Ashraf v. State Auto Property & Casualty Insurance Co. (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff owned a building insured by State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Company that was rendered a total loss by fire. State Farm reduced the adjusted policy limit for the building by fifteen percent under the policy’s vacancy provision. State Farm sent Plaintiff a check for debris removal, but no coverage was extended for pollutant removal. Plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment action, alleging that the State Farm improperly reduced the full policy limit for building coverage by fifteen percent and that he was entitled to the costs he incurred for the removal and testing of asbestos under the policy’s pollutant cleanup and removal coverage. The circuit court entered an order certifying two questions to the Supreme Court. The Court answered (1) an insured may reduce a fire insurance policy’s limit of coverage for total loss by fire for the insured premises by fifteen percent pursuant to a vacancy provision in the policy; and (2) a fire insurance policy that includes a pollutant clean up and removal provision does provide provide coverage in excess of the debris removal coverage afforded by the policy for the removal of asbestos contained in a fire-damaged or destroyed structure.