In case any of you thought that the alarm I sounded in episode #21 of the podcast (which described a potentially major coverage gap in the ISO Homeowners policy) was theoretical, take a look at a New York trial court's September 27 opinion in the case of Josma v. Interboro Insurance Co.:
Plaintiff alleges that she entered into a contract on or about June 9, 2010 with Nubia to perform work, labor, and services, and to furnish materials, in connection with the addition of a second story onto plaintiff's premises located in Uniondale, New York. Nubia allegedly began work shortly thereafter, which included removal of the house's roof and the placing of a tarp over the open portions of the roof at the end of each work day. On or about July 13, 2010, a wind and rainstorm allegedly caused portions of the tarp to be removed from plaintiffs roof and exposed the openings in the roof to the elements. Plaintiff alleges that because Nubia failed to properly secure the tarp over the open portions of the house's roof, rain from the storm entered the plaintiff's house and caused damage to the interior of the house, as well as to personal property.
Nubia was insured by a Commercial General Liability insurance policy through Kingstone at the time of this incident...
Nubia notified Kingstone that it was seeking coverage under the Kingstone policy for plaintiff's claim against Nubia for the damage to plaintiff's home and property and Kingstone disclaimed coverage based upon the exclusion in the Kingstone policy for "property damage or products/completed operations liability arising out of your work which involves the removal and/or replacement of roof materials," among other items. In addition, plaintiff sought coverage through her homeowner's policy with Interboro, but Interboro denied coverage because the premises were not plaintiff's primary residence and were not occupied by the homeowner, contrary to the information contained in plaintiffs insurance application to Interboro, which was allegedly prepared and submitted by defendant First Choice Coverages. [EMPHASIS ADDED]
This isn't just theory, folks. Carriers can and do deny coverage because an insured allegedly did not reside in the home.