Nationwide Mutual Fire Co. Diminished Value Assessment Class Action

When your home suffers damage, it may be worth less, even after repairs. The complaint for this class action alleges that Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company paid owners for repairs but not for this diminution of value, despite state laws requiring it to do so.

The class for this action is all persons whose Georgia properties were or are insured under policies issued by Nationwide who, between April 17, 2013 and the date of class certification in this case, presented first-party claims for direct physical losses to the properties due to water, mold, or fire damage or damage to the foundation or structure, which are covered by the policy, but where Nationwide failed to make a diminished value assessment.

Plaintiff Willa Onley had insurance on her home from Nationwide. In April 2018, her home suffered water damage on the inside, an event that the policy covered. She reported the problem to Nationwide, and Nationwide accepted her claim and paid more than $13,000 for repairs.

Under Georgia law, however, the complaint says, Nationwide “was required not only to pay the costs of repair but also to assess for and either pay a diminution in the fair market value of the insured property … or deny the existence of diminished value.”

The complaint admits that Nationwide issued an endorsement that supposedly excluded coverage for diminished value, but says that “such endorsement was ineffective to exclude such coverage in renewal policies issued before July 1, 2018…” This would include Onley’s policy.

The complaint charges that the company did not assess Onley’s home for diminished value, it did not pay diminished value, and it did not deny the existence of diminished value. According to the complaint, in failing to taking diminished value into consideration at all, the company breached its policy, “including the covenant of good faith and fair dealing inherent therein.”

Onley is likely not the only policyholder who has been shortchanged. The complaint claims that Nationwide does not address diminished value unless the issue is raised by the insured, a condition that the complaint says the law does not require. Nationwide is supposed to perform the assessment regardless of whether the policyholder asks for it, the complaint says.

The complaint claims that Nationwide has breached its contracts and asks for both monetary relief and an order pertaining to Nationwide’s non-performance of its obligations. It also asks for attorneys’ fees and other expenses involved in bringing the suit.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Diminished Value Complaint

April 17, 2019

When your home suffers damage, it may be worth less, even after repairs. The complaint for this class action alleges that Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company paid owners for repairs but not for this diminution of value, despite state laws requiring it to do so.

nationwide_fire_ins_diminuition_of_value_compl.pdf

Case Event History

Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Diminished Value Complaint

April 17, 2019

When your home suffers damage, it may be worth less, even after repairs. The complaint for this class action alleges that Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company paid owners for repairs but not for this diminution of value, despite state laws requiring it to do so.

nationwide_fire_ins_diminuition_of_value_compl.pdf
Tags: Diminished Value, Homeowners Insurance, Incomplete payment of benefits due, Insurance