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Fourth Circuit: Twenty-Seven Days of Inaction Enough to Waive Right to Rescind for Violations of Protective Safeguards Clause

The marriage liturgy in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer contains the well-known line “speak now or forever hold your peace,” and the take-away from a recent Fourth Circuit decision out of North Carolina is clearly “act now...more

The Napa Earthquake Reminds Us To Protect Insurance Rights in the Aftermath of Disaster

The August 24 earthquake in Napa Valley and the numerous after-shocks caused significant damage to businesses throughout the area. Although the overall financial impact directly attributed to damaged property at local...more

What Triggers Excess Coverage In An Environmental Case: Not Necessarily the Payment of the Full Underlying Policy Limits

More and more excess insurers are taking the position that a policyholder which settles with primary or low level excess insurers for less than the full amount of the policy limits has waived its right to obtain coverage from...more

Insurance Coverage for Businesses Affected by the Napa Earthquake

As the Napa Valley community begins the process of repairing damage and healing from injuries and losses related to the earthquake that struck on August 24, 2014, we extend our heartfelt wishes to those affected by the...more

Sixth Circuit Finds Excess Carrier Had Duty to Indemnify Insured for Property Damage Arising From Alleged Misrepresentations and...

In a decisively pro-policyholder decision issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in IMG Worldwide, Inc. v. Westchester Fire Ins. Co., Nos. 13-3832, 13-3837 (6th Cir. July 15, 2014), the court...more

Texas Court Lays Out a Useful Roadmap of the Defenses to a Hailstorm Claim

Hailstorm claims for damage to roofs often involve belated notification that an already old or damaged structure has been further compromised. In a recent Texas case, the court provided a primer for carriers confronting such...more

The Napa Earthquake: Now Is The Time To Think About Insurance Coverage

In the aftermath of this weekend’s earthquake, we at Farella Braun + Martel would like to offer our insights. If you have a business that was affected by the earthquake, now is the time to look at your insurance policies,...more

If the Suit Fits: A Washington Court Clarifies Triggers for the Duty to Defend

Like many other federal and state environmental laws, Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) exposes property owners to strict liability, regardless of fault or intent, for certain types of environmental contamination. ...more

Eastern District Of Pennsylvania: Closing Protection Letter Does Not Constitute “Insurance” For Purpose Of Statutory Bad Faith...

Bancorp Bank v. Lawyers Title Insurance Corp. , No. 13–6103 , 2014 WL 3325861 (E.D. Pa. Jul. 8, 2014). Eastern District of Pennsylvania explains that while Closing Protection Letter may be an indemnity contract, it is...more

Suit Limitations Provisions are Enforceable. Except When They’re Not

When might a court find a reasonable and enforceable suit limitation provision neither reasonable nor enforceable? According to New York’s highest court, it’s when the provision would bar a claim to enforce the replacement...more

A Flood by Any Other Name is Still a Flood – or Why Losses Caused by Flood Are Subject to Flood Sublimits

In New Sea Crest Healthcare Center, LLC v. Lexington Ins. Co., No. 12-CV 6414(RJD)(RLM), 2014 WL 2879839 (E.D.N.Y. June 24, 2014), the insureds suffered losses to nursing homes in two locations as a result of Hurricane Sandy....more

New York’s High Court Finds Contractual Limitation Period Unenforceable, Where it Places Policyholder in Impossible Catch-22...

How is a policyholder supposed to obtain coverage under a policy that requires the insured to bring its claim within two years of the loss and also imposes preconditions on bringing a claim that cannot reasonably be satisfied...more

Florida Insurer Waives Two-Year Requirement by Waiting That Long to First Raise It

Florida court recently held that the insurer could not rely on a policy requirement that conditioned recovery of the cost of complying with current building codes during reconstruction on having completed the work within two...more

Mainebiz Real Estate Insider – Commercial Insurance Issues

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, insurance options for commercial real estate can be daunting. Knowing what to ask your insurance broker can save the day. This sampler of issues will help you and your broker manage risk...more

Choose Your Words Wisely: The Allegations in a Construction Defect Complaint

On August 5, 2014, the Supreme Court of Connecticut, in Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Netherlands Ins. Co., 312 Conn. 714 (2014), affirmed a trial court's decision that allegations of years-long, continuing and progressive...more

“Your Work” Exclusion Bars Coverage for Tearing Down & Rebuilding Wall

The S.C. Court of Appeals recently applied the “your work” exclusion in a declaratory judgment action arising out of a construction defect suit to find the policy did not provide coverage. In Precision Walls v. Liberty Mutual...more

Sandy in the Courts

Hurricane Sandy (also known as Superstorm Sandy) struck the northeast coast of the United States in October 2012, causing an estimated $65 billion* in property damage, including wind damage, severe flooding and power outages....more

In Iowa, Rain is What Gene Kelly Sang In – Not Water From a Burst Drain Pipe

Earlier this year, an Iowa court recognized that rain becomes rainwater once it has fallen, and it held that policy language excluding loss caused by “rain” – without more – will not operate to bar coverage for water from a...more

Insurance and Reinsurance Alert: Follow the Settlements Clauses revisited.

In autumn 2011, Thailand suffered severe floods. Among the properties damaged were shops and distribution centres owed by a subsidiary of Tesco. Tesco was insured against property damage and BI losses in Thailand under a...more

Another State Weighs in on Pollution Exclusions in General Liability Policies

In May 2014, Nevada became the latest state to interpret the breadth and applicability of the pollution exclusion contained within a third-party general liability policy. Although many states have considered this question,...more

Why Texas Insurers Need To Report Fraudulent Hail Claims

In Amarillo, Texas, with clipboard, camera and marking chalk in hand, a seasoned insurance company adjuster climbs his ladder onto the roof of an apartment building. He’s looking for hail damage following a recent hailstorm...more

New York Court: Storm Surge is a Species of Excluded Flood

One of the most litigated issues in the Gulf States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was whether flood exclusions bar coverage for loss by storm surge. The courts ultimately decided that the answer was yes....more

New York Court Finds Delay In Completion Losses Are Subject To Flood Annual Aggregate Limit

In El-Ad 250 West LLC v. Zurich American Ins. Co., 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2838 (June 27, 2014), a New York court analyzed the application of various provisions contained in a Builders Risk Insurance Policy (the “Policy”)...more

New York Court: All Sandy Losses, Including “Downstream” Financial Ones, Capped By Annual Aggregate Limit For Flood

Superstorm Sandy jurisprudence is starting to shed light on some unresolved issues in the effected states. In El-Ad 250 West LLC v. Zurich American Ins. Co., — N.Y.S.2d —, 2014 WL 2931058 (N.Y.Cty., June 27, 2014), a New...more

Policyholders Must Be Vigilant for Construction Defect Exclusions, Including For Impaired Property to Combat Insurance Companies’...

Continuing the most recent trend in coverage litigation, insurance companies are increasingly engaging “Big Law” firms to develop legal arguments for narrower interpretation of their policies when troublesome claims threaten...more

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