Louisiana Record

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Court denies insurance broker's request to have case dismissed

By Takesha Thomas | May 9, 2019

Strike
Court denies request to dismiss claim against insurance broker | morguefile

An insurance broker has been denied a request to have a negligence suit filed against them dismissed.

On April 29, 2019, US District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown for the US District Court Eastern District of Louisiana denied Bowles & Associates motion to dismiss the third-party claim filed by Mariette and Ebert Joachin. 

According to the Joachin's, Bowles was negligent when it procured an insurance policy for them with GeoVera Specialty Insurance Company. The Joachin's sued Bowles for negligence, breach of contract, detrimental reliance and lack of reasonable diligence. Bowles arguing that the Joachin's failed to state a claim in their filing. Judge Brown agreeing with Bowles but refusing to dismiss the claim and instead granting the Joachin's leave to amend their complaint against Bowles. 

The Joachin's were sued by GeoVera Specialty Insurance Company for allegedly falsified their insurance application and filing a fraudulent insurance claim on their home. According to court records, the Joachin's purchased a homeowner's insurance policy in April 2018 with GeoVera through their insurance broker, Bowles. 

In May 2018, the Joachin's filed an insurance claim for $170,000 after a fire at the property. GeoVera, however, refused to honor the claim alleging that the Joachin's failed to disclose in their insurance application that the property had "termite damage, missing sheetrock, and other damage". The home was demolished in June 2018 by order of the Jefferson Parish regulatory department. 

The Joachins allege that Bowles promised them that if they signed the forms, they would have an insurance policy, court papers state. Additionally, because of their limited communication skills, the Joachin's says they fully relied on Bowles’ representations. 

Bowles, however, argued that the Joachin's do not allege that their insurance application contained misrepresentations "nor that Bowles personally made any misrepresentations". Additionally, during the investigatory claims process, the Joachin's confirmed that they had throughly reviewed the insurance application with a Bowles agents. 

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Geovera Holdings