In January of 2011, 10 ACE Group Companies agreed to pay $70 million in settlement fees to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board after an investigation into whether certain insurance companies had been overcharging policyholders.
Sunken Boat not Eligible for Damage Coverage, ACE Unit Lawsuit Claims
The ACE Unit filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Glenview, Illinois resident Monica Wykurtz. She is the owner of a marine insurance policy first issued by ACE on July 15, 2009, to cover her 2001 model Sea Ray 560 Sedan Ridge powerboat.
ACE said in the suit that it was presented with two damage claims from Wykurtz. The first was for $67,860, arising from storm damage to the boat caused on October 18th, 2012, while it was anchored in Chicago. The second was tied to a February 11, 2013 claim for $15,000 that stemmed from the theft of equipment from the boat.
As it probed these claims, ACE said it learned that the unnamed - and unsued - husband of Wykurtz had paid $125,000 for the vessel on March 1st, 2006. It reportedly had been salvaged following its sinking in October 2005, in Florida during Hurricane Wilma.
In their application for insurance, ACE said that the Wykurtzes had represented the cost of the boat to be $600,000, and that they made no mention that it had sunk or sustained damage to its hull.
Due to those alleged misrepresentations, ACE asked the court to rule the policy void and that it has no duty to pay for either of the claims. In doing so, it cited a portion of the policy that said it is void “if you conceal or misrepresent any material fact or circumstance relating to this contract... .”
ACE also said that the alleged misrepresentation about the sinking or hull damage induced it to issue insurance that would not under normal circumstances have withstood its underwriting guidelines.
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