Property Damage

News & Analysis as of

Reading the Crystal Ball: Reservation of Rights Letters under South Carolina Law in the Wake of Harleysville Group Insurance v....

The South Carolina Supreme Court recently took a firm stance on what constitutes a sufficient reservation of rights letter in Harleysville Group Insurance v. Heritage Communities, Inc., et al., — S.E.2d — , No. 2013-001281,...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court adopts narrow interpretations of surface water exclusion and ensuing loss clause

In the Ridgewood Group LLC v Millers Capital Insurance Company, No. 1138 EDA 2016, February 27, 2017, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania analyzed two often troublesome policy provisions, the surface water exclusion and the...more

Seventh Circuit Finds Faulty Work Not a Covered “Occurrence”

In Allied Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Metro North Condo. Ass’n, No. 16-1868, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4107 (7th Cir. Mar. 8, 2017), the Seventh Circuit had occasion to consider whether claims of faulty workmanship could constitute...more

Texas Supreme Court Addresses The Causation Requirement For A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim And Conspiracy, Aiding And Abetting...

In First United Pentecostal Church of Beaumont v. Parker, a church hired an attorney to defend it against sexual abuse allegations. 2017 Tex. LEXIS 295 (Tex. March 17, 2017). During the same time, the church also engaged the...more

Insureds Cannot Shift Burden To Identify Claimed Damage

The first-party insurance claims process has always been pretty simple for the typical insured: call the agent to report a claim, identify and quantify the claimed damage, work cooperatively with the insurance adjuster to...more

The Graber Opinion is Confirmed as an Outlier in Matters Involving Texas Appraisals

With the continued onslaught of hail and other weather related litigation in Texas, insurance carriers often elect to resolve claims through the appraisal process outlined in the policy. Insurance carriers historically...more

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

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

Damn Ice Dams

After over 2 feet of snow was dumped on most of New England in the beginning of February, the submission of those “damn” ice dam claims may start at any moment. Record high temperatures may have melted the snow in a blink of...more

Defence & Indemnity - February 2017: I. INSURANCE ISSUES B.

B. The wording “as a result of a peril insured against” in an insurance policy will be interpreted to include damage that happens as a direct result of the insured peril (increased cost to bring a damaged building up to code)...more

Oregon Supreme Court Rules Insurer May Owe Attorney Fees Even After Settlement

The Oregon Supreme Court, in Long v. Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon, ruled that “when an insured files an action against an insurer to recover sums owing on an insurance policy and the insurer subsequently pays the...more

California’s Storms Are Not California Dreaming

- It is essential to keep track of deadlines mandated under policies. - Keep in mind that several types of insurance—not just property insurance—may cover flood and storm-related losses (such as property damage, loss of...more

Who Would Face Liability For Oroville Dam Management?

On Feb. 12, 2017, the Butte County, California, sheriff ordered the evacuation of more than 180,000 people in the communities surrounding California’s Oroville Dam after officials spotted severe erosion in the dam’s emergency...more

When it Rains it Floods: California Rainstorms and Flood Insurance

Until very recently, the scarcity of water and the decline in oil prices in California prompted the joke that oil was being used as fracking fluid to get water out of the ground. In the last week, however, so much rain has...more

A Reprieve from the Deluge of Hail Litigation in Texas

In recent years, the number of Texas lawsuits arising from hail-damage claims to residential and commercial properties has reached staggering levels, leaving the courts in several Texas counties struggling to keep up with...more

Thunder and Lightning: Very, Very Frightening

The title for greatest reaper of catastrophe losses in the United States does not go to the hurricane, blizzard or ice storm but to the much more common thunderstorm. Thunderstorms don’t get cute names from The Weather...more

Contractor not liable following tunnel collapse

A recent Scottish case absolved a contractor from liability for the collapse of a tunnel as part of a hydroelectric scheme. This was because the contractor exercised reasonable skill and care, and did not guarantee the...more

Court Affirmed Dismissal Of Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims Against Condo Board Members

In Brown v. Hensley, a condominium complex was damaged by a hurricane, and the board of the complex allowed the complex to be demolished. No. 14-14-00981-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 727 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] January...more

California Court Holds Continuous Progressive Injury Exclusion Applicable to Construction Defect Claim

In its recent decision in Saarman Construction, Ltd. v. Ironshore Specialty Ins. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13633 (N.D. Cal. Jan 31, 2017), the United States District Court for the Northern District of California had occasion...more

Dallas Court of Appeals Reverses $2.9 Million Jury Verdict, Finding Insufficient Evidence of Intent

In 2014, the jury awarded $2.9 million to plaintiff landowners in Lisa Parr et.al. v. Aruba Petroleum, Inc., a case involving alleged hydrocarbon exposure due to hydraulic fracturing operations. Earlier this week, the Dallas...more

Hawaii Bill Proposes Parametric Disaster Insurance Pilot Program

On January 23, 2017, Hawaii lawmakers introduced a bill to establish a pilot parametric disaster insurance program aimed at preventing potential liquidity gaps between federal assistance and total economic losses in the event...more

Emotional Distress Damages Not Distinct from “Annoyance and Discomfort” Damages in Case Arising from 2007 California Wildfires

In Hensley v. San Diego Gas & Elec. Co., (No. D070259, filed 1/31/17), the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District held that emotional distress damages are available on claims for trespass and nuisance as...more

Global Hail—Australia

Storms that produce large hailstones (greater than 2cm in diameter) occur often in Australia, most commonly in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Losses from severe convective storms (tornadoes, hail,...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

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

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

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