JAMES ALLEN INSURANCE BROKERS AND CERTAIN UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYD'S, LONDON, SUBSCRIBING TO CERTIFICATE NO. FRO-100944
FIRST FINANCIAL BANK
OF JUDGMENT: 02/07/2018
SIMPSON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. HON. EDDIE H. BOWEN JUDGE.
COURT ATTORNEYS: JAMIE DEON TRAVIS BENJAMIN E. GRIFFITH DAVID
A. BARFIELD CHRISTOPHER ALBERT D'AMOUR BENJAMIN BLUE
MORGAN L. WESLEY BROADHEAD JOHN LEONARD WALKER, JR. KEVIN
BRIAN BASS LARA A. COLEMAN EUGENE COURSEY TULLOS CHAD J.
HAMMONS STEPHANIE JANE BENTLEY G. ROBERT PARROTT, II
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS: CHRISTOPHER ALBERT D'AMOUR
BENJAMIN E. GRIFFITH LAURA FORD ROSE G. ROBERT PARROTT, II
LAUREN ELIZABETH WARD
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: CHAD J. HAMMONS
KING, P.J., COLEMAN AND BEAM, JJ.
James Allen Insurance Brokers (JAIB) and Certain Underwriters
at Lloyd's, London, Subscribing to Certificate No.
FRO-100944 (Lloyd's) petitioned this Court for
interlocutory review of the Simpson County Circuit
Court's order granting partial summary judgment in favor
of First Financial Bank (FFB). The trial court held that FFB
is entitled to insurance proceeds from a fire loss that
occurred at Luther and Freda Feazell's poultry farm,
because JAIB and Lloyd's failed to comply with
Mississippi law requiring notice of cancellation of property
insurance. We affirm the trial court's grant of partial
summary judgment in favor of FFB.
The Feazells have used Insurance Associates of Magee (IAM) as
their local insurance agent to procure insurance coverage on
their chicken farm and equipment since 2006. They also are
indebted to FFB under promissory notes for loans first issued
in 2006 in relation to the farm. The loans are secured by,
among other things, four poultry houses on the Feazells'
farm, valued at $231, 750, $231, 750, $150, 000, and $150,
In December 2013, the Feazells, through IAM, requested that a
new insurance policy be issued with Lloyd's with an
effective date of December 13, 2013. The Feazells needed a
new underwriter because their prior carrier would not renew
On December 11, 2013, IAM obtained a quote from JAIB on a
policy to be issued by Lloyd's. The quote included a
letter entitled "Non-Admitted Farm Quote Binding Terms:
This Quote is Valid for 7 days." The letter quoted a
premium of $7, 429.34. The terms provided that a
"binder" would issue with an effective date from
December 13, 2013, to December 13, 2014.
The letter contained the following:
To issue the policy, we will need all of the following items
in our office within 10 days of the binding effective date.
Your binding authority is a maximum of 10 days after the
effective date. If all items are not received, we will cancel
the policy flat with no coverage afforded at anytime and all
premium, less the policy fee will be returned.
One of the items stated, "Total premium payment must be
received in our office within 10 days of agent's written
request to bind coverage in order to retain requested
effective date." The original due date for the total
premium was December 23, 2013.
To obtain the total premium payment funds, the Feazells
entered into a finance agreement with Insurance Premium
Financing Solutions (Imperial PFS). Under this agreement, the
Feazells would provide $2, 383.80 of the $7, 479.33 premium
payment, while Imperial PFS would provide the remaining $5,
095.53. IAM received Imperial PFS's portion of the total
premium payment on December 16, 2013.
FFB provided the remaining portion of the premium to IAM
using funds from the Feazells' escrow accounts. FFB's
check containing its portion of the premium payment was dated
December 18, 2013, and IAM allegedly received it on December
26, 2013. According to JAIB and Lloyd's, despite
possessing the funds to pay the full premium, IAM did not
send payment or inform JAIB that it had the funds.
On December 20, 2013, JAIB informed IAM, via email, that the
Feazells' premium payment had not been received. The
email stated that JAIB would "consider the premium to be
on time if received by Friday, Dec. 27[, 2013.]"
On December 27, 2013, again via email, JAIB informed IAM that
the premium payment had not been received. This email
provided a final payment-deadline extension, stating that the
"full payment must be on" the desk of Elizabeth
Hauser, JAIB's employee, by January 2, 2014, or the
effective date would be reset to the date the premium payment
was paid with "no coverage offered in the interim."
According to JAIB, the additional deadline offered to IAM was
a courtesy and was not required of JAIB.
FFB claims IAM transmitted full payment of the premium to
JAIB on December 30, 2013, in the amount of $7, 429.33. But
JAIB disputes this.
JAIB claims no proof exists that the premium was transmitted
by IAM on December 30, only that the premium payment check
bore the date December 30, 2013. JAIB claims that it had not
received the total premium payment by January 2, 2014, which
resulted in a failure to satisfy an express condition of the
written terms required to bind coverage for the requested
effective date of December 13, 2013.
On January 5, 2014, three days after the final premium
payment deadline, the Feazells' poultry farm caught fire.
All four of the chicken houses used to secure FFB's loan
to the Feazells were either destroyed or rendered inoperable.
According to FFB, due to the extensive fire damage, the