News & Analysis as of

Homeowner's Insurance

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies The “Independent Injury Rule”

by Strasburger & Price, LLP on

When can an insured recover policy benefits as damages under the Insurance Code, potentially trebling what would otherwise be ordinary contract damages? That question, which has divided Texas insurance lawyers for more than a...more

Washington: Third-Party Administrators and Adjusters Can Be Liable in Bad Faith Actions

by Cozen O'Connor on

On April 11, 2017, the Division III Washington Court of Appeals, on a 2 to 1 vote, held that third party administrators and adjusters can be liable in bad faith actions under multiple legal theories. Merriman v. Am. Guar. &...more

Defence & Indemnity - February 2017: IV. PRACTICE ISSUES B.

by Field Law on

In an action by homeowners against a chimney sweep, it was held that deficiencies in the plaintiffs’ expert Investigation and reports deprived the court and the other trial experts from being able to determine what actually...more

Innocent or Unintentional Mistake in Application is Irrelevant: NY’s Second Department Finds Rescission Appropriate and Affirms...

When an insurer finds that the insured misrepresented a material fact in an application for insurance, the insurer may rescind the policy of insurance, and take the position that no coverage exists for a claimed loss. In a...more

Depreciation of Labor Costs Class Action: Nebraska Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Insurer

I’ve regularly followed on my blog key developments in the numerous class actions against the insurance industry involving the application of depreciation to the labor cost component of estimated replacement cost value in...more

Unequivocal Denial: District of New Jersey Court Outlines What is Not Necessary

We have previously featured New Jersey District Court decisions addressing “unequivocal” denials in the context of policies’ suit limitation provisions. In the latest, Ryan v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., No. 14-6308...more

California Supreme Court Endorses the Insurance Commissioner’s Authority to Regulate Wayward Insurers

by Nossaman LLP on

On Monday, the California Supreme Court revived a 2011 insurance regulation designed to protect homeowners from underinsurance because of the insurance company’s use of potentially misleading estimates for home replacement...more

California’s High Court Gives Insurance Regulators New Tools To Broaden Authority

by Carlton Fields on

Nearly two years ago, a California appellate court invalidated a rule promulgated by the state’s Insurance Commissioner, on the ground that the regulator lacks authority to prohibit “deceptive acts or practices” which are not...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Replacement Cost Estimate Regulation (For Now)

by Cozen O'Connor on

In 2011, the California Insurance Commissioner promulgated a regulation governing replacement cost estimates for homeowners insurance (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 10, §2695.183 [the Regulation]). After the trial court and...more

District of Connecticut Reaffirms That Definition Of “Collapse” Is Unambiguous

The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut recently reaffirmed its ruling that the term “collapse,” as defined by a homeowners insurance policy, is unambiguous and that the policy in question did not...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Insurance Commissioner’s Authority to Regulate Replacement Cost Estimates

In Assn. of Cal. Insurance Companies v. Jones ( No. S226529, filed 1/23/17), the California Supreme Court reversed trial and appellate court decisions to hold that California’s Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones had the...more

Too Soon! First Circuit Finds No Duty To Defend Before Suit Is Filed

by Carlton Fields on

Can something short of the filing of a complaint trigger an insurer’s duty to defend? It’s not an idle question. Uncertainty on this issue could produce an unintended breach, and, in some jurisdictions, breach of the duty to...more

Unlike Friendships, Policy Exclusions Are Not Severable In West Virginia

by Carlton Fields on

A homeowners insurance policy often covers every member of a family, and many policies state that the insurance applies separately to each insured. The same policies usually exclude coverage for intentional acts. But what...more

Florida’s Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Concurrent Cause Doctrine; Reverses Second District’s Application of Efficient Proximate...

In John Robert Sebo, etc. v. American Home Assurance Company, Inc., Supreme Court case number SC14-897, the Florida Supreme Court reversed a Second District Court opinion which found the efficient proximate cause doctrine...more

Fifth Circuit Denies Coverage For Noncompliance With Policy’s Duty To Cooperate

In its recent decision in Johnson v. GeoVera Specialty Ins. Co., No. 15-30803, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17530 (5th Cir. September 27, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit explored whether or not certain...more

Fifth Circuit: If It Ain’t Broke, Not Paying To Fix It Ain’t Bad Faith

by Saul Ewing LLP on

Toney v. State Farm Lloyds, Case No. 14-40914, 2016 WL 4784012 (5th Cir. Sept. 13, 2016). After a March 2012 hail storm damaged his home in Mission, Texas, Kenneth Toney (“Toney”) filed a claim with State Farm Lloyds...more

Hurricane Matthew Requires Immediate Action to Maximize Insurance Recovery

After tearing through the Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew’s path brought it north to the Southeastern coast of the U.S., bringing evacuations, business closures and damages to the region. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and...more

Delaware District Court Finds Duty to Defend Under Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

by Morris James LLP on

The backdrop to this decision is an interesting and unfortunate one involving a divorce, allegations of illegal obscene material possessed by the former husband, followed by a civil lawsuit between the former spouses after...more

Assignment v. Subrogation — Prosecuting Recovery Actions Arising from Personal Injury Claims

by Cozen O'Connor on

It is common in most jurisdictions that personal injury claims cannot be assigned. This can occasionally present a concern when an insurance carrier attempts to bring a contribution action against a third-party tortfeasor...more

Missouri Western District Court of Appeals Reminds Us to Pay No Attention to the Headings for the Revised Statutes

by Williams Venker & Sanders on

The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court’s issuance of summary judgment and, in the process, reminded practitioners that the bold faced headings in the Revised Statutes are not part of...more

Eleventh Circuits Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of Insurer Based on Homeowners Failure to Cooperate with the Insurer’s...

In Hsu v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Ind., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12407 (11th Cir. 2016), the Eleventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Safeco Insurance Company of Indiana (“Safeco”), finding that the homeowner breached...more

Insurers Beware: Defending Bad Faith Claim May Lead to Waiver of Privileged Communications

by Cozen O'Connor on

On July 27, 2016, the United States District Court for South Carolina ordered an insurer to turn over its privileged communications. The Court explained that the insurer waived the protections afforded under the...more

Second DCA Reaffirms Sinkhole Insurers' Contractual Right to Withhold Payment for Subsurface Repairs Until the Policyholder...

Two new opinions show the Second DCA continues to hold that if an insurance policy providing sinkhole coverage authorizes the insurer to withhold payment for subsurface repairs until the policyholder presents a signed...more

Second DCA Refuses to Allow Insurer to Obtain Settlement Information from Settling Co-Defendant

In Allen v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co., 2D15-3114 (Fla. 2d DCA June 10, 2016), a sinkhole plaintiff sued two insurers for the same damage, and then settled with one of them before trial. The non-settling insurer wanted to...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Narrowly Interprets the “Permanent Property Insurance” Condition in a Builder’s Risk Policy

by Cozen O'Connor on

In Fontana Builders, Inc. v. Assurance Company of America, Case No. 2014AP821, 2016 WL 3526408 (Wis. Jun. 29, 2016), the Wisconsin Supreme Court addressed whether the purchase of a homeowner’s policy by the occupiers and...more

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