Cook County Record

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Company sues two insurance providers over fire damage to South Lawndale Avenue property

By Annie Cosby | Oct 27, 2014

A Cook County company is suing over claims its insurance provider failed to inform when the insurance policy was not renewed on property damaged by fire.

Never Again filed a lawsuit Oct. 16 in Cook County Circuit Court against Leading Insurance Group Insurance Co. (United States Branch) and Northern Illinois Insurance Agency Inc.

According to the suit, Leading Insurance Group issued several business owners' insurance policies to Never Again in 2012 through Northern Illinois Insurance as a liaison. The policies were renewed through Northern in 2013, with Never Again paying premiums to the company, assuming they were being passed on to Leading Insurance Group.

On June 7, the complaint states , there was a fire at one of Never Again's properties on South Lawndale Avenue in Chicago that caused more than $300,000 in damages, including the cost of relocating residents.

When Never Again informed Northern Illinois Insurance, it claims it was told that Northern had issued a notice of non-renewal to Leading Insurance on Sept. 5, 2013, making the Lawndale property uninsured.

Never Again contends it was not advised of the non-renewal notice prior to the fire, and believes Northern Illinois Insurance has been keeping the premiums paid for its own purposes.

As a result of the insurance issue, the plaintiff has been unable to repair the property, causing it sustain rental income losses, the suit alleges.

Northern Illinois Insurance is accused of negligence, misappropriation and conversion of funds and breach of fiduciary duty, while Leading Insurance Group is accused of breach of contract and violating the Illinois Insurance Code.

Never Again is seeking compensatory damages, including the costs of repairing the property, lost rental income, fees paid to a claims adjuster and the premium payments it made to Northern Illinois Insurance, attorney fees and punitive damages.

It is represented by attorneys Kay E. Wilde and Daniel W. Werly of Foley & Lardner in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 2014L010749.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.

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