Cook Inlet Tribal Council suing insurance company over unpaid earthquake damage claims
The Cook Inlet Tribal Council is suing its insurance company, alleging in federal court a breach of contractual duties while failing to pay for building damages caused by last year’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake.
With the quake’s anniversary approaching, CITC filed the suit Monday seeking a jury trial and more than $6 million from United Specialty Insurance Co.
“While USIC has made some payments, it has improperly withheld millions of dollars from CITC,” according to the 10-page document filed in Alaska’s U.S. District Court. “USIC has also repeatedly failed to respond to CITC’s claims correspondence in a timely fashion, and when it does finally respond, the responses are often confusing, vague and lacking in substance.”
The company added, “USIC is improperly attempting to get another insurer to pay for the loss.”
CITC purchased the one-year policy last fall about two months before the quake struck.
In an emailed statement, CITC spokesman Brad Hillwig wrote the nonprofit located on San Jeronimo Drive has worked for 12 months to resolve the claims. Hillwig said the policy calls for a lawsuit in order to “preserve its claim, if the claim is not resolved within a year.”
“CITC has been vigilant in attempting to secure the insurance funding necessary to repair its building and continue its important work in the community,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, CITC has not yet received full claimed damages, with the anniversary of the earthquake quickly approaching. This necessitated the filing of the lawsuit in order not to lose the benefits owed to CITC.
United Specialty did not respond to an email seeking comment.
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