Misrepresentation of amount of loss bars property insurance claim
We obtained a defense jury verdict for a property insurer based on the policyholder's material misrepresentation of the magnitude of a contents loss. The policyholder had rented a 10 x 20 storage unit which was destroyed by fire along with several other storage units. After the policyholder submitted a contents inventory claiming approximately $750,000 (on a replacement cost basis) for goods in the 200-square-foot locker, the insurer denied the claim based on a material misrepresentation as to the quantity and value of property claimed to have been lost in the fire. We obtained a favorable court ruling that the reliance required for a misrepresentation defense in Oregon included the expenditure of additional investigative expenses which would not have otherwise been incurred if not for the misrepresentation. Following several days of trial, the jury returned a defense verdict for our client, the property insurer.