Property Damage

News & Analysis as of

Florida’s Second District Evaluates Burden of Proof in Sinkhole Cases

In Mejia v. Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp., 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 19526 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Nov. 26, 2014), the Second District reversed a Pasco County trial court’s determination on the burden of proof applicable to a...more

Tenth Circuit: Property Damage Surrounding Defective Windows Is an “Occurrence” Because Damage Is Unexpected from Insured’s...

In Cincinnati Insurance Company v. AMSCO Windows, No. 13-4155 (10th Cir. November 26, 2014), Cincinnati insured AMSCO, which manufactures windows for use in homes and sells the windows to distributors. Certain AMSCO windows...more

Florida Court: Under All-Risk Policy, Insured Does Not Bear Burden of Showing Loss Was Caused by a Sinkhole

On November 26th, a unanimous panel of Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals held that a trial judge had erred in placing the burden of showing that loss was caused by covered sinkhole activity on the shoulders of the...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014

Texas Appeals Court Upholds $8.7M Verdict for Policyholder Against Broker - Why it matters: An appeals court in Texas upheld an $8.7 million jury verdict against a broker that procured coverage with significant...more

And Another Texas Court Realizes What The Hail Is Going On?

Another Texas court -- this time in the Valley -- has realized What The Hail Is Going On? Nino vs. State Farm Lloyds is identical to thousands of hail damage lawsuits presently pending in the Valley. Most of these...more

Seventh Circuit Declines to Issue Bright-Line Rule Regarding Trigger in First-Party Property Cases

The Seventh Circuit addressed Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. 21794 (7th Cir. November 18, 2014) on an appeal from the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The Strausses constructed a home in Mequon, Wisconsin in...more

Texas High Court Doesn’t Take Fishing Expedition Bait

There will be no more fishing in Texas in unrelated claim files. The Supreme Court of Texas has summarily ended any debate as to whether discovery of an insurer’s claim files for other policyholders is permissible — it is...more

The (Damaged) Freight Stops Here. (But Now What Do We Do With It?) The Pitfalls Of Salvage And Damage Mitigation

Unfortunately, amongst the millions of freight shipments of all modes that occur on a daily basis, some freight does get damaged. These damages spawn freight claims, and some of them generate litigation. A defense often...more

With Respect to Discoverability, Indiana Federal Court Distinguishes Between Pre-Suit and Post-Suit Reserves

In May, we reported on a Third Circuit decision holding that loss reserve information was generally irrelevant and not discoverable. In October, a federal court in Indiana came to the same conclusion with respect to...more

Full Credit Bid Causes Loss of Insurance Proceeds

A recent case serves as a reminder of one of many risks posed by making a full credit bid at a foreclosure sale: the lender may lose the right to recover insurance proceeds for pre-foreclosure damage to the foreclosed...more

As the Snowfall Comes to an End, Buffalo, New York Area Businesses Should Seek To Protect Their Insurance Rights

The Buffalo, New York, area has been devastated with record-setting levels of snowfall. In just a few days, the area has received a year’s worth of snow, with more than seven feet in some places. The heavy snow has led to...more

“Voluntary” ? “Obligatory”: Good Deeds Do Not Trigger Coverage

Liability policies typically provide coverage for amounts the insured “become[s] legally obligated to pay”—but they leave open the question of how that obligation should be determined. Judgments and settlements clearly...more

Apartment Complexity: Appellate Court Sorts Out Multiple Coverage Claims for Construction of Uninhabitable Residence

In QBE Ins. Corp. v. Adjo Contracting Corp. (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dep’t Oct. 29, 2014), an intermediate appellate court in New York confronted cross-appeals involving 15 different insurers embroiled in multiple lawsuits,...more

Insurance Alert: Insurer Delay Extends Time to Repair or Replace Damaged Property

In Stephens & Stephens XII v. Fireman's Fund Ins. (No. A135938, filed November 24, 2014), the plaintiffs obtained property insurance on a warehouse. Within a month, it was discovered to be stripped of all wiring and metal....more

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

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