Moehle Construction sues insurer claiming it failed to obtain sufficient coverage

By Kelly Holleran | Sep 2, 2011

The owner of a Clinton County construction company alleges he lost more than $200,000 after he claims his insurer failed to procure proper coverage for him.

Merle Moehle doing business as Moehle Construction Company and his wife, Melody Moehle, claim they purchased insurance coverage from defendant Gerald R. Croslow on Sept. 9, 2004.

Before buying the insurance, the Moehles requested Croslow inspect their farm and their construction company to determine the best policies to "protect them against all ordinary and usual risks of liability and casualty losses," the suit filed Aug. 26 in Madison County Circuit Court states.

While in possession of the insurance policy, Merle Moehle agreed to construct a building on Joseph B. Helms's land at 7335 Goshen Rd. in Edwardsville, according to the complaint.

During the construction of the building, a windstorm knocked down and destroyed the building on Feb. 27, the complaint says.

Thinking he was covered through his insurance policy with Croslow, Merle Moehle alleges he submitted a claim to Country Mutual Insurance Company.

However, Country denied his claim on March 7, saying, "The property at the loss location ... is not the property listed on the property declaration, was not covered under your policy and therefore we are denying your property claim."

Merle Moehle blames Croslow for failing to obtain sufficient insurance coverage, saying Croslow should have recognized his need for builder's risk insurance coverage. Such a policy would have protected him from damages that occurred while constructing on someone else's property, according to the complaint.

"The defendant Croslow was guilty of professional negligence, as an insurance producer, toward the Moehles," the suit states.

As a result of his inadequate insurance policy, Merle Moehle incurred costs of $221,657, the complaint says. Part of the costs included interruption to Merle Moehle's business worth $120,000, according to the complaint.

In their three-count complaint, the Moehles are seeking the money they say they lost, plus costs.

They will be represented by Terry Bruckert and John Long of Belsheim and Bruckert in O'Fallon.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-850.

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