General Business Insurance Residential Real Estate

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on General Business issues written by leading professionals.
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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

Texas Federal Court Rejects Insured’s Attempt To Destroy Diversity By Naming Adjuster As Defendant

The insured in Patel v. Acceptance Indem. Ins. Co., No. 4:15-CV-944-A, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10300 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 28, 2016), alleged that Acceptance Indemnity Insurance Company and its adjuster, Charles Payne, did not fully...more

Coverage for Direct Physical Loss Does Not Necessarily Include “Matching” or Require “Aesthetic Uniformity”

When a property insurance policy covers a multi-story building or multi-building property, and a portion sustains damage, there is often a question regarding the extent to which undamaged property should be replaced to ensure...more

Disclose of Cash Real Estate Purchases

The purchase of real estate without bank financing presents an opportunity for those with unclean funds to launder those funds and make them appear legitimate, at least in the opinion of the Financial Crimes Enforcement...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

FinCEN Geographic Targeting Order Affects Miami-Dade County Residential Purchases Exceeding $1 Million

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on Jan. 13, 2016, issued a Geographic Targeting Order (GTO or the Order) requiring title insurance companies, subsidiaries and agents (each a...more

West Coast Real Estate Update: Jan. 2016 #3

Reporting Leases on the Balance Sheet - The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) announced on Jan. 13, 2016, a new ­– and materially different – manner of accounting for leases. The new standard, IFRS 16...more

The Federal Housing Finance Agency Releases Final Rule on Federal Home Loan Bank Membership

On January 12, 2016, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) issued a final rule establishing new requirements for membership in the Federal Home Loan Banks (“FHLBanks”). The FHLBanks are 11 U.S. government-sponsored...more

FHFA Issues Final Rule Amending Regulations Governing Eligibility for FHLBank Membership

On January 12, the FHFA issued a final rule amending membership eligibility in the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) system. The final rule, which follows the FHFA’s September 2014 proposal to revise the requirements for...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending January 15, 2016 (and bonus opinion from January 20)

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Amendment to Foreclosure Rules and Forms: Florida Supreme Court amended Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.115 and Forms 1.944 and 1.996 to conform with § 702.015, Fla. Stat. (2015) and “expedite...more

From Park Avenue to Ocean Drive, High End Residential Real Estate Transactions Under the Microscope

The U.S. government’s aggressive push to combat international money laundering is entering a new phase by focusing on real estate investments. On January 13, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the U.S....more

Florida District Court of Appeals Addresses Voluntary Payment By Insurer After Suit Filed

In a recent decision, another Florida District Court of Appeals weighed in on the issue of whether voluntary payment by an insurer after suit is filed is a “confession of judgment” for purposes of awarding the insureds’...more

New Flood Hazard Maps Released for Boston

After several years of study and an appeal by the City of Boston, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop, which become effective...more

The Federal Housing Finance Agency Releases Final Rule on Federal Home Loan Bank Membership

On January 12, 2016, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) issued a final rule establishing new requirements for membership in the Federal Home Loan Banks (“FHLBanks”). The FHLBanks are 11 U.S. government-sponsored...more

Labor Depreciation Class Action Update

It’s been a while since I updated you on the status of class action litigation regarding the application of depreciation to labor costs on property insurance claims. There have been three decisions since my last update, with...more

FinCEN Targets “All Cash” Real Estate Deals in Manhattan and Miami

On January 13, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury), as part of its continued efforts to combat money laundering, issued its first Geographic...more

U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency Acts to Prohibit Federal Home Loan Bank Membership by Captive Insurance Companies

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA or Agency) on January 12, 2016 finalized a portion of the proposed rule that it had issued on September 12, 2014 redrawing the criteria for Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) membership....more

Court Denies Motion To Dismiss By Bank And Its Affiliated Reinsurer In RICO Suit

This dispute involves class action claims under RICO, claims for unjust enrichment and allegations that Bank of America and its affiliate reinsurer engaged in a conspiracy to defraud home mortgage borrowers into funding sham...more

Revisiting 2015's New Flood Regulations

The past few years have brought about a steady stream—if not quite a flood—of changes to the federal mandatory purchase of flood insurance requirements (mandatory purchase requirements). Most recently, on July 21, 2015, the...more

Florida’s Third District Upholds Multiplier To Increase Award Of Attorneys’ Fees To Insured

In Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp. v. Pulloquinga, 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 19453 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. December 30, 2015), the Third District affirmed a Miami-Dade trial court’s application of an attorney fee multiplier of...more

Mechanics’ Lien Standard Exception in Owner’s Policies

As you, the buyer, pour over the voluminous stack of documents, disclosures and notices provided to you by the title company in connection with the impending closing of your real estate transaction, you will invariably come...more

Construction Case Law Update - January 11, 2016

CGL Policies, Supplemental Payment Provision, and Attorney’s Fees - A contractor’s commercial general liability insurer appealed a final judgment in favor of homeowners that damages awarded to them in a construction defect...more

Court Rules that Collapse Coverage for Damage Caused “Only By” Specified Perils Violates Efficient Proximate Cause Rule and is...

In Vardanyan v. Amco Ins. Co. (No. F069953, filed 12/11/15) a California appeals court held that policy wording that the collapse coverage for damage “caused only by” certain specified perils did not mean “solely” by those...more

First Floods of 2016: Insurance Recovery Tips for Midwestern Businesses

The beginning of 2016 brought floods to the Midwest—and, tragically, loss of life and extensive property damage. With the floodwaters now receding and cleanup underway, affected businesses should consider obtaining insurance...more

To Stay or Not to Stay … That Is the Question

In the insurance arena, courts are often confronted with simultaneous lawsuits involving the same, or almost the same, parties. In the “underlying case” a claimant seeks damages from an insured defendant. Simultaneously, the...more

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