Civil Remedies Insurance Residential Real Estate

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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

Florida Appeals Court: In First-party Coverage Dispute, Ruling That Insurer Breached Contract Is Not Prerequisite to Insured’s...

Under Florida law, must a policyholder first prevail on a breach of contract action against the insurer before a bad faith claim may be filed? No, said a majority of the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal, en banc (the...more

CFPB RESPA Enforcement Action Targets Marketing Services Agreements

On September 30, the CFPB announced a consent order with a Michigan-based title insurance company to address allegations that the company’s marketing services agreements (MSAs) with several real estate brokers violated the...more

Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal Holds “Wrongful Conduct” on Behalf of Insurer is Necessary Prerequisite to an Insured’s...

In Omega Insurance Co. v. Kathy Johnson, 2014 Fla. App. Lexis 13737 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. Sept. 5, 2014), the Fifth District reversed a Marion County trial court’s grant of attorneys’ fees based upon Omega’s...more

Texas' Progressive Claim Affliction Is Treatable

A case recently considered by Texas' Thirteenth Court of Appeals illustrates a fact pattern becoming all too familiar in Texas first-party property insurance claims. The story goes something like this....more

City May Be Liable for Damage to Home Caused by Falling Tree in Inverse Condemnation and Nuisance

During a windstorm, a tree owned by the City of Pasadena fell on Mr. O’Halloran’s residence, causing damage to his home. Mercury Casualty Company paid Mr. O’Halloran for the damage pursuant to his homeowner’s insurance...more

“California’s Right To Repair Act Is Not A Homeowner’s Exclusive Remedy When Construction Defects Cause Actual Property Damage.”

The California Court of Appeals recently issued two decisions holding that California’s Right to Repair Act (“SB 800”) is not the exclusive remedy for a homeowner seeking damages for construction defects that have also...more

District Court Figures Out What The Hail Is Going On

Seeing a significant increase in the number of hail damage lawsuits in her courtroom, it appears Judge Jane Boyle of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas has figured out "What the Hail is Going...more

Alabama Joins Recent Trend of States Finding Defective Work May Be Covered Under a Commercial General Liability Policy

The Supreme Court of Alabama recently held in Owners Ins. Co. v. Jim Carr Homebuilder, LLC that a contractor’s commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy provided coverage for property damage caused by the defective work of...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update

Easements: trial court erred in denying statutory easement or “way of necessity” where owners established all elements pursuant to section 704.01(2), Fla. Stat. – Messer v. Sanders, No. 1D13-3084 (Fla. 1st DCA July 9, 2014)...more

The Alabama Supreme Court Changes Its Mind on Coverage Under CGL Policy

Last September the Alabama Supreme Court issued an opinion addressing the applicability of the “own work” exclusion to claims against a contractor for defective construction. However, on March 28, 2014, the Alabama Supreme...more

OIG Urges FHFA To Sue Over Force-Placed Insurance

The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) is urging the FHFA to sue its servicers and lender-placed insurance (“LPI”) providers because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have suffered...more

Claims Against Loan Servicer And Force-Placed Insurer Alleging Commission And Reinsurance Kickback Scheme Survive Dismissal

A putative class action involving force-placed home insurance and an alleged scheme for mortgage lenders to obtain kickbacks in the form of commissions, reinsurance premium, and other fees, has survived a motion to dismiss. ...more

Florida, Georgia And Texas Appraisal Update: Is Causation A Coverage Question For The Court Or A Damages Question For The Panel?

In most jurisdictions, underlying coverage issues must be resolved prior to invoking appraisal in a first-party property claim. The question of what constitutes a coverage issue (typically reserved for a court’s judicial...more

Rumble in the Construction Defect Jungle

Lately, reading the advance sheets of construction defect cases has been like watching one of the Rocky movies. There’s the punches (owww!). Then there’s the counter-punches (ohhh!). And on and on it goes with blow meeting...more

Lender’s Title Insurance: When Should Courts Measure the Fair Market Value of Property Affected by a Title Defect?*

Title insurance is designed to pay for damages caused by any defects to title that the title company should have discovered but did not. Lender’s title insurance protects lenders who lose money due to a title defect, which...more

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