Insurer: Should not be made to cover car theft after vehicle recovered, not hot-wired

By Dan Harkins | May 25, 2015

An insurance company has asked a court to reject a claim of a covered motorist who alleges his vehicle was stolen, but later was found and determined to have not been hot-wired.

Founders Insurance Co. filed a complaint May 6 in Cook County Court against Emanuil Mihaisalageanu, seeking declaratory judgment.

According to the complaint, on Feb. 15, the defendant, a Chicago resident, had coverage through the plaintiff and submitted a claim for the alleged theft of his 2013 Toyota Venza. The vehicle ultimately was recovered in a damaged state March 17, the lawsuit states, but a police forensics expert indicated it apparently had not been hot-wired.

Founders Insurance, referencing the section in the defendant's coverage plan covering physical damage, asks the court to concur that: because forcible entry wasn't made into the vehicle and the ignition wiring wasn't altered in a way to permit operation of the vehicle without its programmed key, the vehicle should be excluded from coverage; and the insurance company owes no duty to provide coverage to the defendant.

Founders Insurance is represented by The Law Office of Shari Shelmadine in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 15-CH-7392.

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