United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
L. HAYES MAG. JUDGE
G. JAMES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a dispute over homeowner's property insurance benefits.
Defendant Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company
(“Garrison”) issued a homeowner's insurance
policy to Plaintiff Brandon Gwin. Garrison later cancelled
the policy for nonpayment of premiums, but the parties
dispute whether the cancellation was effective prior to the
date of Plaintiffs' loss.
before the Court is Garrison's Motion for Summary
Judgment [Doc. No. 17]. For the following reasons, the Motion
for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.
Facts and Procedural History
and Aimee Gwin (“the Gwins”) owned a home located
at 187 Sonny Road, Monroe, Louisiana. On May 16, 2015,
Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company
(“Garrison”) issued a policy of homeowner's
insurance, bearing policy number GAR 01563 68 28 90A
(“the Policy”), to Brandon Gwin for the Sonny
Road home. The Policy provides that a “resident
spouse” (Aimee Gwin) may conduct the same transactions
under the Policy as a “member” (Brandon Gwin).
undisputed that Aimee Gwin was responsible for paying the
insurance premiums. The Homeowner's Policy Packet was
sent to the Gwin home address and to the attention of Aimee
Gwin, who confirmed receipt. She elected to make monthly
premium payments on the Policy and to receive monthly
statements via electronic mail at email@example.com.
November 2015, the Gwins had failed to timely make multiple
Policy contained the following provision on cancellation for
non-payment of premium:
4. Cancellation . . .
b. We may cancel this policy only for the reasons stated
below by letting you know in writing of the date cancellation
takes effect. This cancellation notice may be delivered to
you, or mailed to you by postal mail at your mailing address
shown in the Declaration or provided by you electronically if
we have your consent and agreement on file to receive
Proof of mailing, whether by postal mail or by electronic
media of communication channel, will be sufficient proof of
notice. Electronic notice will be provided upon placing it on
our website pursuant to an electronic transaction agreement,
or upon directing it to an electronic mailbox of voice
channel that you designate for the purpose of receiving mail.
(1) When you have not paid the premium, we may cancel at any
time by letting you know at least 10 days before the date
cancellation takes effect.
[Doc. No. 17-6].
the Policy, Garrison accelerated the balance due. On or about
November 27, 2015, Garrison sent a Notice of Cancellation for
Nonpayment of Premium (“Notice of Cancellation”)
by electronic mail to Aimee Gwin at the email address
provided. The Notice of Cancellation contained a statement
that payment under the Policy had been placed on “the
pay in full payment plan”' because of the
Gwins' nonpayment of the minimum monthly premiums. The
Notice of Cancellation provided further that the Gwins were
required to make a payment of $1, 542.67 by December 16,
2015, to prevent cancellation for nonpayment of premiums.
addition to the electronic mail notification, on November 30,
2015, Garrison sent the Notice of Cancellation to the
Gwins' home address via USPS certified mail. A USPS
employee left a notice at the Gwin residence on December 3,
2015, instructing the Gwins to pick up the item at the USPS
post office, but the Gwins failed to do. From notations on
the envelope, it appears that the USPS attempted to deliver
the Notice of Cancellation at least one more time on December
22, 2015. Aimee Gwin denies receiving notice from
the USPS about this attempted delivery.
December 9, 2015, Garrison received an electronic payment
from the Gwins of $300.00. No further payments were made on
the Policy prior to December 16, 2015.
December 16, 2015, Garrison cancelled the Policy.
December 30, 2015, Garrison sent a final statement to Aimee
Gwin indicating a Policy Cancellation Credit in the amount of
$1, 505.05 and a remaining balance of $53.29. The December
30, 2015 final statement explained that “[p]ayment of
this outstanding balance will immediately close your account
with USAA Property and Casualty Insurance. However, it does
not assure acceptability for future insurance.” [Doc.
No. 17, Exh. D & D-3].
January 7, 2016, Garrison received an electronic payment from
Aimee Gwin in the amount of $53.29, the remaining balance.
sent Aimee Gwin a final letter on that same date, January 7,
2016, thanking her for the payment of $53.29 and advising her
that, while the account is now up to date, this most recent
payment “doesn't reinstate your previously
cancelled insurance coverage.” [Doc. No. 17, Exh. D
& D-4]. Aimee Gwin denies receiving this letter.
January 7, 2016, neither Garrison nor USAA sent notice or
billing statements to the Gwins regarding any homeowner's
insurance coverage. The Gwins did not make any further
payments after ...