Property Damage

News & Analysis as of

Indiana Court Dismisses Bad Faith Allegations and Praises Insurer for Timely Claims-Handling

A recent federal District Court decision from Indiana, Autumn Glen Homeowners Ass’n. v. Travelers Ind. Co. of America, 2015 WL 1256391, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33317 (S.D. Ind., Mar. 18, 2015) provides insight into both...more

Iowa’s Highest Court: Damage by Rainwater is Damage by Rain

Last July, we posted that an intermediate level appellate court in Iowa had held that a policy excluding loss “caused by rain” did not bar coverage for loss occasioned by the non-excluded peril of “rainwater.” ...more

Texas Supreme Court weekly orders (3/15)

No. 13-0126, Nabors Well Servs., Ltd. v. Loera -- The court of appeals had reversed this case on the ground that evidence of seatbelt nonuse was not admissible. But recently, in Nabors Well Servs., Ltd. v. Romero, the Supreme...more

Construction Case Law Update - March 2015 #2

Sinkholes; “Structural Damage” – When undefined in a homeowner’s insurance policy, “structural damage” caused by a sinkhole is best defined as “damage that impairs the structural integrity of the building.” Homeowners argued...more

California Court of Appeal Limits Scope of Agent's Immunity Rule Based on "Special Relationship" Between Insurers and Insureds

On April 2, 2014, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, published an opinion that limits the scope of the agent’s immunity rule insofar as it applies to employees of insurers involved in investigating...more

Insurance Review (Australia) - February 2015

In This Issue: - REGULATORY: - The Financial System Inquiry - Insurance Reform In The UK - CYBER: - Top Five Privacy And Cyber Predictions, Trends And Issues Impacting Insurers In 2015 And...more

Eleventh Circuit defines “structural damage” under an insurance policy to mean more than simply “physical” damage

Although commonly used in insurance policies, the term “ structural damage ” is typically an undefined term, leaving it to insurers, insureds, and sometimes the courts to define. In Florida, federal district courts had come...more

Judge Finds GenOn Power Plant Suit is Like School on a Saturday … No Class.

A Pennsylvania federal judge recently struck the class allegations from a suit brought against GenOn Power Midwest LP, alleging that its coal-fired power plant released toxic emissions that damaged surrounding property. Even...more

Texas Claims Are Getting Nasti: The Insured’s Burdens

Texas courts have long taken the position that “[w]hen covered and excluded perils combine to cause an injury, the insured must present some evidence affording the jury a reasonable basis on which to allocate damages.”...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds Not All Damage Is “Structural Damage” For Purpose Of A Sinkhole Claim

In Hegel v. The First Liberty Insurance Corporation, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 3024 (11th Cir. Feb. 27, 2015), the Eleventh Circuit reversed summary judgment in favor of the homeowners because the trial court applied an improper...more

The Latest on Major Defense Verdicts in Arizona

What’s the latest news on Arizona’s civil defense verdicts? Here are some interesting defense verdicts from 2014: - Steak Out Restaurant & Saloon, L.L.C. et al. v. Old Lobos T&T, L.L.C. et al. Steak Out Restaurant...more

Sixth Circuit: Growing Marijuana is Not the Same as Buying a Houseplant or Entertaining Visitors

Half of the states in this country have now legalized marijuana for medical use, and that has led to a number of small-scale growing operations in policyholders’ homes.  While not nearly as dangerous as cooking meth on the...more

Florida Court Holds Arson is a Type of Excluded Vandalism and Malicious Mischief

Earlier this month a unanimous Florida appellate court joined a number of other states that have held that an all-risk policy exclusion for vandalism and malicious mischief operates to bar coverage for an arson loss. ...more

Land Subsidence Damage Caused by Groundwater Withdrawals in Arizona: Who Pays?

Land subsidence is a problem that affects many areas of the world, with well-publicized case studies in Mexico City, Tokyo, and certain areas within California and Arizona. ...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending February 20, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Sinkhole/Appraisal: reversing non-final order compelling appraisal of sinkhole claim because one is not appropriate under section 631.54(3)(c), Florida Statutes – Fla. Ins. Guar. Ass’n, Inc. v....more

Water District Not Liable In Inverse Condemnation When Water Pipe Breaks and Damages Property

California’s infrastructure is aging. There have been numerous reports of water line breaks and gas line leaks, and public agencies have been moving quickly to upgrade their utilities to minimize these risks and satisfy...more

Insurance Recovery Law - February 2015

California Court Adopts Broad Interpretation of “Occurrence,” Finds Coverage - Why it matters: In a victory for policyholders—and a continuation of the trend of courts adopting a broad reading of the term “occurrence”...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Bright-Line Trigger Of Coverage Approach In First-Party Property Disputes

In Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., 771 F.3d 1026, 1030 (7th Cir. Wis. 2014), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals applying Wisconsin law set forth an analysis for determining trigger of coverage in first-party property...more

Part 36 Offer Taken Into Account On Costs Even Though Beaten At Trial

In Sugar Hut Group Ltd & ors v AJ Insurance [2014] EWHC 3775 (Comm) Eder J applied the court's general discretion to decide on the appropriate costs payable to a successful claimant. CPR Part 44 was applied to take into...more

Missouri Federal Court Cuts Claims in Pipeline Property Damage Action

Underscoring the need for plaintiffs to show concrete proof of harm in suits alleging property damage, a federal district court dismissed a suit alleging that an oil pipeline contaminated farmland in Missouri. See Henke v....more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds First Manifestation Coverage Trigger Applies to Property Damage Case

In Penn Nat’l Mut’l Ins. Co. v. St. John, 2014 Pa LEXIS 3313 (Pa Dec. 15, 2014), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that coverage was triggered under a commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy “when property damage...more

Don’t Mess With Texas Adjusters In Hail Damage Claims

Texas hail claim policyholder lawyers, like many plaintiffs’ lawyers, clearly prefer to be in state court rather than federal court. To accomplish this and prevent the defendant insurer from properly removing the lawsuit to...more

No Manifestation Destiny: The Seventh Circuit Declines to Set a Standard Trigger Rule for First-Party Property Policies

Property damage can be sudden and dramatic, but it can also be subtle and insidious, and that can make it hard to identify the moment when properly coverage is implicated. As a result, courts have recognized several...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules No Time Bar for Spill Act Contribution Claims

In a unanimous decision on January 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, in Morristown Associates v. Grant Oil Co., overturned two lower-court decisions and held that the six-year statute of limitations for damage to...more

Client Alert: Michigan Insurance Company Not Subject to Personal Jurisdiction in California for Losses Suffered in Arkansas

In Greenwell v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co. (No. C074546, Filed 1/27/2015) (“Greenwell”), the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, held a California resident could not establish specific personal jurisdiction over...more

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