Schuchman v. State Auto Property & Casualty Ins. Co.

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
No. 12-2751
Decision Date: 
October 23, 2013
Federal District: 
S.D. Ill.
Reversed and remanded
Dist. Ct. erred in granting defendant-insurance company’s motion for summary judgment in action by plaintiffs-insured homeowners seeking declaration that insurance policy issued by defendant covered fire damage to plaintiffs’ house, even though defendant denied coverage on ground that plaintiffs did not reside at time of fire in “residence premises” as that term was used in policy, but rather resided in nearby trailer. Plaintiffs were entitled to coverage where term “residence premises” in policy was ambiguous since: (1) policy’s definition of said term did not pertain to any particular address, but rather pertained to particular “location” that could have multiple buildings; and (2) plaintiff’s trailer was located on same parcel of land as house covered by policy. Moreover, while Dist. Ct. believed that insureds’ residency in trailer precluded house’s coverage under policy because trailer had different mailing address than house, which in turn meant that plaintiffs could not satisfy residency requirement in policy, policy did not define “residence premises” in terms of mailing address.