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Insured Refusal to Comply with Insurer Request for Exam under Oath Material Breach of Condition Precedent

In Hanover Ins. Co. v. Cape Cod Custom Home Theater, Inc., 72 Mass.App.Ct. 331 (2008), the defendant insured had filed a claim of loss with the plaintiff insurer under a businessowner’s policy of insurance. The claimed loss arose from a reported break-in at the insured’s business premises.

Following an investigation giving rise to reasonable suspicion that the break-in may have been an “inside job,” the insurer requested that the insured produce certain financial documentation and submit to an examination under oath. The insured failed without explanation to appear at the first scheduled examination, and was nonresponsive in material respects at two rescheduled examinations. The insured refused throughout to produce the requested financial records.

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