Court of Appeal affirms judgment in favor of GMSR’s carrier client in a coverage dispute, allowing proof at trial of insured’s additional misrepresentations

Guerrette v. Farmers Group, Inc. et al. (2012) 2012 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 8636 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three) [unpublished]. Plaintiff lost his house and much of his personal property in a fire. His insurance carrier, GMSR’s client, stopped paying his claim upon discovering that plaintiff had made four material misrepresentations in the submission of his claim. At the trial of his suit for breach of contract and bad faith, over plaintiff’s opposition the court allowed the carrier to introduce evidence of misrepresentations beyond the four initially identified. The jury found for the carrier. The Court of Appeal affirmed. It found that the trial court did not err in allowing proof of misrepresentations beyond the four initially identified, and rejected plaintiff’s assertion that denial of a claim was tantamount to cancelling an insurance policy, which by statute would limit the carrier to the reasons it initially specified.