy has settled a Madison County lawsuit.

Georgia Mircheff filed suit against the Jessica Harrison Agency in March alleging she was denied funding after her basement was flooded with raw sewage. She claimed that the defendant failed to procure a replacement policy equivalent to her prior policy which covered sewer backups and basement flooding.

On May 1, the Harrison Agency’s errors and omissions carrier, American Automobile Insurance Company, agreed to pay flood reclamation costs totaling $51,803.55.

Mircheff is represented by Thomas and Karen Burkart of Burkart Law Offices in Hamel.

"Harrison’s insurance carrier did the right thing," Thomas Burkart said. “Ms. Mircheff needed to get her house fixed and she will now be able to do that without an exhausting court fight. This is a very good result for her.”

In her complaint, ​Mircheff claimed that in May 2013 the sewer drains at her residence on Oakland Drive in Granite City backed up making her house uninhabitable. Midwest Flood Restoration, a company that specializes in emergency flood reclamation began initial clean-up. The company was able to extract the offending sewage and tear out saturated drywall and other fixtures, the complaint stated. But, when Mircheff’s homeowner’s carrier - American Modern Insurance Group - denied the claim, Midwest pulled off the job and left Mircheff with a $15,500 bill, and her newly remodeled basement torn apart.

Just one year earlier, in May 2012, her basement flooded but the insurance she had with Country Companies paid for that damage. When she had to replace that policy she used the services of the Jessica Harrison Agency which is also in Granite City.

Mircheff claimed that her broker knew or should have known that she expected to obtain coverage that would cover such incidences, or that she expected to be advised if no such coverage was available so that she could take precautionary measures to minimize the uninsurable risk.

Burkart located TFH Construction, Ltd., another restoration company, to complete the work which was estimated to be an additional $36,306.

Mircheff has since had a backflow preventer installed, according to Burkart.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-459.

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