Family’s insurance claim denied despite paying premiums for decades

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CHICAGO — A family plans to sue the insurance company it has paid for decades after it denied the first and only claim made on the policy.

For decades, the Harris family paid premiums to Allstate Insurance. The patriarch, Clarence Harris, 73, lived in the home since 1957 and started his family there.

In 1975, Clarence’s mother purchased the 3-story home, transitioning from renter to homeowner.

When she died five years ago, the home was handed down to Clarence. He continued to pay the mortgage and the insurance policy, and the appropriate name changes were made with the mortgage company and the Recorder of Deeds Office.

But they were never made on the homeowners’ insurance policy, according to Allstate.

That’s why Allstate says it’s not responsible for paying insurance after a fire destroyed the home in January.

Then a fire in January basically gutted the 3 flat from top to bottom.

Allstate would not comment to WGN on the case but did send Clarence a check after the fire with the premiums he’s paid for the last five years.  Harris and his daughter returned that check since they plan to fight the decision in court.

Allstate also sent Harris a letter stating “if title, use or occupancy of the insured premises changes, Allstate must be notified of such a change.”

For now Mr. Harris is living with his daughters.

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