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Court limits insurer’s payout in massive wildfire

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Supreme Court is limiting an insurance company’s payout in a massive northwestern Wisconsin wildfire.

Logging equipment owned by Ray Duerr Logging LLC sparked the Germann Road Fire in Douglas County in May 2013. The fire consumed about 7,442 acres, destroyed 17 homes and forced dozens to evacuate.

Secura Insurance insured Duerr at the time of the fire. The policy contained a $2 million aggregate limit as well as a $500,000 per-occurrence limit for damages due to fire arising from logging.

A state appeals court ruled the $2 million limit applied, finding there was an occurrence each time the fire spread to a new piece of property.

The Supreme Court overturned that ruling Monday, finding the fire was a single occurrence and the $500,000 limit applies.

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