Civil Remedies Insurance Residential Real Estate

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Illinois Appellate Court Affirms a Declaratory Judgment in Favor of the Insurer Where the Underlying Suit Did Not Allege an...

In Westfield Ins. Co. v. West Van Buren, LLC, the Appellate Court of Illinois, affirmed the trial court’s decision holding that the developer, West Van Buren, LLC (“Van Buren”), was not entitled to defense and indemnification...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending October 7, 2016

Foreclosure: debtor that agreed to “surrender” property in bankruptcy was required to surrender the property to the bankruptcy trustee and secured creditor, and lost right to defend secured creditor’s foreclosure action...more

Massachusetts AG Settles With Insurance Company Over Allegedly Improper Force-Placed Insurance

On September 7, 2016, the Massachusetts Attorney General announced a settlement with an insurance company requiring “refunds for Massachusetts homeowners whose mortgage lenders wrongly force-placed the consumers with [the...more

Ohio Court Holds No Coverage for Misrepresentation Claims

In its recent decision in Lakeside Terrace Home Sales, Ltd. v. Arrowood Indem. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114828 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 26, 2016), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, had occasion to...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Affirms General Contractor’s Insurance Coverage for Consequential Damages Caused by a Subcontractor’s...

In an important recent decision, New Jersey joined a growing number of states holding that Insurance Services Office’s (ISO) 1986 comprehensive general liability (CGL) policy extends coverage to a property developer faced...more

Summary Judgment May Be Appropriate When Insured Fails to Take Reasonable Measures to Prevent Property Damage

Many first party property insurance policies exclude claims for water damage that occurs when the insured premises is left vacant or unoccupied, unless the insured has used reasonable care to prevent such losses. In...more

Don’t Mess with the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act: One Court’s Appraisal Result

Virtually all property insurance policies contain an appraisal clause, which outlines the appraisal procedure in broad terms. Those broad terms sometimes do not provide much guidance about the process, or about the effect...more

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

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