Homeowner's Insurance

News & Analysis as of

Wilcox v. State Farm: Minnesota Supreme Court Decision In Labor Depreciation Class Action

Yesterday the Minnesota Supreme Court issued its opinion in Wilcox v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, a putative class action alleging that State Farm, in estimating the “actual cash value” of property damage under...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions - January 2016

Insurance Coverage; Vandalism and Malicious Mischief Exclusion - Hung Van Ong v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 901, 185 Cal.Rptr.3d 524 - Facts: The insured had a vacant apartment building....more

Arkansas Federal Court to Consider Sanctioning Attorneys for Using Federal Jurisdiction as “Bargaining Chip” in Negotiating...

In Adams et al. v. United Services Automobile Ass’n et al., W.D. Ark. No. 2:14-cv-02013, Chief District Judge P.K. Holmes III of the Western District of Arkansas will soon decide whether to sanction attorneys who negotiated a...more

“Insanity Defense” Fails To Preserve Coverage For Insured’s Arson

Missouri resident James Roller set fire to his garage in an attempt to commit suicide. When smoke and fumes surrounded him he changed his mind, fled the garage, and alerted his wife of the fire. Mrs. Roller called 911. A...more

UK Financial Regulatory Developments - January 2016 #1

TIA publishes guidance on paperless transfers - TIA has published industry guidance on paperless renunciation or transfer of units or shares in authorised investment funds. The guidance sets out measures that operators...more

Getting Coverage for your Property Loss— Consider the “Efficient Proximate Cause.”

Woodland Hills personal injury attorney has significant experience in insurance and insurance coverage. Often, the ability to understand and access insurance coverage is a key component in a successful recovery in a large...more

To Stay or Not to Stay … That Is the Question

In the insurance arena, courts are often confronted with simultaneous lawsuits involving the same, or almost the same, parties. In the “underlying case” a claimant seeks damages from an insured defendant. Simultaneously, the...more

For Whom the Contractual Suit Limitation Period Tolls

Virginia’s Supreme Court recently addressed an issue of statutory interpretation that affects whether or under what circumstances a contractual suit limitation provision in an insurance policy may be tolled. In Allstate Prop....more

After Pit Bull Case, Questions Dog New York’s “Unfortunate Event” Test

Where an insurance policy contains a “per occurrence” limit on coverage, New York courts apply what they call the “unfortunate event” test to determine how many “occurrences” are involved in a given claim or set of claims. ...more

Vermont: First-Party Pollution Exclusions Are Not Confined to Traditional Environmental Pollution.

Courts in a number of American states, notably California, have found that pollution exclusions in first-party policies are “inherently ambiguous” and that the purpose of such provisions is “to address liability arising from...more

Appeal Court Applies Correctness Standard of Review for Standard Form Contracts, Distinguishes Sattva

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has held that appeal courts will review decisions interpreting standard form contracts on a correctness standard, as opposed to the more deferential standard of review of reasonableness....more

Arkansas Bars Depreciation of Labor When Calculating Actual Cash Value

Over the last few years, courts have disagreed over whether labor — as opposed to materials — can be depreciated when determining actual cash value (ACV); two of our 2015 posts addressed cases in which the District of Kansas...more

Will You Be Covered Should El Niño Arrive?

After years of drought, California is now receiving warnings that this may be an El Niño winter. The threat of El Niño brings with it the concerns of significant rain fall and resultant flood losses. Unfortunately, most...more

Connecticut Court Holds No Cause Of Action Against Independent Adjuster For Negligence

The states are divided over whether an independent adjuster can be sued for negligence by the insured, and no Connecticut appellate court has ever addressed that issue. Last Tuesday, however, one of the state’s federal...more

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

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