Iowa insurance company seeks to avoid paying for pre-existing damage to church

By Molly English-Bowers | Dec 11, 2015

HOUSTON--An Iowa insurance company doing business in Texas is suing a Conroe church, asking the court to declare it doesn't have to pay for damages the defendants are claiming.

Guideone Mutual Insurance Company, of West Des Moines, filed a lawsuit Oct. 26 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Gracia Abundante, a church in Conroe. 

According to the complaint, while the church did sustain a significant loss Sept. 13, 2008, as the result of Hurricane Ike and received monies to repair the property, damages that occurred when a tree fell onto the roof of the gym on May 12, 2015, are not covered.

The plaintiff's adjuster prepared an estimate for the property that totaled $4,784, less than the defendant's deductible of $5,000. But the defendant's estimate is more than $210,000. Guideone alleges the majority of the defendant's claimed loss is due to pre-existing damage, wear and tear and maintenance issues, not a fallen tree.

Guideone Mutual asks the court serve the defendant with a copy of the complaint for declaratory judgment and to rule there is no coverage under the policy, plus other relief the court deems proper. It is represented by attorneys Susan E. Egeland and Matthew C. Sapp of Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young in Dallas.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number 4:15-cv-03138.

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