July 17, 2020

Absence of Proof that Property Insurance with Desired Deductibles Was Commercially Available Justified Directed Verdict in Favor of an Insurance Agent on a Claim that the Agent Negligently Failed to Procure an Appropriate Commercial Property Insurance Policy

Insurance Litigation Reporter

Washington, D.C. senior counsel Rollie Goss discussed the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision in Emer’s Camper Corral, LLC v. Alderman, 391 Wis.2d 674, 943 N.W.2d 513 (Wis. 2020).

In his July 17, 2020 case note in Insurance Litigation Reporter, Rollie noted that the case involved an insurance agent who falsely indicated he had obtained a policy with a lower hail damage deductible. After discovering the truth upon submitting a claim after a hail storm, the insured sued the agent.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court stated that the case presented an issue of first impression under Wisconsin law involving a “commercial availability theory,” and whether to prove such a theory it was sufficient for Camper Corral to prove (1) “general availability,” such that some unidentified insureds could obtain a policy with a lower hail deductible or (2) “particular availability,” such that Camper Corral was insurable under the specific policy terms that the agent was supposed to obtain. The court affirmed in favor of the agent.

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