The North Carolina Court of Appeals held that a homeowners’ insurer had not “furnished” the insured with notice of cancellation of the policy when the insurer merely mailed the cancellation letter to the insured and could not establish receipt. Nhung Ha v. Nationwide Gen. Ins. Co., 829 S.E.2d 919 (N.C. Ct. App. 2019).

Gen. Stat. §58-41-15(c) permits an insurer to rescind a policy within 60 days of issuance if the insurer “furnish[es]” notice to the insured. An insurer sought to rescind a homeowners’ policy and mailed a cancellation letter to the insured. The insured’s home was subsequently destroyed. The insurer denied coverage, and the insured sued.

The insured argued that the cancellation was not effective because he never received the cancellation letter. The insurer argued that it “furnished” the cancellation letter because it mailed it, evidenced by a proof of mailing. The court disagreed and reasoned the use of the term “furnishing” in the statute, when interpreted as a whole, suggests that an insurer must do more than mail a cancellation letter, but must physically furnish the cancellation letter. Accordingly, the cancellation was deemed ineffective.