Insurance Residential Real Estate

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New Year - New Insurance Law

In an earthquake related judgment issued in late December 2016, the High Court (Court) found a mutual duty of good faith applied to parties to an insurance contract, including during the claims handling process. A breach of...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending January 13, 2017

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure: where a valid mortgage properly encumbers the subject property, an incorrect deed and a reformation of deed count are not fatal to a foreclosure action - Heartwood 2, LLC v. Dori, Case...more

Year in Review: Legislation and Guidance for Financial Institutions in 2016

The regulation of federally regulated financial institutions (FRFIs) continued intensifying in 2016 with a new wave of legislative and regulatory initiatives impacting mortgage lending, the bank resolution regime, the life...more

Missouri Supreme Court Addresses Insurer Intervention, Garnishment Proceedings and Bad Faith Findings

Allen v. Bryers and Atain Specialty Insurance Company, — S.W.3d —, 2016 WL 7378560 (Mo. banc, December 20, 2016) In a recent opinion, the Missouri Supreme Court addressed the timing for an insurer’s intervention in a...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending January 6, 2017

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure – Involuntary Dismissal: although lender’s witnesses failed to explain lender’s loan payment history statement, the statement reflected the principal amount due and had been admitted...more

Super-Typhoon Nock-Ten: Late-Season Abnormality or Harbinger of Larger Changes?

An unusual December super-typhoon made several landfalls in the Philippines on Christmas Day 2016, bringing heavy rainfall, fierce wind gusts, and dangerous flooding to the island nation. While the number of fatalities...more

Hacktastrophe: How cyber-attacks on critical U.S. infrastructure could lead to catastrophic property loss

Although cyber-attacks have traditionally implicated more liability-leaning coverages, several attacks in recent years should give property insurers cause for concern going into the future. Hackers have proven they can seize...more

Court Affirms Summary Judgment Holding Insurance Agent Owed No Fiduciary Duties To Insured

In Brown v. Carrell, homeowners filed suit against their insurance agent over damages to their home from Hurricane Ike. No. 09-15-00016-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 13782 (Tex. App.—Beaumont December 29, 2016, no pet. history)....more

Insurance – Coverage – Pyrolysis as an “Occurrence”

Tidwell Enterprises, Inc., et al. v. Financial Pacific Ins. Co., Inc. - Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District (December 20, 2016) - According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Pyrolysis is a “chemical...more

Appraisal is an Appraisal is an Appraisal, Except in Mass.

Like Gertrude Stein’s “rose”, an appraisal is an appraisal is an appraisal except in Massachusetts. Massachusetts’ version of appraisal is a statutory process named “reference.” Although a reference proceeding is very similar...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

FHFA Issues Final Rule on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Duty to Serve Underserved Markets - On December 13, 2016, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a final rule implementing the Duty to Serve provisions...more

Court Tosses Time-Barred Rico Claims Alleging Captive Reinsurance Kickback Scheme

Plaintiffs asserted class claims for RICO violations based on allegations that Bank of America referred borrowers to private mortgage insurance providers in exchange for kickbacks, funneled through a captive reinsurance...more

Oregon High Court Clarifies How To Read the Four Corners of a Complaint

On December 8, 2016, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision, West Hills Development Co. v. Chartis Claims, Inc., 360 Or. 650 (2016), clarifying what allegations in a construction defect suit will implicate coverage under...more

Unlike Friendships, Policy Exclusions Are Not Severable In West Virginia

A homeowners insurance policy often covers every member of a family, and many policies state that the insurance applies separately to each insured. The same policies usually exclude coverage for intentional acts. But what...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending December 2 & 9, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Deficiency/Subject Matter Jurisdiction: approving the 3d DCA’s opinion that an assignee of a foreclosure judgment can maintain a separate action for deficiency under Florida Statutes, Section...more

Florida, Sebo and the Concurrent Causation Doctrine

The Florida Supreme Court recently issued a widely reported decision, Sebo v. American Home Assurance Co., which applied the concurrent cause doctrine in ruling that an all-risk homeowner’s insurance policy provides coverage...more

Fifth Circuit Clarifies Claims Handling Quandary: When Does a Cause of Action Accrue?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a per curiam opinion in De Jongh v. State Farm Lloyds, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21432 (5th Cir. 2016) that clarified a typical but potentially tricky question involving...more

Competing Causes of Loss: Florida Supreme Court Issues Decision Applying The Concurrent Causation Doctrine

We have discussed on a number of occasions the issue of causation when there are multiple causes of loss, some covered and some not covered. Most jurisdictions apply what is known as the efficient proximate cause analysis...more

Florida’s Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Concurrent Cause Doctrine; Reverses Second District’s Application of Efficient Proximate...

In John Robert Sebo, etc. v. American Home Assurance Company, Inc., Supreme Court case number SC14-897, the Florida Supreme Court reversed a Second District Court opinion which found the efficient proximate cause doctrine...more

Florida Supreme Court Decides that Concurrent Causes Equal Coverage

It’s said that “defeat is an orphan,” but insurable losses often have multiple, concurrent causes. In some cases, one or more of those causes might be outside the scope of coverage, either by omission or exclusion. In Sebo v....more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending November 18 & 25, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Settlement/Waiver: borrowers permitted to raise affirmative defenses and counterclaims against lender where subject Loan Modification Agreement failed to include waiver of claims, affirmative...more

Ask the Public Adjustor: Covering Life with Wisdom*

Dear Public Adjustor: I’m often proud of my dad, like when he stood up to the PTA about The Catcher in the Rye. But lately he has me worried. He’s sacrificed an entire season’s corn crop to build a ballfield in the...more

US Federal Regulatory Agencies Request Comment on Proposed Private Flood Insurance Rule

The US Federal Reserve Board, the Farm Credit Administration, the FDIC, the National Credit Union Administration and the OCC issued a joint notice of proposed rulemaking to implement provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood...more

Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co.

The Florida Supreme Court’s opinion in Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co. is important for two reasons: It modifies the allowable use of a presumption established in Florida’s statutory sinkhole scheme; and it explains, and perhaps...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending November 4 & 11, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Constitutional Challenge: record title owner’s argument that Florida Statutes section 702.035, governing “Legal notice concerning foreclosure proceedings,” is an unconstitutional...more

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