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Coverage Denial Under “Concealment or Fraud” Provision

In Barth v. State Farm Fire and Cas . Co ., 2008 WL 733897 (Ill., 2008), a fire destroyed plaintiff Barth’s home and he filed a fire loss claim with his insurer, State Farm. State Farm denied the claim under an exclusion in Barth’s policy voiding coverage if the insured intentionally concealed or misrepresented a material fact impacting coverage. Barth filed a complaint against State Farm in the trial court seeking damages after the denial of coverage.

The fire that destroyed Barth’s home began while he was out with William Penn and Penn’s friend William Burmeister. Barth was disabled and had hired William Penn to drive him and perform errands. The fire was immediately determined to be suspicious, and State Farm began an investigation.

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