ESTATE OF CARROLL G. FRYE et al.
MMG INSURANCE COMPANY
Argued: February 14, 2018
T. Marchesi, Esq. (orally), and Cassandra S. Shaffer, Esq.,
Wheeler & Arey, PA, Waterville, for appellant MMG
William L. Vickerson, Esq. (orally), and Robert M. Morris,
Esq., Irwin Tardy & Morris, Portland, for appellees
Estate of Carroll G. Frye et al.
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
MMG Insurance Company appeals from a summary judgment in
favor of Curtis W. Frye, Daryl K. Frye, and the Estate of
Carroll G. Frye (collectively, the Estate) entered by the
Superior Court (Penobscot County, Anderson, J.) on
the Estate's action seeking enforcement of a property
insurance contract for the loss of a dwelling by fire. MMG
contends that the court erred by interpreting Carroll's
insurance contract with MMG as providing coverage to the
Estate, notwithstanding the Estate's lack of any
insurable interest in the property after Carroll's death.
We agree with MMG and vacate the judgment.
Viewed in the light most favorable to MMG, as the
nonprevailing party, the summary judgment record establishes
the following undisputed facts. See Estate of Mason v.
Arnica Mut. Ins. Co., 2017 ME 58, ¶ 8, 158 A.3d
In 1994, Carroll G. Frye and Thelma Frye executed a deed
conveying their residence in Eddington to their sons, Curtis
and Daryl, but reserving a life estate in the property for
themselves. Thelma died in 2013. After Thelma's death,
Carroll purchased homeowner's insurance from
for the "residence premises" for the period from
August 12, 2013, to August 12, 2014. The policy defined the
"insured" as "[y]ou and residents of your
household who are . . . [y]our relatives ... or ... [o]ther
persons under the age of 21 and in the care of any person
named above." Carroll was the only named insured on the
policy and the only resident of the property; neither Curtis
nor Daryl had lived on the property for decades, and neither
was ever added to the policy as a named insured. The policy
also contained a death clause:
person named in the Declarations or the spouse, if a resident
of the same household, dies, the following apply:
1. We insure the legal representative of the deceased but
only with respect to the premises and property of the
deceased covered under the policy at the time of death; and
2. "Insured" includes:
a. An "insured" who is a member of your household
at the time of your death, but only while a resident of the
"residence premises"; and
b. With respect to your property, the person having proper
temporary custody of the property until appointment and
qualification of a legal representative.
Carroll died on January 8, 2014. Six weeks later, on February
25, 2014, there was a fire on the property. Curtis and Daryl
were appointed personal ...