Property Damage

News & Analysis as of

Florida Appellate Court Rejects Bid to Curb Insureds’ Assignments to Contractors

Many property insurance policies contain terms that prohibit assignment, but Florida law has long deemed those terms inoperative once a loss has occurred. E.g., W. Fla. Grocery Co. v. Teutonia Fire Ins. Co., 74 Fla. 220...more

Appraisers’ Failure to Perform Assessment of Property’s Existence or Damage is Reversible Error

In Lee v. California Capital Insurance Co. (No. A136280; filed 6/18/15), a California Court of Appeal held that it was error for an appraisal panel to assign loss values to items simply because they were listed in the...more

Florida Federal Court Limits First Party Bad Faith Claims

First party bad faith actions in Florida must be pursued under §624.155 Florida Statutes because Florida does not recognize common law first party claims. The statute provides that an insured may bring a civil action against...more

Florida’s Third District Finds Existence of a Question of Fact Regarding Whether Notice of a Hurricane Claim was Timely Precludes...

In Laquer v. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, 2015 Fla. App. Lexis 7570 (Fla. 3d DCA May 20, 2015), the Third District reversed a trial court’s order granting partial summary judgment to an insurer because an...more

Supreme Court to Decide Class Action Issues Involving Settlement Offers to Named Plaintiffs, Statistical Sampling and Class Member...

I’ve been delayed a bit in reporting on this, but the October 2015 term of the U.S. Supreme Court is shaping up to be a blockbuster one for class action law. Perhaps even bigger than the October 2010 term, which brought us...more

Florida Supreme Court Holds Insurer Immune from Bad Faith Claims

On May 14, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court held that a government-created insurance company, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, was immune from statutory first-party bad faith claims. The Florida Legislature created...more

A House of a Different Color: The Changing Role of Appraisal Panels

Minnesota’s severe weather season is here. With that season comes the possibility of hail, heavy rain, lightning, and other weather-related threats that can quickly result in serious property damage to residential and...more

New Jersey State Court Rules Damage Caused by Superstorm Sandy Not Subject to Flood Sublimit

In a decisive victory for policyholders, Judge Thomas Vena of the Essex County Superior Court in New Jersey ruled that significant damages incurred by Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (“PSEG”) as a result of storm surge...more

Will Insurers Respond To The Texas Floods?

May 2015 was a month of record rain for Texas. Meteorologists reported that in May alone, 37.3 trillion gallons of water fell in Texas — enough to cover the entire state with 8 inches of water. The nonstop barrage has caused...more

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Intentional Acts

Shelly Albert v. Mid-Century Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (May 20, 2015) - Generally, when an act by an insured is intentional, Courts have consistently held that there is no...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Property Damage Directly Caused By Fire

In Stankova v. Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8935 (9th Cir. May 29, 2015), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Arizona law, had the opportunity to address the concept of...more

Ninth Circuit: Under Arizona Law Mudslide Can Be Covered as the Direct Result of Fire

Last Friday, a unanimous panel of the Ninth Circuit held that loss from the excluded peril of mudslide occurring one month after a wildfire could be covered as the “direct” result of the blaze. In Stankova v. Metropolitan...more

Defendants Saved by Louisiana Subsequent Purchaser Rule

Another Louisiana court has ruled that the Subsequent Purchaser Rule applies to damages following a mineral lease. In Bundrick v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. it is the 3rd Circuit. The Rule: An owner of property...more

California Court Considers Intentional Acts Exclusion in Homeowners Policy

In Albert v. Mid-Century Insurance Company, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 431 (April 28, 2015, status changed from published to unpublished May 20, 2015), the California Court of Appeal had occasion to consider whether the...more

Court Holds That Trimming of Neighbor’s Trees is Not an Insured Accident or Occurrence

In Albert v. Mid-Century Insurance Co. (No. B257792, filed 4/28/15, ord. pub. 5/20/15), a California Court of Appeal held that an insured’s trimming of a neighbor’s trees which allegedly damaged the trees was not an accident...more

Sixth Circuit Refuses to Create a Cause of Action for Reverse Bad Faith

In an opinion handed down last week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to adopt a new cause of action under Kentucky law for a reverse bad faith claim by an insurer against its insured where the Kentucky Supreme...more

Florida High Court Set to Clarify When an Insured Is Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees When an Insurer Initially Denies a Sinkhole...

On April 15, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of Omega Insurance Co. v. Johnson, No. 5D13-1701, 2014 WL 4375189 (Fla. 5th DCA Sept. 5, 2014), which found that an insured was not entitled to an award of...more

Arizona Court: Argument that All Business Income Loss Caused by a Wildfire is Covered is “Off Base”

Several weeks ago in White Mt. Communities Hosp., Inc. v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1755372, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50900 (D. Ariz., Apr. 17, 2015), an Arizona federal court underscored that business interruption losses...more

Texas High Court Clarifies Multiple Perils Coverage Scope

Often damage to a building or structure can be the result of multiple perils. One of the most common examples is when a windstorm causes a building to sustain both flood and wind damage. Based on the policy language at issue,...more

Middle District of Pennsylvania: No Bad Faith Where Insurer’s Brief Inspection Yielded Reasonable Basis to Deny Claim

Boulware v. Liberty Ins. Corp., No. 3:13-CV-1541, 2015 WL 1219283 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 17, 2015). After a portion of the insured’s deck collapsed, the insurer denied coverage based on a brief inspection without hiring an...more

New Jersey Court Applies Continuous Trigger Theory and Finds That No Coverage Is Available Because Damage Manifested Prior to...

In Cypress Point Condo. Ass’n. v. Selective Way Ins. Co., 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 721 (March 30, 2015), the New Jersey Law Division dismissed a declaratory judgment action filed against an insurer for a framing...more

Supreme Court of Texas Examines an Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause for the First Time

In JAW The Pointe, L.L.C. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 2015 Tex. LEXIS 343 (Tex. Apr. 24, 2015), the Supreme Court of Texas had occasion to consider an insurance clause that federal courts and lower courts of appeals have...more

Coverage Not Limited to Schedule of Locations in Fight Over Dam Liabilities

In C. Brewer & Co., Ltd. v. Marine Indem. Ins. Co. of Am., No. SCWC-28958 (Haw. Mar. 27, 2015), the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled that liability coverage is not limited to only those locations defined in an insurer’s schedule...more

Smelly Cat – Closely-Divided New Hampshire Supreme Court Addresses Whether Cat Urine Is a Pollutant

Last Friday, New Hampshire’s highest court unanimously held that the pungent aroma of cat urine could constitute physical loss or damage under a property policy. In Mellin v. Northern Security Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1869572, 2015...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - April 2015

In This Issue: - En Banc Mississippi Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer, Adjuster and Employer on Bad Faith Claims Arising from Denial of Coverage and Benefits for Work-Related Injury -...more

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