As insurance litigation continues to heat up across the country, Raizner Slania LLP has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of a Marshall County, Iowa woman against United Specialty Insurance Company (USIC).
March 2020 Resort Closures
The allegations in the complaint are as follows:
In March of 2020, Vail Resorts announced that it would be closing all of its mountain resorts, North American resorts, and retailers indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Given the seriousness of the pandemic spread across the nation, the Governor of Iowa and the President of the United States issued various orders limiting human contact and restricting travel and activities to those considered essential. Skiing and snowboarding are considered non-essential activities.
Prior to the 2019/2020 ski season, class plaintiff Mary Handorf purchased three Epic Passes and Epic Pass insurance through USIC. She purchased the ski passes with the understanding that she and her children would be able to access Vail Resorts for the entire ski season. To ensure she would be able to get a refund if she was unable to use the passes, the plaintiff opted to pay an additional fee for pass insurance.
As a result of the closures and quarantine related restrictions, the plaintiff was restrained from entering and using any of the Vail Resort properties and deprived of the use of her ski passes. Following the closures, the plaintiff promptly provided notice and made a claim to American Claims Management, Inc. (ACM), the third-party claims administrator for the ski pass insurance program.
On May 7, 2020, ACM sent a letter to the plaintiff informing her that defendant USIC was denying coverage under the terms of the policy, despite the policy defining a loss as the inability to use a season ski pass due to an unforeseen event, occurrence, or circumstance. To date, the plaintiff has not been paid under the policy.
The Travel Insurance Carrier Breached Its Contract
In addition to the actions mentioned herein, the plaintiff specifically alleges:
She and the proposed class members purchased ski pass insurance from the defendant.
The policy and class policies are valid and enforceable contracts between the defendant and plaintiff and proposed class members.
She and the proposed class members performed or substantially performed their obligations pursuant to the terms of the policy and class policies.
She and the proposed class members suffered a loss from a covered peril as they are defined under the policy and class policies’ terms and conditions.
The defendant has failed to compensate plaintiff and proposed class members for their respective losses as required by the policy and class policies, in breach of these policies.
As a direct and proximate result of defendant’s breaches, the plaintiff and the proposed class members have suffered damages that are continuing in nature in an amount to be determined at trial.
She contends the defendant breached its insurance policies by failing to timely pay class members for their respective losses.
She seeks a declaration of the parties’ respective rights and duties under the policies and requests the court declare the aforementioned conduct of defendant unlawful and a material breach of the travel insurance policies so that future controversies may be avoided.
Travel Insurance Claim Denials Attorneys
If you or someone you know has had a travel insurance claim disputed, underpaid, or denied following COVID-19 travel restrictions and state-mandated stay-at-home orders, you could be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the attorneys at Raizner Law today to learn more about how we can help.