FARM BUREAU MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY OF ARKANSAS, INC. APPELLANT
FUTURE DAVENPORT APPELLEE
FROM THE ST. FRANCIS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 62CV-12-77]
HONORABLE CHALK MITCHELL, JUDGE
Hicky II LTD, by: Phil Hicky and Jessica J. Trail, for
Daggett, Donovan & Perry, by: Jesse B. Daggett and Joe R.
Perry, for appellee.
PHILLIP T. WHITEAKER, Judge
Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Arkansas, Inc. ("Farm
Bureau") appeals from a jury verdict in favor of
appellee Future Davenport. On appeal, Farm Bureau challenges
the St. Francis County Circuit Court's denials of its
motion for directed verdict and its motion for judgment
notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV); in addition, Farm Bureau
challenges the circuit court's rejection of its proposed
jury instructions. We affirm.
is the owner of two homes: one located in Battle Creek,
Michigan, and the other located on Hudspeth Street in
Palestine, Arkansas ("the Hudspeth house").
Davenport purchased a policy from Farm Bureau that insured
the Hudspeth house against loss caused by fire, vandalism, or
malicious mischief. In September 2010, while Davenport was at
her home in Michigan, two individuals broke into the Hudspeth
house and caused a fire that destroyed the property.
Davenport made a claim with Farm Bureau for the loss,
claiming the policy limits of $82, 000 on the dwelling and
$40, 000 on the contents. Farm Bureau denied the claim,
however, asserting that the home had been unoccupied at the
time of the fire and thus the loss was not covered pursuant
to the following provision in the insurance policy:
12. Vacancy or Unoccupancy
If you vacate or fail to occupy the dwelling on the residence
premises for a period of thirty (30) consecutive days, we
will not cover loss to any property caused by the following
(a)vandalism or malicious mischief;
(b)breakage of glass;
We shall not be liable for any property loss if you vacate or
fail to occupy the dwelling on the residence premises for a
period of sixty (60) consecutive days.
(Emphasis in original.) The insurance policy also defined the
terms "unoccupied" and "you" as follows:
The word "unoccupied" means being without human
inhabitants, but containing enough furnishings or other
personal property to show an intention to return and occupy
the dwelling at the address shown on your Declaration.
The words "you" and "your" mean the
person or persons listed as a named insured on the
Declaration. This also includes your spouse and dependent
relatives if they are living in your dwelling located at the
address shown on the Declaration.
(Emphasis in original.)
filed suit against Farm Bureau in the St. Francis County
Circuit Court, seeking payment of her claim, plus
attorney's fees and the twelve percent penalty provided
by Arkansas Code Annotated section 23-79-208 (Repl. 2014).
Farm Bureau answered, admitting that Davenport had purchased
a policy of insurance from it and that vandals had set the
residence on fire in September 2010. It denied that Davenport
had coverage, however, because she had "failed to comply
with all of the terms, conditions, and provisions of the
policy. The ...