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Paul Blasetti and Mary Ann Blasetti v. Allstate Insurance Company

January 23, 2012

PAUL BLASETTI AND MARY ANN BLASETTI
v.
ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY



The opinion of the court was delivered by: O'neill, J.

MEMORANDUM

Now before me is defendant Allstate Insurance Company's motion for judgment on the pleadings and the response thereto of plaintiffs Paul and Mary Ann Blasetti. For the reasons that follow I will deny defendant's motion with respect to plaintiffs' claim for breach of contract and will grant defendant's motion with respect to plaintiffs' bad faith claim.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs allege that their property located at 6027 Joshua Road, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania sustained storm damage and required repairs. Defendant Allstate insured the property under policy number 000901345114, which was in effect on or about September 30, 2010. Under the terms of the policy, upon the occurrence of the storm damage to the Property, plaintiffs were required to:

(a) promptly give [Allstate or its] agent notice. . . .

(b) protect the property from further loss. Make any reasonable repairs necessary to protect it. Keep an accurate record of any repair expenses.

(c) separate damaged from undamaged personal property. Give [Allstate] a detailed list of the damaged, destroyed or stolen property, showing the quantity, cost, actual cash value and the amount of loss claimed.

(d) give [Allstate] all accounting records, bills, invoices and other vouchers, or certified copies, which [Allstate] may reasonably request to examine and permit us to make copies.

(e) produce receipts for any increased costs to maintain [plaintiffs'] standard of living while [they] reside[d] elsewhere, and records supporting any claim for loss of rental income.

(f) as often as [Allstate] reasonably require[d]:

(1) show [Allstate] the damaged property . . . . (Def.'s Mot. Ex. A to Ex. B at 16-17.)

Plaintiffs first reported storm damage to the Property to Allstate on March 16, 2011, initially reporting that their date of loss was February 3, 2011. On April 26, 2011, plaintiffs' public adjuster submitted a letter of representation to Allstate and noted that the "correct date of loss" was September 30, 2010. (Def.'s Mot., Ex. D to Ex. B.) Plaintiffs' public adjuster then withdrew the February 3, 2011 storm claim on April 27, 2011. (Def.'s Mot., Ex. C to Ex. B.) Plaintiffs complaint does not address their revision of their claimed date of damage. In their response to Allstate's motion for judgment on the pleadings, plaintiffs assert their initial submission "was a mistake and it was subsequently corrected."*fn1 (Pl.'s Resp. at ¶ 7.)

Prior to reporting the storm damage to Allstate, plaintiffs allegedly had repairs done to the Property. Allstate sent plaintiffs a reservation of rights letter on April 1, 2011 "because [they] did not give [Allstate] an opportunity to inspect the damages prior to [plaintiffs'] authorization to have the repair work completed." (Def.'s Mot. Ex. E to Ex. B.) Allstate also requested photos of the alleged damage. (Id.) On April 7, 2011, Allstate reiterated its request that plaintiffs provide it with photographs and documentation of their claimed damages, asking that plaintiffs provide the information to Allstate within ten days. (Def.'s Mot. Ex. E to Ex. B.) Plaintiff's public adjuster wrote to Allstate on April 19, 2011 in response to its request for "photos of the roof in question prior to the loss and before replacement by insured" and noted that plaintiffs were "still working on obtaining these to assist" Allstate. (Def.'s Mot. Ex. G to Ex. B.) Plaintiffs never provided Allstate with photographs or other documentation of their claimed damages. Instead, on May 17, 2011, plaintiffs' public adjuster wrote to Allstate requesting Allstate's "settlement proposal." (Def.'s Mot. Ex. H to Ex. B.) In a May 24, 2011 letter to plaintiffs' public adjuster, Allstate responded it could not provide coverage for plaintiffs' claim because Plaintiffs "left [Allstate] no evidence for [it] to determine if the damages are the result of a loss [Allstate] cover[s] under [plaintiffs'] policy." (Def.'s Mot. Ex. I to Ex. B.)

Following Allstate's coverage denial and on or about October 21, 2011, plaintiffs filed a complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania asserting claims of breach of contract and bad faith against Allstate. Defendant removed the matter to this Court on November 4, 2011. The policy issued to plaintiffs requires that there be "full compliance with ...


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