Hello, this is State Farm and we didn’t get a chance to completely screw this policyholder; so…

We were informed by letter after briefing was closed that “State Farm desires to make clear that it is not making any argument in this case as to the sufficiency of the documentation that had been submitted by the Plaintiffs in this matter.” Instead of arguing that the Monisteres failed to meet the threshold requirements of submitting a proper estimate, State Farm argues that the Monisteres never, not even at trial, provided the evidence that would allow more to be paid. In State Farm’s view, whether the estimate was sufficiently detailed is irrelevant.

No doubt it was irrelevant – to State Farm.  Earlier in the 5th Circuit’s Opinion in Monistere v State-farm, the Court noted:

State Farm never requested additional information.

The Fifth Circuit summarized the case and reasoning for the decision to Reverse and Render judgment in favor of State Farm:

This litigation concerns a home located in Metairie, Louisiana that was severely damaged in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. State Farm Insurance Company issued a flood insurance policy to Tara and Brandon Monistere pursuant to the National Flood Insurance Program. The Monisteres were unsatisfied with the amount paid under the policy and filed suit. The district court entered judgment in favor of the homeowners for the full policy amount after applying a legal theory occasionally used to determine coverage under certain private insurance policies. That theory is inapplicable to this federal program. We REVERSE and RENDER judgment in favor of State Farm.

However, is it “that theory” or the federal program rules cited by the 5th that are “inapplicable”?  Let’s take a look. Continue reading “Hello, this is State Farm and we didn’t get a chance to completely screw this policyholder; so…”