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Slife v. Farmers Mut. Hail Ins. Co. of Iowa

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 5, 2014

GARRY SLIFE, CAROL SLIFE, BRIAN SLIFE and MEGAN SLIFE, All Individually and doing business as PLEASANT VALLEY DAIRY, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
FARMERS MUTUAL HAIL INSURANCE COMPANY OF IOWA, Defendant-Appellee

Editorial Note:

This decision has been referenced in a "Decisions Without Published Opinions" table in the North Western Reporter.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buchanan County, Michael Shubatt, Judge. An insured appeals from summary judgment of a claim on an insurance contract.

Larry F. Woods, Oelwein, for appellants.

Sean M. O'Brien and Catherine M. Chargo of Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, P.C., for appellee.

Heard by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Mullins, JJ.

OPINION

MULLINS, J.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

The plaintiffs, Garry, Carole, and Brian Slife (the Slifes), operate Pleasant Valley Dairy in Buchanan County. For several years, they purchased insurance from Central Iowa Mutual Insurance Association (CIMIA). Each year, they renewed their policy for a one-year duration. In 2011, CIMIA merged with and now does business as Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company (Farmers Mutual).

On November 11, 2009, the Slifes renewed their insurance policy, as they had done for the previous several years. The policy covered the period of November 11, 2009, to November 11, 2010, (the 2009/2010 policy) and contained a term requiring the Slifes to bring any cause of action within one year of the damage. On November 11, 2010, the Slifes again renewed their policy (the 2010/2011 policy). This policy contained a term giving the Slifes two years for the bringing of a cause of action. Both the 2009/2010 policy and 2010/2011 policy displayed a page header stating:

STANDARD FARM POLICY
DUPLICATE
CONTINUOUS POLICY

On January 7, 2010, a collapsed roof caused damage to a farm service building on the insured property. Farmers Mutual conducted two inspections of the damage and determined the policy excluded coverage for the loss. Farmers Mutual denied payment of the damage to the building. The ...


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