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Limo company fails to prove harm by insurance non-renewal: Court

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A limousine company failed to provide evidence it was financially hurt when its insurance broker gave it short notice its insurance policy would not be renewed and it was left without coverage for a period, says a federal court, in dismissing the policyholder’s lawsuit.

Temple Hills, Maryland-based Access Limousine Service Inc. provided its insurance brokerage, Richmond, Virginia-based Service Insurance Agency L.L.C., with a completed application to renew its insurance policy, which was set to expire on Aug. 12, 2013, on May 31, 2013, according to Friday’s ruling by the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland, in Access Limousine Service Inc. vs. Service Insurance Agency, L.L.C. and Timothy O’Bryan.

On Aug. 7, 2013, the brokerage informed Access that its policy could not be renewed and would be expiring in five days, according to the ruling.

Access was unable to procure new insurance before the policy’s expiration, and as a result could not operate its business until it obtained new coverage in September 2013, said the ruling.

Access filed suit, charging it had sustained damages of about $10 million because of the defendants’ negligence. The court granted the defendants summary judgment dismissing the case.

Access’ evidence of financial loss “need only establish a rational, non-speculative basis from which a fact finder can make a fair and reasonable estimate of damages,” said the ruling.

It has not done so, it said.  “Access has neither established, nor provided any evidence showing, that any prospective business opportunities were available but lost due to the lapse in insurance,” the ruling said. Its only specific claim is that the defendants’ alleged negligence led to the cancellation of an existing contract valued at $1.9 million because it lost its insurance coverage.

 “Despite this broad allegation, Access has not provided admissible evidence to support the alleged loss and a reasonable estimate of the damages suffered,” said the court, in granting the insurance brokerage summary judgment dismissing the case.