Residential Real Estate Insurance

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Insurance Recovery Law - April 2015 #2

Policyholder Can Keep Selected Counsel, Court Rules; Insurers’ Objection Too Late - Why it matters: A policyholder was able to maintain its selected defense counsel after a federal court judge ruled that the insurers’...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

House passes bill to amend TILA points and fees definition for mortgage loans

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives passed a bill to amend the TILA definition of “points and fees” that is used to determine whether a loan is a high-cost mortgage or, for purposes of TILA’s ability to repay...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

Title Insurance Regulatory and Legislative Update - April 2015

Title Guaranty Fund Guidelines Adopted: The Title Insurance Task Force met at the NAIC Spring National Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona and adopted the “Title Insurance Guaranty Association-Title Insurance Consumer Protection Fund...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

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending April 10, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Mediation: trial court erred in compelling borrowers to produce financial information at mediation not relevant pre-foreclosure judgment – Morejon v. F&M Real, Inc., No. 2D14-2531...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

California Insurance Commissioner Lacks Authority to Regulate Formula for Estimating Replacement Cost Value

In Assn. of Cal. Insurance Companies v. Jones ( No. B248622, filed 4/8/15), a California appeals court held that California’s Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones lacked the authority to promulgate California Code of...more

Condominiums May Not Opt Out Of Maryland's Mandatory Insurance Provisions

Section 11-114 of the Maryland Condominium Act provides that Condominium Associations must maintain property insurance on the entire condominium including units, excepting improvements and betterments installed by the Unit...more

Court Rules that Damage From Squatter’s Fire is Not Excluded as Vandalism or Malicious Mischief

In Ong v. Fire Insurance Exchange (No. B252773, filed 4/3/15), a California appeals court ruled that a vacancy exclusion limited to damage caused by “vandalism or malicious mischief” did not bar coverage for damage to a...more

The Eleventh Circuit Holds that for Sinkhole Losses, Structural Damage ? Any Damage to a Structure

The land in Florida is prone to sinking and insurance companies must often scramble for solid footing on which to anchor the scope of coverage for sinkhole losses. In Hegel v. First Liberty Insurance Corporation (11th Cir....more

New CFPB Consent Orders Point to Growing Indirect Regulation of Title Insurance

The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 granted rule-making authority under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to the CFPB and, with respect to entities under its jurisdiction, generally granted authority to the CFPB to...more

Insurance – Duty to Defend

Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange, et al. - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (March 4, 2015) - Typically, claims of sexual assault or claims related to sexual assault are not covered under a standard...more

Insurers Argue Damage by Meteor is all that is Covered in a CGL

In a decision out of the Superior Court in Delaware, Judge Rocanelli bought a favorite insurance industry argument so extreme, several state legislatures (including Colorado and South Carolina) have passed laws overruling...more

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner: Don’t Deny Earthquake Claims as Man-Made by Linking Them to Fracking

The jury is still out on whether hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” causes earthquakes, but carriers whose policies afford coverage for quakes have recently been denying such claims, asserting that they are excluded because...more

Eleventh Circuit: Sinkhole Loss in Florida Must Impair the Property’s Structural Integrity to be Covered

Effective in 2005, Florida statutes defined “sinkhole loss” to mean “structural damage to the building, including the foundation, caused by sinkhole activity,” and they left the all-important term “structural damage”...more

April Fool's Day Sees National Flood Insurance Rates Rise

So what day would you pick to have your flood insurance premium double? April Fool's Day? You got it. Well, that's a little hyperbolic. Rates aren't doubling instantaneously tomorrow. Instead they are rising...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending March 27, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Marketable Record Title Act: right-of-way held by Florida Department of Transportation qualifies for right of way exception under MRTA and remainder of property held in fee by Florida Department...more

Anatomy of an Indemnity Provision - Construction Practice Newsletter

Indemnity clauses are one of the most negotiated (and litigated) provisions in a construction contract. - They’re also one of the least understood. - But we’re here to dissect it for you, so to speak. ...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - March 2015

In This Issue: - District of Colorado Sinks Insurer’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Bad Faith Claim Where Insurer Allegedly Failed To Timely Investigate Available Coverage for Boating Accident - Eastern...more

New Jersey Trial Court Holds Storm Surge Not Subject to Flood Sublimit Where Policy Expressly Includes “Ensuing Storm Surge” in...

In recent years, many courts have held that storm surge is a species of excluded flood loss; we reported on a New York example in July. This week, in Public Serv. Enter. Group, v. ACE Amer. Ins. Co., 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub....more

Indiana Court Dismisses Bad Faith Allegations and Praises Insurer for Timely Claims-Handling

A recent federal District Court decision from Indiana, Autumn Glen Homeowners Ass’n. v. Travelers Ind. Co. of America, 2015 WL 1256391, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33317 (S.D. Ind., Mar. 18, 2015) provides insight into both...more

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

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Probate/Quit Claim Deeds: trial court correctly ordered personal representative to issue deeds conveying properties to son and mother, subject to life estate held by son – Ciungu v. Bulea, Case...more

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