Property Damage

News & Analysis as of

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

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

Ninth Circuit Enforces Waiver of Subrogation Clause in Design/Build Agreement Against Post-Construction Property Insurer

Travelers Indem. Co. v. Crown Corr, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21101 (9th Cir. 2014) - This action arose out of the construction of the University of Phoenix Stadium (the “Stadium”), home of the Arizona Cardinals. ...more

Seventh Circuit: Under Wisconsin Law, “Continuous or Repeated Exposure” Language Means That a Continuous Trigger Theory Applies

Yesterday, in Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., – F.3d – , 2014 WL 6435314, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21794 (7th Cir., Nov. 18, 2014), the Court of Appeals held that the use of the phrase “continuous or repeated exposure” in a...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

The Northern District of Indiana Holds That Loss Reserve Information Qualifies as Protected Work Product.

In G&S Metal Consultants, Inc. v. Cont’l Cas. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151431 (N.D. Ind. Oct. 24, 2014), the district court held that loss reserves generated in anticipated of litigation were protected under the work...more

Indiana Court Holds Auto Exclusion Applicable to Forklift-Related Injury

In its recent decision in National Am. Ins. Co. v. Harleysville Lake State Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160593 (S.D. Ind. Nov. 14, 2014), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana had occasion...more

Appraisal of Insurance Losses and the “Actual” Definition of “Actual Cash Value”

Imagine a devastating fire renders your rental property uninhabitable. You dig out your insurance policy and are relieved to find that you are insured up to the “actual cash value” of the building. But what exactly does this...more

What The Hail Is Going On With Texas Insurance Claims?

The onslaught of new hail damage lawsuits does not appear to be ending anytime soon. The docket of every county in which a significant hail event has occurred in recent years sees numerous new hail damage lawsuit filings...more

If Your Home Can’t Move, It’s Not a “Consumer Product” under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

In Bennett v. CMH Homes, Inc., No, 13-5423, — F.3d — (6th Cir. Oct. 30, 2014), the Sixth Circuit ruled that a manufactured home is not a “consumer product” under the federal Magnusen-Moss Warranty Act. Plaintiffs Dan and...more

Kentucky Federal Court Holds Tort Claims Not Preempted by Clean Air Act

State common law tort claims based on air emissions from a power plant are not preempted by the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), according to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. The court agreed to...more

Policy’s “Named Storm” Deductible Applies To New Jersey Superstorm Sandy Claim

In Wakefern Food Corp. v. Lexington Insurance Company, No. MID-L-6483-13 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. filed Oct. 29, 2014), the Superior Court of New Jersey held in favor of Lexington Insurance Company in connection with a $50...more

Uncertainty about the time limit for filing a groundwater contamination claim in North Carolina.

What is the latest date upon which a private plaintiff must file a claim for personal injury or property damage based on groundwater contamination in North Carolina? Until recently, the answer to this question appeared...more

All Shook Up: California's Fragmented Earthquake Safety, Seismic Safety Upgrade and Seismic Hazard Disclosure Laws

The recent Napa earthquake caused significant damage to buildings in the historic downtown areas of the cities of Napa and Vallejo, and brought to the fore the limited extent to which California law requires seismic safety...more

New Jersey Court Holds $22 Million “Named Storm” Deductible Applicable to a Superstorm Sandy Loss

On October 29th, a New Jersey trial court held that a commercial policyholder’s Superstorm Sandy claims were subject to a $22 million “named storm” deductible equal to 2% of the total insurable values at risk at all of the...more

Here Comes the Sun…

Manufacturers and Installers of Solar Panels Face Unique Risks from Residential House Fires - House fires have always been a major source of product liability litigation in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of...more

Florida High Court To Decide Whether State Insurer Is Immune From Statutory Bad Faith Claims

The Florida Supreme Court has accepted for review a First District decision holding that Florida’s state insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, is not immune from a statutory bad faith failure to...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

New York Supreme Court Pro Rata Allocation for MGP Sites on Long Island Clarifies Self-Insured Periods

A New York State trial court judge applied a pro rata time on the risk allocation for pollution from manufactured gas plants on Long Island. Keyspan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.,Index No. 604715/1997,...more

A Unilateral Scrivener’s Error Can Reflect a Mutual Mistake Requiring Policy Reformation (or, Don’t Expect $20 Million in...

October 29 marked the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s assault on New York and New Jersey. Although the insurance litigation arising from this storm is just beginning, we have already seen a number of decisions out...more

Regional Steel: the continuing effort to avoid the cost of correcting the insured’s work

Casualty insurers normally do not expect to pay the cost of their insureds simply doing a good job. Insurers typically view their contracts as assuming the risk of delineated consequences – damages – if the insured’s work...more

Oklahoma Supreme Court Reconciles Sewer Backup Exclusion With Accidental Discharge Coverage Grant

In May, we reported that a New York court had found that a policy containing both an exclusion for water that backs up through sewers and drains and a coverage grant for accidental discharge or overflow from a plumbing system...more

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