Homeowner's Insurance

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

Fifth Circuit Reaffirms the Importance of a Reasonable Claim Investigation Prior to Denial

In Santacruz v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, Inc., 2014 WL 5870429 (Nov. 13, 2014), the 5th Circuit allowed a policyholder to pursue a claim for common law and statutory bad faith even though the policyholder repaired the alleged...more

Construction Case Law Update - October 2014 #3

Insurance, Sinkhole litigation -- Neither “Concealment or Fraud” nor “Duties After Loss” provision in homeowner’s insurance policy required insured to provide insurer with expert’s sinkhole damage analysis solicited by...more

Report From Counsel: Insights and Developments in the Law - Fall 2014

In this Report: - Homeowners’ Insurance: The Devil Resides in the Details - “Cybersmear” Lawsuits - Age Discrimination in Employment - The Marital Deduction: A Valuable Estate Planning...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending October 10 & October 17, 2014

REAL PROPERTY CASES - - Sinkhole Loss/Statute of Limitations: homeowners’ lawsuit was barred by the one-year statute of limitations, even though lawsuit was filed promptly after FIGA processed the claim and made a...more

My Advice? Pay Me!

Shopping for insurance can raise hard questions: How much coverage do I need? What types of risk should be covered? What must I do to get the maximum benefits allowed? Policyholders who get the wrong answers often end up...more

Tennessee Legislature Passes Legislation Changing Requirements for Coverage of Sinkhole Losses

The Tennessee Legislature recently reformed the law of sinkhole coverage and sinkhole losses in the State of Tennessee with legislation which became effective July 1, 2014. Under the prior Tennessee law, every insurer...more

Homeowners’ Insurance: The Devil Resides In The Details

Reading and understanding all of the language in a homeowners’ insurance policy are not formalities to be skipped over while searching for the signature line. As with any contract, the fine print can have real and lasting...more

Class Action Against State Auto Concerning Homeowners’ Policy Limits Is One Worth Watching

Insurers typically adjust (or propose to adjust) the policy limits on a homeowners’ policy every year to take into account changes in the cost of construction. This is intended to help insureds make sure that sufficient...more

Disparate impact cases against HUD: Illinois federal court issues decision; update on D.C. case

Because of their potential impact on the CFPB’s conclusion that the ECOA and Regulation B encompass disparate impact claims, we have been following two insurance industry lawsuits involving a challenge to HUD’s Federal...more

California Court Considers Standard for Rescission

In its recent decision in Betty Douglas, et al. v. Fidelity National Insurance Company, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 788 (Cal. App. Aug. 29, 2014), the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, had occasion to...more

Texas Supreme Court Opinions and Orders (8/29/14)

As expected, the last order list of the Supreme Court's fiscal year was a busy one. The Court issued opinions in 12 argued cases, so I apologize in advance for the length of this post. There were no grants and no mandamus...more

City May Be Liable for Damage to Home Caused by Falling Tree in Inverse Condemnation and Nuisance

During a windstorm, a tree owned by the City of Pasadena fell on Mr. O’Halloran’s residence, causing damage to his home. Mercury Casualty Company paid Mr. O’Halloran for the damage pursuant to his homeowner’s insurance...more

Judgment Against Insurer For Fire Loss Reversed Due To Admission Of Opinion Testimony Of Non-Expert Volunteer Fire Chief

The S.C. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a half million dollar verdict against a homeowner’s insurance company because the fire chief was allowed to testify regarding his opinion on causation. Fowler v. Nationwide...more

Florida’s 3rd DCA Continues to Reverse Trial Court Statute of Limitations Rulings

In Linares v. Universal Property and Cas. Ins. Co., 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 10168, (Fla. 3rd DCA, July 2, 2014), the Court reversed the trial court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer (“Universal”), which...more

Waiver of Attorney-Client and Work-Product – You Can’t Be Just a Little Bit Pregnant

A recent Mississippi opinion dramatically underscores the dangers of an advice-of-counsel defense. In Willis v. Allstate Ins. Co., — F.Supp.2d —, 2014 WL 1882387 (S.D.Miss., May 12, 2014), the court held that the insurer had...more

Calif. Offers Regulation As Solution To Underinsurance

A wildfire ravages a community. A family’s home is among those destroyed. It is a total loss. The homeowners are eager to rebuild and turn to their homeowners’ policy. Having purchased coverage on a “replacement-cost” basis,...more

Failure to File a Proof of Loss is Fatal, and the Defense Does Not Require a Showing of Prejudice

On June 3, Connecticut’s intermediate level appellate court held that the failure of a policyholder to file a sworn statement in proof of loss was fatal to his claim....more

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