A federal court for the Western District of Louisiana provided an insurer with a default judgment of over $112,000 against Vanguard Towers Inc. in its April 3, 2023, lawsuit over unpaid premiums after the company failed to enter a response to the insurer’s complaint.
The court ordered the cell tower retrofitting and construction company to pay Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance Inc. (FBBI) $112,119 as well as post-judgment interest and any taxable costs. FBBI sued Vanguard, claiming the contractor owed extra premiums for its commercial general liability and umbrella policies after an audit had found that the West Monroe, Louisiana company more than tripled its estimated sales for the coverage period of 2021 to 2022.
Because of the default ruling, Vanguard can’t dispute FBBI’s allegations in its complaint, including that it is contractually obligated to reimburse the additional audit premiums.
FBBI had obtained Vanguard’s policies from third-party Kinsale Insurance Co. of Richmond, Virginia, at Vanguard’s request, according to a court filing. The company’s gross sales were factored into its coverage premiums, and it had agreed to allow Kinsale to audit its income and adjust the premiums after each policy period, FBBI claimed.
After Kinsale’s 2021-2022 audit, it was found that Vanguard had grossed $9,697,316 when it had initially estimated only $3.1 million. The filings show FBBI was responsible for paying roughly $106,900 in extra premiums to Kinsale, plus $5,200 in taxes. The insurer billed Vanguard for the payments after compensating Kinsale and accused Vanguard of unjust enrichment for failing to reimburse FBBI.
Vanguard’s rate for their CGL was $9.639; their umbrella was at $6.60.
“Vanguard received and accepted the benefits of FBBI’s payments on its behalf but did not repay FBBI as promised,” the insurer stated in its complaint. “Vanguard’s retention of the benefits conferred by FBBI without payment violates principles of justice, equity and good conscience.”
The founder and CEO of Vanguard is Randy Bailey. Although the company’s website is no longer available, an earlier image said the company was established in 1999 and provides turnkey tower construction.