Civil Remedies Insurance Residential Real Estate

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More Common Sense: Coverage for Collapse Requires More Than an Engineer’s Finding of Substantial Impairment

In February this blog commented on Washington State’s newly-adopted definition of “collapse” in property insurance policies that contain no specific definition of the term. (Observer, February 8, 2016, Common Sense Prevails: ...more

Florida Court Declines to Apply a Multiplier as to Attorneys’ Fees in a First Party Insurance Coverage Dispute

In Fla. Peninsula Ins. Co. v. Wagner, 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 8262 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016), the Second District examined whether the trial court properly applied a multiplier as to attorneys’ fees after the insured homeowners...more

Third Circuit Holds No Estoppel In Light of Reservation of Rights Letters

In its recent decision in Nationwide Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Shearer, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9635 (3d Cir. 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, applying Pennsylvania law, had occasion to consider...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending April 29 & May 6, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Requests for Admission: trial court erred by involuntarily dismissing foreclosure action based solely on lender’s failure to respond to requests for admission because lender’s...more

Florida’s Second District Upholds Policy Requirement Regarding Payment Of Subsurface Repairs In Sinkhole Claim

In Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp. v. Amat, 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 2412 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Feb. 19, 2016), the Second District remanded a final judgment awarding damages in a sinkhole claim for subsurface repairs without...more

Property Insurance Diminution in Value Class Action: Georgia Federal Court Certifies Class

One of the issues I’ve been covering on this blog is a series of putative class actions in Georgia arising out of a Georgia Supreme Court decision in 2012, which held that diminution in value of real property is potentially...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending February 12 & 19, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - - Foreclosure/Discovery: trial court erred by declining to rule prior to trial on borrowers’ motion in limine seeking to exclude evidence contrary to bank’s “technical admissions” established by...more

Property Insurance Diminution in Value Class Action: Georgia Federal Court Dismisses Declaratory Judgment Claim

A while back, I wrote about a Georgia Supreme Court decision, Royal Capital Development LLC v. Maryland Casualty Co., that held that diminution in value of real property is potentially covered under a property insurance...more

“Insanity Defense” Fails To Preserve Coverage For Insured’s Arson

Missouri resident James Roller set fire to his garage in an attempt to commit suicide. When smoke and fumes surrounded him he changed his mind, fled the garage, and alerted his wife of the fire. Mrs. Roller called 911. A...more

Insurance Filed Rate Defense Wins Over the Second Circuit

In a noteworthy embrace of the filed rate doctrine, the Second Circuit recently ruled, in the context of a challenge to so-called lender-placed or “force placed” insurance, that a regulator-approved rate is subject to the...more

Rules Against Title Insurer on Date of Loss Issue

In the recent decision in First American Title Insurance Co. v. Johnson Bank, 1 CA-CV 14-0190, 2015 WL 3965740 filed June 30, 2015, the Arizona Court of Appeals held that the date for calculating a loss under a lender’s title...more

Appraisers’ Failure to Perform Assessment of Property’s Existence or Damage is Reversible Error

In Lee v. California Capital Insurance Co. (No. A136280; filed 6/18/15), a California Court of Appeal held that it was error for an appraisal panel to assign loss values to items simply because they were listed in the...more

CFPB Asserts Sweeping RESPA Enforcement Authority In First Appellate Decision

In a decision asserting broad authority for the CFPB and which is certain to set the tone for future CFPB appellate rulings, Bureau director Richard Cordray recently issued the Bureau’s first decision from an appeal of a...more

CFPB Director Cordray Issues First-Ever Agency Appellate Decision in RESPA Case

The Director of the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Richard Cordray, issued a decision yesterday in the first appeal of a Bureau administrative enforcement action. Cordray’s decision upholds in part,...more

Florida High Court Set to Clarify When an Insured Is Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees When an Insurer Initially Denies a Sinkhole...

On April 15, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of Omega Insurance Co. v. Johnson, No. 5D13-1701, 2014 WL 4375189 (Fla. 5th DCA Sept. 5, 2014), which found that an insured was not entitled to an award of...more

Texas Court Talks Insurance And Actual Cash Value

When an insured suffers a property loss, the insurance policy defines the parameters of recovery. Typically, a property insurance policy’s default valuation provision for a property loss is the actual cash value of the...more

Construction Case Law Update - March 2015 #2

Sinkholes; “Structural Damage” – When undefined in a homeowner’s insurance policy, “structural damage” caused by a sinkhole is best defined as “damage that impairs the structural integrity of the building.” Homeowners argued...more

Texas Claims Are Getting Nasti: The Insured’s Burdens

Texas courts have long taken the position that “[w]hen covered and excluded perils combine to cause an injury, the insured must present some evidence affording the jury a reasonable basis on which to allocate damages.”...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending February 27, 2015

Foreclosure/Statute of Limitations: filing date of amended complaint for purposes of statute of limitations relates back to filing date of original complaint – HSBC Bank USA, National Association as Trustee for Nomura Asset...more

Property Insurance Law: 2014 Year in Review

Hurricane Sandy continued to generate a significant amount of litigation during 2014 which resulted in several important property insurance decisions. Most notably, as a result of Sandy and other events, the courts...more

Late Notice Held to Bar a $6,000,000 Hurricane Wilma Claim in Florida

In The Yacht Club on the Intracoastal Condo. Ass’n. v. Lexington Ins. Co., – Fed.Appx. –, 2015 WL 106862, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 293 (11h Cir., Jan. 8, 2015), a unanimous panel of the Eleventh Circuit recently held that a...more

Prompt Notice Requirement: 11th Circuit Rules that a Policyholder’s Late Notice of a Claim Results in a Strong Presumption of...

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently explained that under Florida law a policyholder who fails to provide prompt notice of a claim faces an uphill battle defeating the resulting rebuttable presumption of prejudice...more

Keeping Pace With Texas Hail Claim 'Case-Runners'

Texas insurance carrier clients writing significant property insurance business in Texas all confirm a disturbing trend. Historically, Texas insurers have seen less than 2 percent of their property insurance claims result in...more

Is That Covered? Hail Damage

Back in May, 2014, parts of Berks and Lancaster counties were hit with a freak hail storm. With hail as large as tennis balls reported, homes and cars suffered significant damage. Hail damage is generally covered under auto...more

Louisiana Court Finds In Favor Of Insurer On Standard Flood Insurance Policy Claim

In Parr v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146372 (E.D. La., October 14, 2014), the court analyzed the amount payable on a flood insurance claim sustained by Rickey Parr to his house during Hurricane Isaac. Parr had...more

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