A state appellate court in Arkansas reversed summary judgment in an insurer’s favor finding that a term grain policy may be deemed a property policy subject to state statutory notice requirements, as opposed to a casualty policy typically exempted from such requirements. McClendon v. Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co., 2019 Ark. App. 216 (Apr. 10, 2019).
The insured, a farmer and grain bin owner, was issued a ninety-day term grain policy to cover wheat harvested from his farm stored on the property ahead of sale. Eighty days after the expiration of the policy, the storage bins suffered damage, and the crop stored in the bins was also damaged. The insured tendered his claim to his insurer, which denied coverage because the policy expired prior to the loss. The insured filed suit asserting claims for breach of contract and negligence based on the insurer’s failure to provide notice of the expiration of the policy. On motion for summary judgment, the insurer argued that it was under no duty to notify the insured of the policy’s expiration because it was a casualty policy not subject to Arkansas statutory requirements obligating insurers to provide notice of expiration for certain policies, including those for property. The trial court granted the motion, and the insured appealed. The appellate court reversed, finding that the two kinds of policies are not necessarily mutually exclusive under the statute and that disputed issues of fact prevented summary judgment.