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Meet Chris Christie’s Choice for Commissioner of Banking & Insurance for New Jersey

As part of a restructuring in his administration, New Jersey Governor and GOP Presidential Candidate Chris Christie has nominated Richard J. Badolato, formerly a private practice insurance litigator in Roseland, NJ, as the...more

Texas Property Insurers Consider Changes to Hail Policies

Texas is in the midst of a hail lawsuit crisis. Tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed across the state, with dozens more being filed every day. Many of the lawsuits involve meritless claims solicited by case-runners...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

Federal Agencies Finalize Flood Insurance Rules

Federal regulators have finalized a joint rule that amends regulations relating to loans secured by properties in special flood hazard areas. The final rule implements changes to the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973...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

Texas High Court Clarifies Multiple Perils Coverage Scope

Often damage to a building or structure can be the result of multiple perils. One of the most common examples is when a windstorm causes a building to sustain both flood and wind damage. Based on the policy language at issue,...more

Maryland Legislative Update

On April 13, 2015 after the release of the traditional sine die balloons and streamers, the first General Assembly of the newly elected Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr. concluded with much success. With bills awaiting...more

April Fool's Day Sees National Flood Insurance Rates Rise

So what day would you pick to have your flood insurance premium double? April Fool's Day? You got it. Well, that's a little hyperbolic. Rates aren't doubling instantaneously tomorrow. Instead they are rising...more

Idaho Real Estate & Development Law Update: No Action for Negligence When a Title Company Errs in Preparing Legal Description for...

In the case of Cummings v. Stephens released September 19, 2014, the Idaho Supreme Court reiterated some settled rules about when a title insurance company can be found liable for negligence. In the case, a title company...more

The Limits to Title Insurance Protection and the Advantages of Escrow Instructions

I. Introduction - It is difficult to imagine a substantial real estate transaction which does not have title insurance coverage and an escrow agent, although one can occur at times. Unfortunately, many of the beliefs...more

Property Insurance Law: 2014 Year in Review

Hurricane Sandy continued to generate a significant amount of litigation during 2014 which resulted in several important property insurance decisions. Most notably, as a result of Sandy and other events, the courts...more

Weathering Winter Storm Juno With Roof Collapse Coverage

For most of the Northeast, this winter was off to a slow start in terms of snowfall. That was, however, until winter storm Juno paralyzed much of the Eastern Corridor and resulted in eye-popping, 3-foot-plus snow totals in...more

MIA Announces Opportunity for Comment on Draft Proposed Regulation 31.01.02 on Emergency Powers

On January 23, 2015, the Maryland Insurance Administration issued Bulletin 15-04 to announce a thirty-day opportunity for comment on Draft Proposed Regulation 31.01.02 – Emergency Powers. ...more

Midconstruction Refinancing: A Plunge Into The Void?

Construction loans typically do not get refinanced before a project is completed. A construction loan is short-term in nature and both the lender and its customer expect that they will stay on the project until the project is...more

2014 Hail-Related Insurance Litigation Year In Review

The number of lawsuits arising from hail-damage claims to residential and commercial properties has increased dramatically over the past few years. Indeed, since 2012, hundreds of lawsuits alleging underpayment of...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending October 24, 31 & November 7, 2014

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - - Commercial Landlord Duty: commercial landlord has no common law duty to provide automatic external defibrillator in its stores for use in medical emergency – Verdugo v. Target Corp., No....more

California Insurance-Related Bills Signed into Law

September 30, 2014, was the deadline for Governor Jerry Brown to take action on bills passed by the California Legislature during the 2014 regular legislative session. Here are summaries of noteworthy insurance-related bills...more

The Napa Earthquake: Now Is The Time To Think About Insurance Coverage

In the aftermath of this weekend’s earthquake, we at Farella Braun + Martel would like to offer our insights. If you have a business that was affected by the earthquake, now is the time to look at your insurance policies,...more

“Your Work” Exclusion Bars Coverage for Tearing Down & Rebuilding Wall

The S.C. Court of Appeals recently applied the “your work” exclusion in a declaratory judgment action arising out of a construction defect suit to find the policy did not provide coverage. In Precision Walls v. Liberty Mutual...more

Sandy in the Courts

Hurricane Sandy (also known as Superstorm Sandy) struck the northeast coast of the United States in October 2012, causing an estimated $65 billion* in property damage, including wind damage, severe flooding and power outages....more

New York Court: Storm Surge is a Species of Excluded Flood

One of the most litigated issues in the Gulf States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was whether flood exclusions bar coverage for loss by storm surge. The courts ultimately decided that the answer was yes....more

Policyholders Must Be Vigilant for Construction Defect Exclusions, Including For Impaired Property to Combat Insurance Companies’...

Continuing the most recent trend in coverage litigation, insurance companies are increasingly engaging “Big Law” firms to develop legal arguments for narrower interpretation of their policies when troublesome claims threaten...more

Appellate Court Notes

AC35802 - Estate of Haburey v. Winchester - Widow was allowed to claim spousal benefits for deceased employee who worked at municipal sewage treatment facility. Commissioner could have properly found that exposure to...more

Bad Faith Claim Against Insurer Ruled Unsustainable by New York Federal Courts Where Based on Same Facts as Breach of Contract...

Two recent New York federal court decisions – 433 Main Street Realty, et al. v. Darwin National Assurance Co., No. 14-cv-587 (NGG) (VMS) (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 22, 2014) and County of Orange v. The Travelers Indemnity Co. No....more

Estimates vs. Bids: Determining Insurer Obligation

The typical property insurance claim begins with notification of a loss from the insured or its broker. Thereafter, the carrier sends out an adjuster to investigate the loss and determine whether, and to what extent, coverage...more

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