Residential Real Estate Insurance

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NY Joins Texas In The Broad Use Of Appraisal

Virtually all property insurance policies include an appraisal provision to resolve disputes over the “amount of loss” for a covered claim. Historically, the phrase “amount of loss” was interpreted to limit appraisal to those...more

CFPB Answers FAQ on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule

On August 26, 2014, the CFPB staff and Federal Reserve Board co-hosted a webinar and addressed questions about the final TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule that will be effective for applications received by creditors or...more

Court Grants Motion For Partial Judgment On The Pleadings In RESPA Class Action Regarding Private Mortgage Insurance

We have previously reported on a case styled Munoz v. PHH Corp., one of similar suits alleging putative class actions under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act arising from purported “sham” reinsurance transfers...more

Current Florida Sinkhole Statute Held to Apply Even Though Policy Used Prior Statute’s Formulation

Florida adopted a stringent, five-part definition of what constitutes a covered sinkhole loss in 2011, but many policies continue to employ the 2005 statutory formulation which merely defined “sinkhole loss” as “structural...more

RESPA Class Action Alleging “Captive Reinsurance Scheme” Allowed To Proceed

A Pennsylvania federal court recently denied a motion to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit in which homeowners claim violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 based on an alleged “captive...more

NAIC Report – 2014 Summer National Meeting

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) met for its Summer National Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, August 14-19. International regulatory standards were a prime focus of the meeting, as the International...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

Colorado Construction Monitor - Summer 2014

In this Issue: - Denver’s construction activity approaching historic peak of 2007 - Market Update - Condominium Construction Defects Legislation Introduced - Whether for Cause or Convenience,...more

Illinois Case Law and Legislation Update

Effective January 1, 2015, Section 18.4 of the ICPA was amended to permit a condominium Board of Directors to adopt and amend its rules and regulations to allow for electronic delivery of notices and other communications...more

Texas' Progressive Claim Affliction Is Treatable

A case recently considered by Texas' Thirteenth Court of Appeals illustrates a fact pattern becoming all too familiar in Texas first-party property insurance claims. The story goes something like this....more

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Statutory Definition of “Structural Damage” Applies to Homeowners Policy Issued after the...

In Shelton v. Liberty Mutual Fire Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 16120 (11th Cir., August 21, 2014), the Court addressed an often-contested issue regarding homeowner’s sinkhole insurance coverage. The Sheltons filed a claim...more

South Carolina: Admission of Cause & Origin Testimony by Fire Chief Was Prejudicial Error

In James D. Fowler v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Ins. Co., 2014 WL 3844215, 2014 S.C. App. LEXIS 209 (S.C. App., Aug. 6, 2014), South Carolina’s Court of Appeals recently held that it was prejudicial error to allow the jury to...more

Class Action Alleging Mortgage Kickback Captive Reinsurance Survives Dismissal Pending Discovery On Tolling Of Limitations

A court denied dismissal of a putative class action involving claims against Suntrust Bank subsidiaries and a captive reinsurer for an alleged illegal kickback scheme arising out of captive reinsurance covering Suntrust’s...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: August 2014 #1

Trial court erred in granting lender’s motion to vacate an order dismissing its foreclosure complaint for lack of prosecution without first giving borrower an opportunity to be heard at an evidentiary hearing. – Arcila v. BAC...more

Vermont: There is No Cause of Action for Negligence in Adjusting a Property Loss

Last week, the Vermont Supreme Court firmly rejected the notion that an insured can bring a cognizable claim for negligence against his or her carrier in connection with the inspection and handling of a first-party property...more

The Meth Business is Dangerous; (En)trust No One

For a landlord, it’s a bad day when your tenant gets busted for operating a meth lab, and the local authorities condemn your house because it’s contaminated with the byproducts of his business. It’s even worse when you learn...more

Fifth Circuit Holding Breathes Life Back Into the Contractual Liability Exclusion

Liability insurance policies typically exclude coverage for obligations arising out of the insured’s “assumption of liability in a contract or agreement.” Earlier this year, the Texas Supreme Court took a narrow view of this...more

City May Be Liable for Damage to Home Caused by Falling Tree in Inverse Condemnation and Nuisance

During a windstorm, a tree owned by the City of Pasadena fell on Mr. O’Halloran’s residence, causing damage to his home. Mercury Casualty Company paid Mr. O’Halloran for the damage pursuant to his homeowner’s insurance...more

“California’s Right To Repair Act Is Not A Homeowner’s Exclusive Remedy When Construction Defects Cause Actual Property Damage.”

The California Court of Appeals recently issued two decisions holding that California’s Right to Repair Act (“SB 800”) is not the exclusive remedy for a homeowner seeking damages for construction defects that have also...more

If A Tree Falls In The City, Is It Serving A Public Purpose?

Today’s posting has nothing to do with corporate law and everything to do with trees. On November 30 and December 1, 2011, the City of Pasadena experienced an unusually violent windstorm. Wind speeds in excess of 100 miles...more

Louisiana Court Upholds Proof Of Loss Requirement Of Standard Flood Insurance Policy

n Villemarette v. FEMA et al., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113667 (E.D. La.), the court analyzed whether plaintiffs were entitled to unpaid proceeds of a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP). Plaintiffs’ policy had coverage...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19089 - Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America v. Netherlands Ins. Co. - Travelers brought a declaratory judgment action, claiming that the Netherlands Insurance Company had to participate in the defense costs of...more

Judgment Against Insurer For Fire Loss Reversed Due To Admission Of Opinion Testimony Of Non-Expert Volunteer Fire Chief

The S.C. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a half million dollar verdict against a homeowner’s insurance company because the fire chief was allowed to testify regarding his opinion on causation. Fowler v. Nationwide...more

New Jersey Federal Court Examines Claim Dispute Under Standard Flood Insurance Policy

The court in Damiano v. Harleysville Ins. Co., Case No. 13-cv-07293-FLW-LHG, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97988 (D.N.J. July 17, 2014) recently addressed the scope of claims that can be asserted against property insurers issuing...more

District Court Figures Out What The Hail Is Going On

Seeing a significant increase in the number of hail damage lawsuits in her courtroom, it appears Judge Jane Boyle of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas has figured out "What the Hail is Going...more

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