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A video explaining the requirement for insured persons to live in the residential area



See the entire video at https://youtu.be/nXnfpM-oLxE [1965653] The household policy language unequivocally requires that the property in question is the insured's "residential premises" for the coverage to apply. It does not require the property to be the insured's domicile.

The "insured place" was defined in the relevant part as the "residential premises" and the "residential premises" were defined as the dwelling where the insured dwelling "lives and which is shown as" living space "in the declarations." In the face of such clear and unambiguous language, a court is required to enforce the exact language of the policy which unequivocally required the insured to live on the insured premises at the time of the loss. If the insured lived in another place, there could be no coverage.

A policy definition of "residential premises" that specifically requires that the property listed as the insured property is the property where the insured resides. When the plaintiff's application for homeowners' insurance showed that the home was to be occupied by the owners (ie the plaintiff) and not by a tenant, they had to live there for the coverages that were promised to apply. Furthermore, "occupy", depending on the circumstances in question, means living in as an owner or tenant. As there is no incompatible conflict between the provisions, the aforementioned insured appellants could not establish the existence of an ambiguity in the insurance contract.

Because "and" in the policy definition of residential premises requires more than housing – it also requires insured persons to live there. That requirement of residence is clear and distinct and the simple, common and prevailing meaning of the word "settle" requires more than buying a home or thinking of moving into it. The Fifth Circuit concluded that when insured persons repeatedly admitted that they never "lived" on the property, the home did not meet the "residence requirements" of the policy and was not a covered "residence." [ Geovera Specialty Ins. Co. v. Joachin, 964 F.3d 390 (5th Cir. 2020)]



© 2021 – Barry Zalma

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to employment as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, handling insurance claims, insurance bonds and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He also acts as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance-related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims lawyer and more than 52 years in the insurance industry. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and zalma@zalma.com.

Mr. Zalma is the first recipient of the first annual Claims Magazine / ACE Legend Award.

For the past 53 years, Barry Zalma has devoted his life to insurance, insurance claims and the need to defeat insurance fraud. He has created the following library of books and other materials to enable insurers and their claims staff to become professionals in insurance claims.

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