Pay up or else
On January 26, 2017, Alliance Cab Service, LLC, submitted an application to Regions Insurance, Inc., an insurance agency, to procure a business automobile policy. The policy was issued to Alliance through American Service Insurance Company for a period of one year starting February 1, 2017, and ending February 1, 2018.
Regions billed Alliance monthly for the premiums due on the policy. Regions in turn paid American Service for the accrued premiums due on the policy. Alliance paid multiple monthly premiums but ceased payments starting in November 2017. Numerous cancellation notices were sent to Alliance by both Regions and American Service. The policy ultimately was cancelled for nonpayment on December 28, 2017. Credit for the unearned premiums was given upon cancellation of the policy in the amount of $45,071 and was applied to the open unpaid invoices. The remaining premiums due under the policy totaled $95,481.49. After the allowance of all credits due to Alliance, Alliance was obligated to Regions in the principal sum of $95,481.49.
On May 11, 2018, Regions filed a petition for breach of contract. In response, Alliance filed a motion for extension of time to file its answer and was granted 30 days from the September 24, 2018, deadline until October 23, 2018, to file an answer. On November 16, 2018, after Alliance failed to file its answer by the deadline, Regions filed a motion and order for preliminary default. On November 19, 2018, Alliance filed a general denial answer. On December 20, 2018, Regions filed a motion for summary judgment; along with its motion, Regions attached an affidavit of correctness by the area executive for Regions, who attested to every fact stated in its petition. Additionally, Regions attached to the motion for summary judgment a copy of the business automobile application, a copy of the public auto supplement application, copies of the notices of cancellation, official notices of cancellation, and the overdue invoices for premiums due.
On March 28, 2019, Alliance filed a memorandum in opposition to the motion for summary judgment. In its opposition, Alliance admitted to every fact as alleged by Regions and adopted Regions’ affidavit of correctness. After a hearing on April 12, 2019, the court granted the motion for summary judgment in favor of Regions. On June 11, 2019, Alliance filed a suspensive appeal. As a basis to have its appeal granted without furnishing a bond, Alliance relied on a statute that exempts governmental bodies from having to furnish a bond. Because this statute applies only to governmental bodies, however, it was inapplicable to Alliance, a private company. As such, the court denied Alliance’s suspensive appeal. Alliance appealed.
On appeal, Alliance admitted that a contractual relationship existed between it and Regions. Alliance admitted to having an obligation to make a monthly payment to Regions. When Alliance stopped making those payments in November 2017, it breached the contract. As a result of this breach, Regions was owed $95,481.49 for the unpaid premiums.
The court found that no genuine issue of material fact existed to preclude the granting of summary judgment in favor of Regions because Alliance did not controvert any of Regions’ allegations. The court found that the trial court properly granted summary judgment.
Regions Insurance, Inc., v. Alliance Cab Service, LLC—Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit—March 4, 2020—No. 2019-CA-0714.