More than 9,000 Oregonians policyholders may be eligible for payments as a result of a class-action settlement between Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. and several other affiliated companies.

Despite claiming that it properly resolved and settled homeowners' claims, Nationwide agreed to settle a suit that claimed it underpaid claims on structural damage since 1996. Specifically, the lawsuit claimed that Nationwide underpaid policyholders by not taking into account general contractors' overhead and profit when it paid certain claims involving damage to a building or other structures. Homeowners who submitted claims from 1996 through March 20, 2009, or who received a payment during that period, may be affected.

Nationwide maintains that it properly resolved and settled homeowner's claims but agreed to settle the suit to avoid the cost and distractions of prolonged litigation. An Arkansas circuit court will hold a July 27 hearing on whether to approve the settlement. To qualify as part of the settlement, policyholders must have had a loss that included estimated repairs involving three or more "trades," excluding emergency remediation services. They must have filed a timely claim for a structural loss, were not paid the policy limits of their coverage, and were not paid by Nationwide based on a general contractor's estimate.

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