Residential Real Estate Insurance

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Sixth Circuit: Growing Marijuana is Not the Same as Buying a Houseplant or Entertaining Visitors

Half of the states in this country have now legalized marijuana for medical use, and that has led to a number of small-scale growing operations in policyholders’ homes.  While not nearly as dangerous as cooking meth on the...more

Florida’s Fifth District Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer, Finding that “Vandalism” and “Malicious Mischief” include “Arson”

In Botee v. Southern Fid. Ins. Co., 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 1566 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. Feb. 6, 2015), the Fifth District affirmed an Orange County trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of the insurer. Botee...more

Florida Court Holds Arson is a Type of Excluded Vandalism and Malicious Mischief

Earlier this month a unanimous Florida appellate court joined a number of other states that have held that an all-risk policy exclusion for vandalism and malicious mischief operates to bar coverage for an arson loss. ...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending February 20, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Sinkhole/Appraisal: reversing non-final order compelling appraisal of sinkhole claim because one is not appropriate under section 631.54(3)(c), Florida Statutes – Fla. Ins. Guar. Ass’n, Inc. v....more

Bad Day for NewDay: CFPB Section 8 Enforcement Continues

On February 10, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) added another company to its litany of alleged Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) Section 8 offenders (Michigan Title, PHH Corporation, New...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Bright-Line Trigger Of Coverage Approach In First-Party Property Disputes

In Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., 771 F.3d 1026, 1030 (7th Cir. Wis. 2014), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals applying Wisconsin law set forth an analysis for determining trigger of coverage in first-party property...more

Goldman Sachs Settles RMBS Suit

On February 6, 2015, plaintiffs Union Central Life Insurance, Ameritas Life Insurance, and Acacia Life Insurance filed a letter with the court stating that they had reached an agreement with Goldman Sachs to settle claims...more

RMBS Fraud Claims Against Bank of America Dismissed

On February 6, 2015, Judge Stanley Chesler of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted in part and denied in part Bank of America’s motions to dismiss two related cases filed against it by...more

HUD Secretary Defends FHA in House Testimony

On February 11, HUD Secretary Julián Castro delivered remarks at the U.S. House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) hearing, “The Future of Housing in America: Oversight of the Federal Housing Administration.” ...more

The Pennsylvania Superior Court Continues to Muddle the Answer to the Question of When Faulty Workmanship is an “Occurrence” Under...

Pennsylvania courts continue to struggle with complex concepts underpinning when faulty workmanship can be an “occurrence” triggering coverage under Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) policies. In Kvaerner Metals Division...more

District Court Strikes Homeowners Policyholders’ Class Action Allegations

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio granted defendant State Auto’s motion to strike plaintiffs’ class allegations, holding that the complaint itself demonstrated that the proposed class was not...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending February 13, 2015

Foreclosure: trial court violated purchaser’s procedural due process rights in setting aside judicial sale of property without giving notice to purchaser. Further, trial court abused its discretion in setting aside judicial...more

Idaho Real Estate & Development Law Update: No Action for Negligence When a Title Company Errs in Preparing Legal Description for...

In the case of Cummings v. Stephens released September 19, 2014, the Idaho Supreme Court reiterated some settled rules about when a title insurance company can be found liable for negligence. In the case, a title company...more

Florida’s Second District Reverses Summary Judgment for Insurer Based on Material Misrepresentation on Homeowner’s Application

In Mora v. Tower Hill Prime Ins. Co., 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 812 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Jan. 23, 2015), the Second District reversed a Hillsborough County trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurer....more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending February 6, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Service of Process: return of service is not required to expressly list the factors defining the “manner of service” contained in Section 48.031(1)(a), Florida Statutes, not included in the...more

Title Insurance Regulatory and Legislative Update - February 2015

FEDERAL - New CFPB Compliance Bulletin Impacts Service Providers: The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) recently issued Compliance Bulletin 2015-01, which reminds persons subject to the regulatory authority...more

No Manifestation Destiny: The Seventh Circuit Declines to Set a Standard Trigger Rule for First-Party Property Policies

Property damage can be sudden and dramatic, but it can also be subtle and insidious, and that can make it hard to identify the moment when properly coverage is implicated. As a result, courts have recognized several...more

Virginia Court Nixes Claim Chinese Drywall Damage to HVAC Systems is Covered as Equipment Breakdown

In Travco Ins. Co. v. Ward, 284 Va. 547, 736 S.E.2d 321 (2012), the Virginia Supreme Court held that loss occasioned by the sulfuric gas released by defective Chinese drywall was excluded under the primary coverage grant of a...more

Lender-Placed Insurance Actions Continue to Simmer

Litigation and regulatory scrutiny surrounding lender-placed insurance (“LPI”) practices, initiated in large part on the heels of the mortgage crisis, continues to simmer. While the largest LPI class actions have settled,...more

Eastern District of Kentucky: Insurer’s Denial Of Claim Did Not Amount To Bad Faith Where Insureds Could Not Establish Malice or...

Cline v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 6:13-CV-182-HAI, 2014 WL 7074973 (E.D. Ky. Dec. 15, 2014). After Denial of Claim for Loss from Fire on Basis of Exclusion for Criminal or Intentional Acts, Insurer wins Cross-Motions for...more

The Limits to Title Insurance Protection and the Advantages of Escrow Instructions

I. Introduction - It is difficult to imagine a substantial real estate transaction which does not have title insurance coverage and an escrow agent, although one can occur at times. Unfortunately, many of the beliefs...more

The Devil Is In The Details In Real Estate

After negotiations, execution of the purchase agreement, completion of due diligence and satisfaction of all contingencies, the parties to a real estate transaction are ready to close the deal. All that remains is to sign the...more

Property Insurance Law: 2014 Year in Review

Hurricane Sandy continued to generate a significant amount of litigation during 2014 which resulted in several important property insurance decisions. Most notably, as a result of Sandy and other events, the courts...more

Late Notice Held to Bar a $6,000,000 Hurricane Wilma Claim in Florida

In The Yacht Club on the Intracoastal Condo. Ass’n. v. Lexington Ins. Co., – Fed.Appx. –, 2015 WL 106862, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 293 (11h Cir., Jan. 8, 2015), a unanimous panel of the Eleventh Circuit recently held that a...more

Weathering Winter Storm Juno With Roof Collapse Coverage

For most of the Northeast, this winter was off to a slow start in terms of snowfall. That was, however, until winter storm Juno paralyzed much of the Eastern Corridor and resulted in eye-popping, 3-foot-plus snow totals in...more

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