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Insurance

Insurance – Title – Real Property – Reformation Claim – No Mistake of Fact – Property Covered – Civil Practice – Notice – Statute of Limitations (access required)

Branch Banking & Trust Co. v. Chicago Title Insurance Co. Defendant agreed to insure the title of property for which plaintiff held a deed of trust. Defendant made no showing that the parties intended to exclude from their policy a parcel of the land that they later learned was encumbered by a prior deed of trust. Therefore, defendant was not entitled to a reformation of the policy.

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Insurance – Commercial Liability Policy – Exclusion Clause – Lost Revenue (access required)

Alliance Mutual Insurance Co. v. Dove Where a feed mill’s elevator exploded after a welding company fixed a broken belt, the “your work” exclusion clause in the welding company’s commercial liability policy did not preclude coverage for the feed mill’s lost revenue. Exclusion clauses must be narrowly construed. We affirm summary judgment for the defendant-insured.

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Insurance – Auto – UIM – Corporate Policy – Daughter’s Injuries (access required)

Erie Insurance Exchange v. Woodie’s Painting, Inc. Even though the insurance policy form could apply to either an individual or corporate insured, there is no ambiguity here since the insurance application made it clear that the defendant-corporation - and not its owner - was to be the insured. We affirm summary judgment for the plaintiff-insurer.

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Insurance – Auto – UIM – Selection/Rejection Form – Agency – Insured’s Wife (access required)

Davis v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. Plaintiff replied in the affirmative to the question, “If your wife in times past had requested a change in your policy, that would have been done usually with your knowledge or approval?” Given that the insurance agency most often dealt plaintiff’s wife when it came to changes in plaintiff’s policy, the wife’s rejection of underinsured motorist coverage was binding as to plaintiff. We affirm summary judgment for the defendant-insurer and the defendant-insurance agent, Lee Starnes.

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Insurance – Homeowner’s — Coverage – Limited Policy – Mold – Wind Damage – Civil Practice – Summary Judgment (access required)

North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. v. Sadler Despite an appraiser’s and umpire’s determination that wind damaged defendant’s house in the amount of $150,500, the insurer retains the right to determine whether any loss is covered by the policy. We reverse partial summary judgment for defendant. Remanded.

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Insurance – Title – Omitted Mortgage – Insured’s Discovery – Notice to Insurer – Statute of Limitations – Attorneys – Professional Malpractice (access required)

Branch Banking & Trust Co. v. Chicago Title Insurance Co. Regardless of whether the applicable statute of limitations was the one for negligent misrepresentation or the one for legal malpractice, when the plaintiff-lender notified the defendant-title insurer about a prior mortgage that hadn't been included in the title search, the statutes of limitations had not expired - though only eight days were left to file a legal malpractice claim.

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Insurance – Auto – Exclusion – Use – Unlicensed Driver – No Reasonable Belief (access required)

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Bustos-Ramirez Although unlicensed driver Perez lived in the home of the insured car owner and may have been allowed to drive the owner's vehicles in the past, the owner had forbidden Perez to drive his vehicles if Perez were drinking. When Perez took the owner's keys without the owner's permission or knowledge, drove to a nightclub, drank alcohol, drove towards home, and caused an accident that killed his passenger, Perez had no reasonable belief that he was entitled to drive the owner's car.

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Insurance – Auto – UM/UIM – Contract Reformation – Insured’s Name – Mutual Mistake (access required)

James v. First National Insurance Co. of America Plaintiff's insurance agent mistakenly filled out an auto insurance application in the name of plaintiff's father. Since plaintiff signed the application - including the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage selection - in his own name, the trial court properly reformed the insurance policy to reflect plaintiff as the insured.

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