Insurer Wrongfully Denies Coverage When Household Member Fails to Submit to EUO

    The court determined that coverage for a loss by fire could not be denied when the insured's son failed to appear for a examination under oath (EUO). Adekola v. Allstate Vehicle & Prop. Ins. Co., 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27125 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 16, 2024).

    Plaintiff had a homeowners policy with Allstate. Plaintiff – Michele Adekola – was the named insured under the policy. After the fire, Allstate provided payments for temporary housing. Allstate requested examinations under oath of Plaintiff and her son, Nico. Plaintiff and her son were examined by Zoom. Allstate then sought to examine Plaintiff's other son, Lemmeco, but these efforts were unsuccessful.

    Allstate then stopped paying for Plaintiff's temporary housing and informed Plaintiff that Lemmeco's failure to participate in an EUO was a material breach of duties under the policy and the breach was prejudicial to Allstate. Allstate further contended that Lemmeco had a duty to submit to an EUO.

    Plaintiff filed suit. The court denied Allstate's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. Allstate then moved for reconsideration.

    The court again found that Lemmeco had no duty to submit to an EUO. The policy distinguished between "You" and "insured persons" in assigning obligations. "You" was defined as the named insured on the policy and that person's resident spouse. "Insured persons" were defined as "you"; any relative residing in the household; and any person under the age of 21 residing in the household and in the named insured's care. Michelle Adekola was the person named on the policy, and, consequently, was both "you" and an insured person. Her sons were "insured persons" because they were relatives residing in the household at the time of the loss.

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    The policy required "You" to "as often as we reasonably require, at our request, submit to examinations under oath." The plain language required "You" to submit to an examination under oath. The language was silent as to what, if anything, an "insured person," as distinct from "you," had to do with respect to examinations under oath. 

    The court did not find that Allstate had presented errors of law or fact, new evidence, or a change in controlling law to warrant reconsideration of the court's prior order.