Homeowner's Insurance

News & Analysis as of

New York Court Holds Dog Attack Was a Single Occurrence

In its recent decision in Verlus v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153908 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 12, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had occasion to consider the issue of...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC36382, AC36387 - Hilton v. Commissioner of Correction - AC36922 - Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. v. Pasiak - This was Round Three of a case previously reported on. An...more

New York Court Dismisses Insureds’ Bad Faith and Fraud Claims

In its recent decision in Clement v. Farmington Cas. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152221 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 10, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had occasion to consider what causes of...more

Insurance Coverage – Homeowner’s Insurance – “Imminent Loss”

Arthur Grebow, et al. v. Mercury Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second District (October 21, 2015) - Homeowners’ policies are not intended to require that all maintenance costs incurred to prevent collapse...more

Time is Money. Unless You’re an Insurance Company

Imagine this . . . As you’re coming back into your house after relaxing on your deck you say, “honey, is it just me, or does our house seem to be tilting?” Your wife comes out, looks at the house, and says, “gee honey, I...more

California Grapples with Landslide Coverage Issues

In California, after a period filled with a major drought, fires, and now predicted heavy rains, we anticipate that this season could bring significant landslide/earth movement losses. Potential insurance coverage to...more

High Fire Season Followed by El Nino Sets California Policyholders on Collision Course With Property Insurers

Regular readers of the San Francisco Chronicle saw two familiar headlines in the September 10, 2015 issue of that paper. The first – “Northern California wildfire explodes in size”[1] – would not have been unusual on any...more

California Court Holds Pre-Loss Preventative Measures To Avert A Collapse Are Not Covered as Mitigation.

Last week in Grebow v. Mercury Ins. Co., 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 948, 2015 WL 6166610 (Cal.App., Oct. 26, 2015), a unanimous panel of California’s intermediate level appellate court rejected arguments that expenses incurred to...more

Court Confirms No Duty to Reimburse for Prophylactic Repairs Prior to Actual Collapse

In Grebow v. Mercury Insurance Company (No. B261172, filed 10/21/15), a California appeals court held that coverage for collapse in a homeowners policy does not extend to prophylactic repairs undertaken to mitigate damage...more

California Appellate Court Enforces Homeowners Insurance Policy Exclusions

On October 21, 2015, the California Second Appellate District Court of Appeal issued its opinion in Grebow v. Mercury Insurance, which was modified without a change in judgment on October 26. The opinion offers an in-depth...more

New Jersey Panel: If a Flood Is Excluded, So Are the Unhealthy Water-Borne Substances that It Leaves Behind

Last week, a unanimous panel of New Jersey’s intermediate level appellate court rejected policyholder arguments that even though flood was excluded, the proximate cause of their Superstorm Sandy loss was the non-excluded...more

Property Subrogation Alert: Potential Property Subrogation Opportunities in South Carolina Related to the Recent Historic Rainfall...

In light of the recent historic rainfall and flooding in South Carolina, Nexsen Pruet’s property subrogation and recovery team would like to advise you of potential subrogation opportunities that may otherwise go overlooked....more

Suit Limitation Is A Contractual Term, Not A Statute Of Limitations: Virginia Supreme Court Orders Allstate’s Demurrer Be Granted

The Virginia Supreme Court recently clarified that, even if the suit limitation in a standard fire insurance policy incorporates the language required by Virginia Code, the suit limitation language is not subject to statutory...more

ISO Issues Countrywide Revision to the Definition of a “Residence Premises” in its HO Program

The “where you reside” language in the homeowners forms that the Insurance Services Office (ISO) has published since 1991 have spawned litigation around the country for over 20 years, given the number of scenarios which could...more

Massachusetts Court Refuses to Apply Discovery Rule to Commencement of the Suit Limitations Period

Monday, in Nurse v. Omega U.S.  Insurance., Inc., 2015 Mass. App. LEXIS 158, 2015 WL 5774390 (Mass.App., Oct. 5, 2015), a unanimous panel of Massachusetts’ intermediate level appellate court held that the two-year suit...more

Florida to Decide What Test Applies When Concurrent Multiple Perils Cause a Loss

For years, Florida courts have been seesawing between two different doctrines to determine whether there is coverage under a property policy when two perils – one excluded and one included — combine to cause a loss. Two...more

Under Illinois Law, Mine Subsidence Held to Be a Type of Excluded Earth Movement

Ever since Mattis v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 118 Ill.App.3d 612, 73 Ill.Dec. 907, 454 N.E.2d 1156 (1983), Illinois courts have held that an earth movement exclusion contained in a first-party policy applies only to earth...more

Maximizing Homeowner Insurance Coverage Benefits After a Fire

Before worrying about an insurance claim, first ensure that you and your family, including pets and extended family, have their immediate needs met. When you are ready to begin the recovery process, we have outlined three...more

Tennessee Court: Requirement that Insurers “Make Available” Sinkhole Coverage Does Not Require Policyholders Be Notified

Since 2007, Tennessee statutes have required that homeowners carriers “make available” insurance coverage for sinkhole losses. Last Friday in Patterson v. Shelter Mut. Ins. Co., 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 734, 2015 WL 5320231...more

Senate Bill 900 Amends Operations Of Texas State Backed Insurer

On September 1, 2015, Texas Senate Bill 900 went into effect after passing both the Texas House and Senate this past summer. The bill amends the operation of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (“TWIA”), a state backed...more

New Hampshire Court Approves Commutations Concerning The Home Insurance Company

A superior court in New Hampshire has entered two orders – one concerning Arrowood Surplus Lines Insurance Company, the other concerning Providence Washington Insurance Company – approving commutations regarding The Home...more

True To Form: Eleventh Circuit Rules Rejects Penalties for Non-Conforming Policies

Insurance contracts are subject to numerous statutes and regulations specifying whether and how certain facts must be disclosed, certain coverages must be offered and certain coverage options must be accepted or declined. ...more

Hurricanes vs. Wildfires — 2015’s Dramatic Contrast

Two of this blog’s four rotating headers depict a hurricane and a fire as examples of potentially-destructive types of property damage, and the hurricane season (June through November) and the wildfire season (late spring...more

Filed Rate Doctrine Addressed in Recent Second Circuit Decision

The filed rate doctrine can often provide a strong defense to an insurer in a class action claiming that insurance premiums were too high for some reason. A recent Second Circuit decision applied the doctrine broadly. This...more

Update on Labor Depreciation Class Action Litigation: Kansas Federal Court Rules for Insurer

As an update to my March 29, 2015 blog post on the status of class actions on the labor depreciation issue, a Kansas federal court recently granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer. In Graves v. American Family...more

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