Woman claims she was misled about home insurance

Kelly Holleran Sep. 20, 2010, 3:58pm

A Jefferson County woman has filed suit against the mortgage, title and insurance companies she claims falsely led her to believe she had sufficient insurance on her home.

Doris Nsiah Cruse alleges she has only received minimal payments for extensive damages her home sustained after Hurricane Ike struck on Sept. 13, 2008.

When Cruse attempted to file a claim with defendants Lloyds of London and Washington Mutual Bank, the companies refused to pay her all the costs she is owed, according to the complaint filed Sept. 9 in Jefferson County District Court.

She alleges the companies had no right to refuse any of her claims because she had secured insurance at the time of closing on the purchase of her house in January 2008, the suit states. In fact, Cruse paid $1,963 in insurance premiums at the time of her closing, the complaint says.

Assisting with Cruse's closing were defendants Beaumont Title Co. and First American Title Insurance Co., who had a duty to insure that Cruse's insurance premiums were paid to the proper place and to monitor the insurance coverage, Cruse claims.

Defendant Washington Mutual, as Cruse's mortgage company, also should have verified that Cruse had sufficient insurance coverage on her residences, according to the complaint.

"In fact, Washington Mutual Bank placed the coverage with 'forced placed coverage,' but never notified Plaintiff of any of its actions," the suit states. "Plaintiff's cost of coverage increased her premium from $1,285 per month to $1,341 per month."
Because of the companies' refusal to pay her adequate amounts of money, Cruse claims her property has not been properly fixed and, as a result, has sustained further damages.
In her complaint, Cruse is seeking actual, treble, punitive and exemplary damages, plus a return of her pre-paid insurance of $2,234.30, pre- and post-judgment fees, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.
Thomas O. Moses of Beaumont will be representing her.
The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.
Jefferson County District Court case number: E188-062.

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