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Supreme Court of Texas Examines an Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause for the First Time

In JAW The Pointe, L.L.C. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 2015 Tex. LEXIS 343 (Tex. Apr. 24, 2015), the Supreme Court of Texas had occasion to consider an insurance clause that federal courts and lower courts of appeals have...more

Insurance – Property Casualty – Vandalism Exclusion

Hung Van Ong v. Fire Insurance Exchange - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (April 3, 2015) - California’s standard form for fire insurance policies (Insurance Code section 2071) requires coverage for...more

NY Proposes New Title Insurance Regulations To Help Reduce Closing Costs

On April 29, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled new title insurance regulations aimed at reducing title insurance closing costs of up to 20 percent for new homebuyers by eliminating kickbacks and other improper...more

FHA Revises Single-Family Housing Policy HandBook, Extends Effective Dates

On April 30, the FHA announced revisions to its Single Family Housing Policy HandBook (HandBook) and extended the effective date for various policies contained within from June 15 to September 14, 2015....more

Mortgage Lenders Should Timely Consider Protection Afforded by Closing Protection Letters

Mortgage lenders and servicers frequently consider potential indemnity due under finally issued lender’s title insurance policies and strive to submit timely claims when a covered defect arises. These same parties should also...more

FHFA Announces Fannie and Freddie’s Revised Requirements for Private Mortgage Insurances Companies

On April 17, the FHFA announced that Fannie and Freddie have revised the requirements for private mortgage insurance companies insuring mortgage loans that Fannie and Freddie either own or guarantee. By setting financial and...more

Smelly Cat – Closely-Divided New Hampshire Supreme Court Addresses Whether Cat Urine Is a Pollutant

Last Friday, New Hampshire’s highest court unanimously held that the pungent aroma of cat urine could constitute physical loss or damage under a property policy. In Mellin v. Northern Security Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1869572, 2015...more

Prudential Settles $2B RMBS Suit with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch & Co.

On April 22, 2015, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch reached an agreement with several Prudential Insurance Co. affiliates to settle two lawsuits brought by Prudential. Prudential had alleged that Bank of America and Merrill...more

Texas Supreme Court Enforces Anti-Concurrent Causation, Bars Coverage Where Wind and Flood Combine to Cause the Loss

Last Friday, Texas’ highest court unanimously endorsed lower court and federal court decisions giving effect to anti-concurrent causation (ACC) clauses and held that such provisions bar coverage where a combination of an...more

Spring Cleaning: Out With the Old, In With the New Pennsylvania Withdraws Endorsement 1010 and Introduces Endorsement 1530

Effective April 1, 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance (DOI) approved the Title Insurance Rating Bureau of Pennsylvania’s (TIRBOP) filing of Pennsylvania Endorsement 1530, along with the withdrawal of Pennsylvania...more

Insurance Recovery Law - April 2015 #2

Policyholder Can Keep Selected Counsel, Court Rules; Insurers’ Objection Too Late - Why it matters: A policyholder was able to maintain its selected defense counsel after a federal court judge ruled that the insurers’...more

Striking Down Regulation On Replacement Cost Estimates, A California Court Heads Off Policyholder Litigation

Last week, in Association of California Ins. Cos. v. Jones, B238622 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 8, 2015), a California appellate court affirmed a decision that invalidated a regulation governing estimates of replacement costs made by...more

House passes bill to amend TILA points and fees definition for mortgage loans

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives passed a bill to amend the TILA definition of “points and fees” that is used to determine whether a loan is a high-cost mortgage or, for purposes of TILA’s ability to repay...more

A New Twist in the California Debate Over Allegedly Inadequate Replacement Cost Limits in Homeowners’ Policies

The April 8, 2015 decision of the California Court of Appeals in Ass’n. of Cal. Insurance Companies v. Jones, 2015 WL 1569669, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 298 (Cal.Ct.App., Apr. 8, 2015) held that the state’s Insurance Commissioner...more

Title Insurance Regulatory and Legislative Update - April 2015

Title Guaranty Fund Guidelines Adopted: The Title Insurance Task Force met at the NAIC Spring National Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona and adopted the “Title Insurance Guaranty Association-Title Insurance Consumer Protection Fund...more

Construction Case Law Update - April 2015 #2

Commercial General Liability Policies; “Injury-in-fact” vs. “Manifestation” as Trigger for Coverage; “Your Work” Exception – A CGL policy’s “Your Work” exclusion precludes coverage for defective installation when no damage...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

Squatter’s Warming Fire in Vacant Home Held Not to be Vandalism by Divided California Court

In February, we published a Post about a Florida decision that aligned that state with the clear majority of American courts that have held that the destruction of property by an intentionally set fire is encompassed within...more

California Insurance Commissioner Lacks Authority to Regulate Formula for Estimating Replacement Cost Value

In Assn. of Cal. Insurance Companies v. Jones ( No. B248622, filed 4/8/15), a California appeals court held that California’s Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones lacked the authority to promulgate California Code of...more

Condominiums May Not Opt Out Of Maryland's Mandatory Insurance Provisions

Section 11-114 of the Maryland Condominium Act provides that Condominium Associations must maintain property insurance on the entire condominium including units, excepting improvements and betterments installed by the Unit...more

Court Rules that Damage From Squatter’s Fire is Not Excluded as Vandalism or Malicious Mischief

In Ong v. Fire Insurance Exchange (No. B252773, filed 4/3/15), a California appeals court ruled that a vacancy exclusion limited to damage caused by “vandalism or malicious mischief” did not bar coverage for damage to a...more

The Eleventh Circuit Holds that for Sinkhole Losses, Structural Damage ? Any Damage to a Structure

The land in Florida is prone to sinking and insurance companies must often scramble for solid footing on which to anchor the scope of coverage for sinkhole losses. In Hegel v. First Liberty Insurance Corporation (11th Cir....more

New CFPB Consent Orders Point to Growing Indirect Regulation of Title Insurance

The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 granted rule-making authority under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to the CFPB and, with respect to entities under its jurisdiction, generally granted authority to the CFPB to...more

Insurance – Duty to Defend

Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange, et al. - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (March 4, 2015) - Typically, claims of sexual assault or claims related to sexual assault are not covered under a standard...more

Insurers Argue Damage by Meteor is all that is Covered in a CGL

In a decision out of the Superior Court in Delaware, Judge Rocanelli bought a favorite insurance industry argument so extreme, several state legislatures (including Colorado and South Carolina) have passed laws overruling...more

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