Son’s Arson Can’t Stop Insurance Coverage

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By Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson

Failure to comply with Illinois insurance law cost MetLife’s parent company $235,000 following a July 18 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ( Streit v. Metro. Cas. Ins. Co. , 7th Cir. App., No. 16-3203, 7/18/17 ).

The state’s Standard Fire Policy fills in “baseline” statutory rules. Under that model plan, Wesley Streit Jr.'s intentional arson of his family home didn’t suspend insurance coverage to his parents, Judge Diane S. Sykes wrote for the court.

Metropolitan Insurance Company’s refusal to insure those innocent parties ran afoul of state law, the court said.

Chief Judge Diane P. Wood and Ilana Diamond Rovner joined the opinion.

Merlin Law Group, Chicago, represented the family. Leahy, Eisenberg & Fraenkel, Chicago, represented the insurance company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at

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