Uncertainty regarding a date of loss could lead to a court’s denial of a defendant insurance company’s motion to dismiss. The court in ID Ventures, LLC v. Chubb Custom Insurance Company,1 addressed this issue.
In ID Ventures, the insured (ID), suffered a water loss to its apartment building insured by the Chubb Custom Insurance Company (Chubb) as a result of plumbing damage. On January 8, 2015, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department performed repairs on a water main directly outside the apartment building. After the repairs were completed, ID’s water and sewage bill sky-rocketed as the result of debris used by Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to fix the water main break entering the pipes and plumbing of the apartment building. ID disputed the water bill in court and was ultimately made liable for a portion of the water bill on April 12, 2016.
ID filed a claim with Chubb for the loss. The date of the claim was listed as December 21, 2016, and the date of loss was identified as January 8, 2015, the date of the water main repairs. Chubb denied the claim on November 3, 2017.
The policy contained a two-year limitation on actions provision, which stated that no one may bring a legal action against the insurer unless it is brought within two years after the date on which the direct physical loss or damage occurred. Although the date of loss was listed as January 8, 2015, ID argued that the damage continued through to the present date.
ID filed suit against Chubb for breach of contract and declaratory relief on November 3, 2017. Chubb argued that the contractual limitations period for filing a lawsuit expired on January 8, 2017. Chubb moved to dismiss the Complaint.
ID maintained that its action was not barred because the limitations period is tolled while a claim is being adjusted and its damages occurred over time and not just on January 8, 2015.
Ultimately, the court determined there was not enough evidence to determine whether the loss and damage all occurred on one day or over time. Since the court could not determine the date of loss, and as a result, could not determine the date on which the limitation period expired, it denied Chubb’s motion to dismiss.
1 ID Ventures, LLC v. Chubb Custom Ins. Co., No. 17-14182 (E.D. Mich. April 16, 2018).