Residential Real Estate Civil Procedure Insurance

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Missouri Court: “Equivalent” Requires that Replacement Siding be Both Equal in Value and Virtually Identical

In December, we published a post about a Minnesota Supreme Court case that held that under a replacement cost policy, the phrase “comparable material and quality” meant that all of the siding on 20 buildings had to be...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending June 19, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE: Tax Deed Sale/Due Process: after certified letter notifying property owner of tax deed sale returned unopened and unclaimed, due process required clerk of court take reasonable steps to notify...more

Appraisers’ Failure to Perform Assessment of Property’s Existence or Damage is Reversible Error

In Lee v. California Capital Insurance Co. (No. A136280; filed 6/18/15), a California Court of Appeal held that it was error for an appraisal panel to assign loss values to items simply because they were listed in the...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

Montana Supreme Court Affirms Rule Requiring Insurer to Demonstrate Prejudice Resulting from Insured’s Late Notice

On May 29, 2015, the Montana Supreme Court affirmed the application of the notice-prejudice rule in cases of third-party claims for damages. Atlantic Casualty Ins. Co. v. Greytak, 2015 MT 149, OP 14-0412 (Mt. 2015). The rule...more

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Intentional Acts

Shelly Albert v. Mid-Century Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (May 20, 2015) - Generally, when an act by an insured is intentional, Courts have consistently held that there is no...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Property Damage Directly Caused By Fire

In Stankova v. Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8935 (9th Cir. May 29, 2015), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Arizona law, had the opportunity to address the concept of...more

Oklahoma HB 1123 Shortens the Time to File Mortgage Releases

Last month, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law a variety of bills affecting mortgage loan servicers. One bill of note, Oklahoma HB 1123, decreases the time in which a mortgage release must be filed after a mortgage...more

Georgia Court: Policy Does Not Require Insured to Produce Recordings of Her Conversations With the Carrier

On May 20th, a federal court in Georgia held that the standard “requirements in case of loss” language compelling the insurer to turn over her books and records during the adjustment process did not require the production of...more

California Court Considers Intentional Acts Exclusion in Homeowners Policy

In Albert v. Mid-Century Insurance Company, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 431 (April 28, 2015, status changed from published to unpublished May 20, 2015), the California Court of Appeal had occasion to consider whether the...more

Conclusory Allegations Held Insufficient to Support Declaratory Relief on Right to Independent Counsel or Allocation of Defense...

In Centex Homes v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. (No. E060057, filed 5/22/15), a California Court of Appeal held that a developer’s declaratory relief lawsuit seeking a declaration of the right to independent counsel was...more

Kentucky Court Holds D&O Policy Not Triggered By Suit Against Condo Board

In its recent decision in State Auto Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Highland Terrace Counsel of Co-Owners, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59663 (W.D. Ky. May 7, 2015), the United States District Court for the Western District of...more

Florida High Court Set to Clarify When an Insured Is Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees When an Insurer Initially Denies a Sinkhole...

On April 15, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of Omega Insurance Co. v. Johnson, No. 5D13-1701, 2014 WL 4375189 (Fla. 5th DCA Sept. 5, 2014), which found that an insured was not entitled to an award of...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

Middle District of Pennsylvania: No Bad Faith Where Insurer’s Brief Inspection Yielded Reasonable Basis to Deny Claim

Boulware v. Liberty Ins. Corp., No. 3:13-CV-1541, 2015 WL 1219283 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 17, 2015). After a portion of the insured’s deck collapsed, the insurer denied coverage based on a brief inspection without hiring an...more

New Jersey Court Applies Continuous Trigger Theory and Finds That No Coverage Is Available Because Damage Manifested Prior to...

In Cypress Point Condo. Ass’n. v. Selective Way Ins. Co., 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 721 (March 30, 2015), the New Jersey Law Division dismissed a declaratory judgment action filed against an insurer for a framing...more

Supreme Court of Texas Examines an Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause for the First Time

In JAW The Pointe, L.L.C. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 2015 Tex. LEXIS 343 (Tex. Apr. 24, 2015), the Supreme Court of Texas had occasion to consider an insurance clause that federal courts and lower courts of appeals have...more

Insurance – Property Casualty – Vandalism Exclusion

Hung Van Ong v. Fire Insurance Exchange - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (April 3, 2015) - California’s standard form for fire insurance policies (Insurance Code section 2071) requires coverage for...more

Smelly Cat – Closely-Divided New Hampshire Supreme Court Addresses Whether Cat Urine Is a Pollutant

Last Friday, New Hampshire’s highest court unanimously held that the pungent aroma of cat urine could constitute physical loss or damage under a property policy. In Mellin v. Northern Security Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1869572, 2015...more

Texas Supreme Court Enforces Anti-Concurrent Causation, Bars Coverage Where Wind and Flood Combine to Cause the Loss

Last Friday, Texas’ highest court unanimously endorsed lower court and federal court decisions giving effect to anti-concurrent causation (ACC) clauses and held that such provisions bar coverage where a combination of an...more

Striking Down Regulation On Replacement Cost Estimates, A California Court Heads Off Policyholder Litigation

Last week, in Association of California Ins. Cos. v. Jones, B238622 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 8, 2015), a California appellate court affirmed a decision that invalidated a regulation governing estimates of replacement costs made by...more

A New Twist in the California Debate Over Allegedly Inadequate Replacement Cost Limits in Homeowners’ Policies

The April 8, 2015 decision of the California Court of Appeals in Ass’n. of Cal. Insurance Companies v. Jones, 2015 WL 1569669, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 298 (Cal.Ct.App., Apr. 8, 2015) held that the state’s Insurance Commissioner...more

Construction Case Law Update - April 2015 #2

Commercial General Liability Policies; “Injury-in-fact” vs. “Manifestation” as Trigger for Coverage; “Your Work” Exception – A CGL policy’s “Your Work” exclusion precludes coverage for defective installation when no damage...more

Texas Court Talks Insurance And Actual Cash Value

When an insured suffers a property loss, the insurance policy defines the parameters of recovery. Typically, a property insurance policy’s default valuation provision for a property loss is the actual cash value of the...more

Squatter’s Warming Fire in Vacant Home Held Not to be Vandalism by Divided California Court

In February, we published a Post about a Florida decision that aligned that state with the clear majority of American courts that have held that the destruction of property by an intentionally set fire is encompassed within...more

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