Residential Real Estate Insurance

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District of Colorado: Insureds Have No Obligation To Hire Public Adjusters To Recover Amounts Due Under A Policy

Norman v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. 13-CV-01643-PAB-CBS, 2014 WL 6478046 (D. Colo. Nov. 19, 2014). District of Colorado holds that insured has no duty to hire own adjuster in order to receive payment, and denies...more

Minnesota Holds “Comparable Material and Quality” Requires Wholesale Replacement Where Undamaged Siding Is Faded

Matching issues are frequently problematic when storms damage only portions of an insured structure’s exterior and it proves impossible to replace the damaged sections with material that is an exact match for the rest of the...more

Dead Man “Kwoking”: Estate Planning Property Transfers Can Trigger Title Insurance Nightmares

Estate planning attorneys regularly advise their clients about the tax and other advantages of transferring real property to irrevocable trusts or similar estate planning vehicles. But they may not consider the potentially...more

Florida’s Second District Evaluates Burden of Proof in Sinkhole Cases

In Mejia v. Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp., 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 19526 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Nov. 26, 2014), the Second District reversed a Pasco County trial court’s determination on the burden of proof applicable to a...more

Tenth Circuit: Property Damage Surrounding Defective Windows Is an “Occurrence” Because Damage Is Unexpected from Insured’s...

In Cincinnati Insurance Company v. AMSCO Windows, No. 13-4155 (10th Cir. November 26, 2014), Cincinnati insured AMSCO, which manufactures windows for use in homes and sells the windows to distributors. Certain AMSCO windows...more

New York Court of Appeals Holds Non-Cumulation Clauses Applicable to Lead Paint Claims

In its recent decision in Nesmith v Allstate Ins. Co., 2014 NY Slip Op 08217 (N.Y. Nov. 27, 2014), the New York Court of Appeals – New York’s highest court – had occasion to revisit the application of “non-cumulation” clauses...more

Florida Court: Under All-Risk Policy, Insured Does Not Bear Burden of Showing Loss Was Caused by a Sinkhole

On November 26th, a unanimous panel of Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals held that a trial judge had erred in placing the burden of showing that loss was caused by covered sinkhole activity on the shoulders of the...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending November 28 & December 5, 2014

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Contract Interpretation: trial court erred by interpreting declaration in way that rendered provisions meaningless – Bethany Trace Owners’ Association, Inc. v Whispering Lakes I, LLC, et al., No....more

Massachusetts Issues FAQs and Sample Form for Flood Insurance Disclosure

The Massachusetts Division of Banks recently released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to provide guidance on complying with Chapter 177 of the Acts of 2014, “An Act Further Regulating Flood Insurance” (Chapter 177). Chapter...more

And Another Texas Court Realizes What The Hail Is Going On?

Another Texas court -- this time in the Valley -- has realized What The Hail Is Going On? Nino vs. State Farm Lloyds is identical to thousands of hail damage lawsuits presently pending in the Valley. Most of these...more

Seventh Circuit Declines to Issue Bright-Line Rule Regarding Trigger in First-Party Property Cases

The Seventh Circuit addressed Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. 21794 (7th Cir. November 18, 2014) on an appeal from the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The Strausses constructed a home in Mequon, Wisconsin in...more

Texas High Court Doesn’t Take Fishing Expedition Bait

There will be no more fishing in Texas in unrelated claim files. The Supreme Court of Texas has summarily ended any debate as to whether discovery of an insurer’s claim files for other policyholders is permissible — it is...more

Federal District Court in Pennsylvania Grants Summary Judgment To CGL Insurer Based Upon Lack of “Occurrence”

On October 14, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Pennsylvania granted a motion for summary judgment filed by State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. (“State Farm”), seeking a declaration that it had no duty...more

“Voluntary” ? “Obligatory”: Good Deeds Do Not Trigger Coverage

Liability policies typically provide coverage for amounts the insured “become[s] legally obligated to pay”—but they leave open the question of how that obligation should be determined. Judgments and settlements clearly...more

Apartment Complexity: Appellate Court Sorts Out Multiple Coverage Claims for Construction of Uninhabitable Residence

In QBE Ins. Corp. v. Adjo Contracting Corp. (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dep’t Oct. 29, 2014), an intermediate appellate court in New York confronted cross-appeals involving 15 different insurers embroiled in multiple lawsuits,...more

NAIC 2014 Fall National Meeting and Congressional Hearing on Global Standards in Insurance Regulation

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) met for its Fall National Meeting in Washington, D.C. from November 14th through November 19th. As with prior meetings, competition among state, Federal and...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - November 2014

In This Issue: - Southern District of California Denies Motion to Dismiss Bad Faith Claim in Homeowners Policy Dispute - Northern District of Indiana: No Bad Faith Where Insurer Has a Rational Basis for its...more

Keeping Pace With Texas Hail Claim 'Case-Runners'

Texas insurance carrier clients writing significant property insurance business in Texas all confirm a disturbing trend. Historically, Texas insurers have seen less than 2 percent of their property insurance claims result in...more

Nevada District Court Bars Foreclosure Sale of First Lien HUD-Insured Mortgage

Recently, a federal district court held that a homeowners association (HOA) foreclosure sale is not valid against HUD-insured loans. The District Court noted that the Ninth Circuit has held that federal rather than state law...more

New Requirements Regarding Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

On July 23, 2014 , Governor Deval Patrick signed into law “An Act Further Regulating Flood Insurance”, effective November 20, 2014. Links to the Act and to “Frequently Asked Questions” prepared by the Massachusetts Division...more

Northern District of Indiana: No Bad Faith Where Insurer Has a Rational Basis for its Coverage Position

Thorne v. Member Select Ins. Co., No. 2:09 CV 87, 2014 WL 4700873 (N.D. Ind. Sept. 22, 2014). The Northern District of Indiana denies an insured’s motion for reconsideration of the court’s entry of summary judgment in...more

Texas Supreme Court Denies Policyholder’s Discovery Regarding Claims Handling

It is rare to see a state’s highest court address a discovery issue. But the Supreme Court of Texas did just that recently in In re National Lloyds Insurance Co., holding that a policyholder’s demands for discovery about how...more

Is That Covered? Hail Damage

Back in May, 2014, parts of Berks and Lancaster counties were hit with a freak hail storm. With hail as large as tennis balls reported, homes and cars suffered significant damage. Hail damage is generally covered under auto...more

Seventh Circuit: Under Wisconsin Law, “Continuous or Repeated Exposure” Language Means That a Continuous Trigger Theory Applies

Yesterday, in Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., – F.3d – , 2014 WL 6435314, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21794 (7th Cir., Nov. 18, 2014), the Court of Appeals held that the use of the phrase “continuous or repeated exposure” in a...more

Southern District of California Denies Motion to Dismiss Bad Faith Claim in Homeowners Policy Dispute

Eastman v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 14cv0703, 2014 WL 5355036 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 20, 2014) - Southern District of California denies motion to dismiss bad faith claim in connection with coverage dispute under homeowners...more

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