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Is Anyone Home? Washington Supreme Court Interprets Two-Step Vacancy Endorsement

Disputes involving “vacancy” exclusions typically involve the appropriate definition of that word. The recently-decided case of Lui v. Essex Ins. Co., 2016 Wash. LEXIS 692 (Wash. June 9, 2016) presents a somewhat different...more

Insurers Take Notice: Ninth Circuit Rules that EPA Request Letter Triggers Duty to Defend

On May 11, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a general liability insurer owed a duty to defend an environmental matter even though no suit had technically been filed. Ash Grove Cement Co v. Liberty Mutual...more

The Uncertainty of Remand in Texas

The United States District Courts in Texas continue to issue conflicting opinions regarding the analysis to be used in determining whether a state court petition contains sufficient allegations against a nondiverse defendant...more

A-1 Self-Storage Unit Protection Plan: California Court of Appeal Defers to Agency Interpretation of the Insurance Code

The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a ruling that an optional protection plan in a storage rental contract to transfer the risk of property damage or loss from the renter to the rental company did not transform...more

Colorado Court Finds Legal Marijuana Insurable Under Commercial Property Policy and Orders Trial on Claim for Damaged Buds

ArcView Group, which tracks the legal marijuana markets, recently estimated that legal U.S. pot sales could reach $6.7 billion in 2016. As the legal marijuana economy has grown, insurance coverage for this emerging industry...more

Tennessee Court Interprets Meaning Of “Personal Effects” Under Property Policy

In Stevenson v. Am. Cas. Co. of Reading, Pa., 2016 Tenn. App. LEXIS 48 (January 27, 2016), the Tennessee court of appeals affirmed the granting of a motion for summary judgment in favor of an insurer with regard to whether an...more

“Better Late Than Never” Doesn’t Work for Claims Made Policies

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently held that an insurance company was not required to show it was prejudiced by an insured’s late notice in order to deny coverage under a claims made policy. In Templo Fuente de Vida Corp....more

Insurance Recovery Group News: Was it Vandalism or Was it Theft?

Was it vandalism or was it theft? According to Connecticut District Court Judge Jeffrey Meyer, that was the $2 million question in Mercedes Zee Corp., LLC v. Seneca Ins. Co., 2015 WL 9311343 (D. Conn. Dec. 22, 2015). ...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

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

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

Florida Court Holds No Duty to Defend Construction Defect Suit

In its recent decision in Core Construction Services Southeast v. Crum & Forster Specialty Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163695 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 7, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida...more

Virginia Holds Determination Whether Insurer Acted In Bad Faith Must Be Made By The Judge And Not The Jury

This country’s courts are split on whether the decision to award attorney’s fees in bad faith litigation should be made by the judge or the jury. Earlier this fall, Virginia aligned itself firmly with the former in Revi, LLC...more

Depreciation of Labor Class Action - Minnesota Supreme Court Oral Argument

I’ve been following closely a series of class actions around the country alleging that, in calculating the “actual cash value” of property damage under a homeowners or commercial property insurance policy, insurance companies...more

Waiving the Right to Appraisal Just Got Easier in Texas

Any Texas lawyer with even a passing interest in insurance law knows that if you want to see sparks fly, just utter the word “appraisal” near a couple of insurance lawyers. If you really want fireworks, make sure one...more

Symptoms of the Texas Progressive Claim Syndrome

Those familiar with the issues faced by insurers in Texas first-party insurance claims, particularly in the realm of hail damage claims, are undoubtedly aware of what has been labeled the "Progressive Claim Syndrome.” In a...more

When Contract Forms Cause Unintended Consequences

Inclusion of unrevised Standard AIA contract forms in your construction agreements can cause serious unintended consequences. A case decided by the Indiana Supreme Court, Bd. of Comm’rs. Cty of Jefferson v. Teton Corp., 30...more

Insurance Recovery Law - July 2015 #3

Two Years, Too Long for Coverage Under Claims-Made-and-Reported Policy - Why it matters: Claims-made-and-reported policies require that the claim be both made against the insured and reported to the insurer within the...more

Seventh Circuit Holds Insured Entitled to a New Roof for Purely Cosmetic Hail Damage

The Seventh Circuit is becoming a difficult venue for insurers. In November we reported that the Court of Appeals had held that the phrase “continuous or repeated exposure” in definition of occurrence meant that a continuous...more

Equities Favor Subrogating Insurer Over Subcontractor That Performed Defective Work

In Valley Crest Landscape v. Mission Pools (No. G049060, filed 6/26/15, ord. pub. 7/2/15), a California appeals court held that equities favor an insurer seeking equitable subrogation over a subcontractor that agreed to...more

Florida Appellate Court Rejects Bid to Curb Insureds’ Assignments to Contractors

Many property insurance policies contain terms that prohibit assignment, but Florida law has long deemed those terms inoperative once a loss has occurred. E.g., W. Fla. Grocery Co. v. Teutonia Fire Ins. Co., 74 Fla. 220...more

A House of a Different Color: The Changing Role of Appraisal Panels

Minnesota’s severe weather season is here. With that season comes the possibility of hail, heavy rain, lightning, and other weather-related threats that can quickly result in serious property damage to residential and...more

Missouri Court Clarifies What Constitutes An Ensuing Loss

Last week in Performance Arts Cmty. Improvement Dist. v. ACE Amer. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 3491292, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71592 (W.D. Mo., June 3, 2015), a federal court in Missouri shot down an insured’s arguments that a wall...more

New Jersey State Court Rules Damage Caused by Superstorm Sandy Not Subject to Flood Sublimit

In a decisive victory for policyholders, Judge Thomas Vena of the Essex County Superior Court in New Jersey ruled that significant damages incurred by Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (“PSEG”) as a result of storm surge...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending May 22, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Duty to Disclose/Vacant Property: plaintiff failed to present competent, substantial evidence of existence of fact materially affecting value of property and did not prove defendants had actual...more

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