General Business Insurance Residential Real Estate

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Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending June 10 & 17, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - - Foreclosure/Standing/Hearsay: copy of a note with undated allonge containing blank endorsement sufficient to establish standing as a matter of law, even though bank did not have formal...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

CFPB Is Urged to Change How Title Insurance Premiums Are Disclosed Under the TRID Rule

While lenders continue to struggle with various aspects of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (“TRID Rule”) that became effective last year, one of the more troublesome issues has been the disclosure of title insurance...more

Unanimous Washington Supreme Court: No Coverage for Water Damage to Vacant Building

The Washington Supreme Court, often described as pro-policyholder, issued a unanimous decision in favor of an insurance company on June 9, 2016: Lui v. Essex Insurance Company, No. 91777-9 (Wash., Jun. 9, 2016). Addressing a...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending May 29 & June 3, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Bankruptcy Stay: because borrower’s notice of appeal was filed during pendency of bankruptcy stay it was a nullity, and appellate court lacked jurisdiction to consider appeal –Hewett v....more

Insurer’s Attempt to Shift Cost of Defense to Another Insurer Found Void as to Public Policy

While construction can sometimes be risky, construction litigation is almost always expensive. This volatile mix of risk and expense has made risk shifting, through indemnity and insurance, a primary goal and concern by those...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

Broad but not Ambiguous: Eighth Circuit Weighs In On Water Below The Surface Exclusion  

An exclusion in a homeowner’s policy for loss resulting from “water . . . below the surface of the ground” is not limited to naturally occurring water, according to a recent decision of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending May 13 & May 20, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Contracts/Personal Liability: official title of “President” underneath signor’s signature on contract did not shield individual from personal liability because contract language reflected...more

Case Reminds Insurance Agents to Review Process of Receiving Approval from Insureds Before Submitting Applications to Carriers

Schmidt v. Indiana Insurance Co., No. 22S01-1507-PL-412, Supreme Court of Indiana, December 2, 2015 - Plaintiff was the owner of a house in which he allowed his cousin to live from 2007 to 2009. When the cousin moved...more

What Constitutes an Unequivocal Denial of Coverage? New Jersey District Court Provides Some Guidance

Like most jurisdictions, New Jersey allows parties to an insurance contract to shorten the six-year statute of limitations for contract actions. See N.J.S.A. 2A:14-1 (“Every action at law . . . for recovery upon a...more

New Jersey Federal Court Confirms Application of Anti-Concurrent Causation Language in Hurricane Sandy Lawsuit

Readers of this blog may note that we have previously discussed the topic of anti-concurrent causation clauses in various jurisdictions around the country. As a quick reminder, an anti-concurrent causation clause is that...more

NY Appellate Court Rules “Blanket Ordinance or Law Coverage” not as Blanket as Insured Hoped

In 1947, some Bedouin shepherd boys were tending their sheep and goats near the ancient settlement of Qumran, near the Dead Sea. One of the boys threw a rock into an opening on the side of a cliff and heard something break. ...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds that a Person Violates the Insurance Fraud Statute Even if Insurer is Not Duped Into Paying a...

In the recent case of State of New Jersey v. Robert Goodwin, 224 N.J. 102, 129 A.3d 316 (N.J. 2016), the Supreme Court of New Jersey held that a person violates the insurance fraud statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4.6(a), even if he...more

Florida Regulators Approve Policy Language Aimed at Limiting “Assignments of Benefits” Claim Practice

Insurance companies that write property risks in Florida are getting in line to request approval from the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) for two key policy revisions intended to control losses from a water damage...more

Montana Supreme Court Revisits General Liability Coverage for Construction Defect Claims

In its recent decision in Emplrs Mut. Cas. Co. v. Fisher Builders, Inc., 2016 MT 91 (Mont. Apr. 16, 2016), the Supreme Court of Montana had occasion to consider what constitutes an “occurrence” in the context of a defective...more

Homeowners' Associations Could Face Liability for Bear Attacks

It is sometimes said that law is what separates humans from wild animals. While humans have been developing laws since the Code of Hammurabi, they have also been developing land, so much so that both commercial and...more

Third Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Of Captive Reinsurance Dispute As Being Time-Barred

In early January, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment of a putative class action dispute regarding private mortgage insurance and captive reinsurance of the same by M&T. We previously blogged about...more

PHH v. CFPB: "What is a Kickback?"

On April 12, 2016, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in PHH Corporation’s (PHH) milestone legal battle with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau). During the argument,...more

Pennsylvania Title Insurance Notice

Effective May 1, 2016, title insurance premiums and endorsement costs, as recommended by the Title Insurance Rating Bureau of Pennsylvania, will increase by 12% across the board. This increase applies to both the sale and...more

Recent Washington Decisions Illustrate Need to Handle Property Claims in Timely Manner

An issue that often arises in the context of property insurance is whether a carrier’s delay in adjusting a claim can create a basis for a viable bad faith claim.  The law in each state is different and the prudent practice...more

SPECIAL FEATURE — Buying or Selling Real Estate?

When you purchase real estate or obtain mortgage financing, you often have a choice of companies to perform required real estate title services. What is Title Insurance? Title insurance differs from other types of...more

Kentucky Court of Appeals Denies CGL Coverage For Damage To Property Other Than Insured’s Work

In Acuity v. Martin/Elias Props., LLC, 2016 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 237 (Ky. Ct. App. Mar. 25, 2016), the Court of Appeals of Kentucky held that commercial general liability insurer Acuity did not owe coverage for a claim that...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending March 25, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - - Ad Valorem Taxation: lessee holding 99-year leasehold interest in unimproved land owned by government entity is not “equitable owner” and thus not liable for ad valorem property taxes pursuant to...more

Virginia Federal Court Underscores Distinction Between a Loss and an Occurrence for Purposes of Notice Conditions

In Clarabelle Wheeler v. The Standard Fire Insurance Company, 2016 WL 1164651 (W.D. Va. Mar. 23, 2016), the insurer argued that the insured failed to give “prompt notice” of the loss as required by the policy’s notice...more

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