Insurance Residential Real Estate

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Is a Rock a Landslide? Montana Supreme Court Says Yes

In a recent decision, the Montana Supreme Court upheld application of an Earth Movement exclusion to bar coverage for damage to a home when a single large boulder rolled down a hill and smashed into it. In doing so, the court...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending July 22, 2016

Lis Pendens: a party seeking to maintain a lis pendens must establish a “fair nexus” between the party’s claim and the subject property by making “a minimal showing that there is at least some basis for the underlying claim...more

Don’t Mess with the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act: One Court’s Appraisal Result

Virtually all property insurance policies contain an appraisal clause, which outlines the appraisal procedure in broad terms. Those broad terms sometimes do not provide much guidance about the process, or about the effect...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending July 15, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Unclean Hands: defense of unclean hands insufficient where borrower alleges bank’s loan officer inflated borrower’s income and assets to qualify for loan where borrower signed off on...more

Recent Florida Legislation Will Allow for Creation of Specialty Sinkhole Coverage Lines

The Florida Legislature passed legislation this session that allows specialty limited sinkhole coverage. According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, Florida has more sinkholes than any other U.S. state. As such,...more

More Common Sense: Coverage for Collapse Requires More Than an Engineer’s Finding of Substantial Impairment

In February this blog commented on Washington State’s newly-adopted definition of “collapse” in property insurance policies that contain no specific definition of the term. (Observer, February 8, 2016, Common Sense Prevails: ...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Narrowly Interprets the “Permanent Property Insurance” Condition in a Builder’s Risk Policy

In Fontana Builders, Inc. v. Assurance Company of America, Case No. 2014AP821, 2016 WL 3526408 (Wis. Jun. 29, 2016), the Wisconsin Supreme Court addressed whether the purchase of a homeowner’s policy by the occupiers and...more

Mississippi Supreme Court Rules In Insurer’s Favor In Windstorm Pool Assessment Dispute

In a dispute concerning a post-Hurricane Katrina assessment levied by a state-based windstorm pool, the Mississippi Supreme Court recently held that an insurer was entitled to submit revised information pertaining to its...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending June 24 & July 1, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Leave to Amend: borrower should have been granted leave to amend to assert affirmative defenses pursuant to motion filed 13 days before trial because there was no prejudice, the...more

Genuine Dispute Defeats Both Bad Faith and Elder Abuse

The Paslays sued State Farm for failing to pay a portion of the damage caused to their Pacific Palisades house by a heavy rainstorm and for forcing them to move back into the house while it was still under construction. The...more

Florida’s Third District Finds Misrepresentation In Insurance Application Was Material, Precluding Coverage And Entitling Insurer...

In Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London v. Jimenez, 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 9231 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. June 12, 2016), the Third District reversed a trial court’s final judgment and remanded the case with instructions...more

Hybrid Property Policies: The Burden of Proof to Establish Policy Coverage and Exclusions

One coverage issue frequently arising under first-party property insurance policies entails a determination as to which party has the burden of proof to establish coverage, or to show the applicability and effect of a policy...more

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

Oregon Court of Appeals Holds that “Common Issue” Exception Applies to Permit Defendant Contractor to Recover Attorney’s Fees From...

In The Village at North Pointe Condominiums Association v. Bloedel Construction Co. et al., 278 Or App 354 (2016), the Oregon Court of Appeals held that defendant contractor could recover attorneys’ fees against a 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

Insurer Correctly Non-Renewed Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

The South Carolina Court of Appeals has concluded that notice of cancellation of a homeowner’s insurance policy is controlled by S.C. Code § 38-75-1160, not the more general § 38-75-740, and that the mortgage holder was not...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

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

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

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