General Business Insurance Residential Real Estate

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News & Analysis as of

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending July 10, 17 & 24, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Eviction/Summary Judgment: Error to grant summary judgment where plaintiff failed to refute multiple affirmative defenses including an assertion that the eviction would cause an inequitable...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

Claims for Defective Solar Panels Are Covered by CGL Insurance

Several solar panel manufacturers and their distributors have been sued in class actions alleging the panels are defective and need to be replaced. As will be explained below, these kinds of claims are covered by general...more

California Court: Appraisers Cannot be Directed to Assign Loss Values to Undamaged or Non-Existent Items in the Insured’s Scope

It is axiomatic that the appraisers’ task is solely to determine the amount of loss, as opposed to coverage or liability. In Li-Lin Sung v. California Capital Ins. Co., 2015 WL 3797827, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 530 (Jun. 18,...more

Texas Legislature Reins in Public Adjuster Conduct

Obvious to anyone in the insurance industry, Texas courts are experiencing an explosion of first-party property insurance lawsuits arising from wind and hail related insurance claims. Dozens of lawsuits are filed every day in...more

Obtaining Title Insurance on Construction Loans: Avoiding Pitfalls Regarding Title Insurance Underwriting for Construction Loans

Avoiding Pitfalls in Construction Mortgages: Top 5 Tips for Title Insurance Underwriting - Construction mortgages pose significant risks for title insurers and require specific underwriting analysis. Avoid the...more

Insurance Recovery Law - July 2015 #2

California Court: Rejected Demand Within Policy Limits Not Necessary for Bad Faith Claim - Why it matters: Insurers must proceed with caution when they become aware that a settlement within policy limits is possible,...more

Motion To Compel Arbitration Granted In Hurricane Sandy Row

A New York district court granted Hudson Specialty Insurance Company’s (“Hudson”) petition to compel arbitration against New Jersey Transit Corporation (“N.J. Transit”) after determining that the parties had agreed to...more

Tennessee Court Weighs in on Whether Arson is a Species of Vandalism and Malicious Mischief

Last month in what was a case of first impression in Tennessee, a unanimous panel of the state’s intermediate level appellate court joined those jurisdictions that have concluded that arson does not constitute a type of...more

New Jersey Developer Wins on “Occurrence” and “Property Damage”; Appellate Division finds Subcontractors’ Faulty Construction...

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, has issued a very important decision for real estate developers and general contractors whose insurance companies have reserved rights or denied coverage for damage caused...more

HUD Proposes to Establish Deadline for FHA-Approved Lenders to File Insurance Claims

On July 6, HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) proposed a rule to establish a maximum time period for FHA-approved lenders to file insurance claims for benefits following the foreclosure of FHA-insured mortgages....more

Off Schedule: Texas Supreme Court Rules That Ambiguity Produces Blanket Coverage

Owners of multiple commercial properties can significantly reduce their insurance premiums by purchasing a scheduled policy, under which each item of covered property is separately reported (or “scheduled”), and the coverage...more

New York Court: Broadly-Worded Flood Limit “Meaningless” Unless it Applies to Any Kind of Loss Caused by Flood

Tuesday, in El-Ad West LLC v. Zurich American Ins. Co., 2015 WL 4078762, 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5753 (Jul. 7, 2015), a unanimous panel of New York’s intermediate level appellate court held that a flood sub-limit capped all...more

Massachusetts Appeals Court Adopts Two-Prong Continuity and Profit Motive Test to Determine Whether Business Pursuits Exclusion...

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has provided some much needed guidance on the “business pursuits exclusion” in a recent coverage dispute between a homeowners’ insurer and a commercial liability insurer. In Preferred Mutual...more

In Overhead and Profit Class Actions, The Third Trade’s No Longer The Charm

When repairs to a damaged home reach a certain level of complexity, they call for supervision by a general contractor, who receives a percentage of the actual repair costs as “general contractor’s overhead and profit” or...more

Missouri Court: “Equivalent” Requires that Replacement Siding be Both Equal in Value and Virtually Identical

In December, we published a post about a Minnesota Supreme Court case that held that under a replacement cost policy, the phrase “comparable material and quality” meant that all of the siding on 20 buildings had to be...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

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending June 5 & 12, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Lien Priority: claimant’s judgment lien related back to recording of lis pendens and therefore took priority over competing judgment lien obtained after lis pendens but before entry of claimant’s...more

Regional Bank Agrees to Pay Over $200 Million for Alleged Violations of the False Claims Act

On June 1, a regional bank agreed to pay the United States $212.5 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly violated the False Claims Act by originating and underwriting FHA-insured mortgage loans that did not meet...more

Montana Supreme Court Affirms Rule Requiring Insurer to Demonstrate Prejudice Resulting from Insured’s Late Notice

On May 29, 2015, the Montana Supreme Court affirmed the application of the notice-prejudice rule in cases of third-party claims for damages. Atlantic Casualty Ins. Co. v. Greytak, 2015 MT 149, OP 14-0412 (Mt. 2015). The rule...more

Florida’s Immune System: No First-Party Bad Faith Claims Against The State-Created Property Insurer

Earlier this month, in Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Perdido Sun Condominium Association, Inc., No. SC14-185 (Fla. May 14, 2015), the Supreme Court of Florida held that the immunity from suit granted to Citizens under...more

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Intentional Acts

Shelly Albert v. Mid-Century Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (May 20, 2015) - Generally, when an act by an insured is intentional, Courts have consistently held that there is no...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Property Damage Directly Caused By Fire

In Stankova v. Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8935 (9th Cir. May 29, 2015), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Arizona law, had the opportunity to address the concept of...more

Ninth Circuit: Under Arizona Law Mudslide Can Be Covered as the Direct Result of Fire

Last Friday, a unanimous panel of the Ninth Circuit held that loss from the excluded peril of mudslide occurring one month after a wildfire could be covered as the “direct” result of the blaze. In Stankova v. Metropolitan...more

Georgia Court: Policy Does Not Require Insured to Produce Recordings of Her Conversations With the Carrier

On May 20th, a federal court in Georgia held that the standard “requirements in case of loss” language compelling the insurer to turn over her books and records during the adjustment process did not require the production of...more

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