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Notifying Your Insurer of a Loss

Failure to promptly notify can result in loss of coverage.

Shaw Temple v. Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Company, 605 N.Y.S.2d 370 (A.D. 2 Dept. 1994)

Background. Church insurance policies generally require that the church notify the insurance company in writing and within a specified period of time concerning any property damage or personal injury that occurs. Failure to do so can relieve the insurance company of any duty to defend the church in a lawsuit or pay a settlement or jury verdict as a result of the damage or injury. One church learned this lesson the hard way in a recent case.

Facts. A church member was injured when he fell on church property during a funeral. At the time of the injury the church had a general liability insurance policy that required the church to give the insurance company written notice of any accident "as soon as practicable." Immediately following the accident the pastor instructed the chairman of the board of trustees ...

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Posted:
  • February 1, 1996

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