Property Damage

News & Analysis as of

Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal Holds “Wrongful Conduct” on Behalf of Insurer is Necessary Prerequisite to an Insured’s...

In Omega Insurance Co. v. Kathy Johnson, 2014 Fla. App. Lexis 13737 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. Sept. 5, 2014), the Fifth District reversed a Marion County trial court’s grant of attorneys’ fees based upon Omega’s...more

Property Insurance Law 101 – A Primer from Texas

On the Fourth of July in 2011, a fire damaged a nightclub in Beaumont, Texas. The fire was not unusual, but the lawsuits it generated—O’Quinn v. General Star Indemnity Company, No. 1:13-CV-471 (E.D. Tex. Aug. 5, 2014), and...more

Is That Covered? Insurer Refusal to Pay for Full Property Loss May Be Bad Faith

If you or your clients have ever had the experience of submitting a claim to an insurance company, you probably know how difficult it can be to get the insurance company to pay the full amount of damages. Even if the company...more

Construction & Land Use Newsletter - September 2014

In This Issue: - Water, Water, Everywhere - D.C. Office of Planning Takes a Stand Against Pop- Ups with New Zoning Text Amendment - Excerpt from Water, Water, Everywhere: Despite the lingering...more

Connecticut Supreme Court addresses insurer standing to pursue DJ against another insurer, “known injury” exclusion, allocation...

In Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of America v. The Netherlands Ins. Co., the Connecticut Supreme Court recently ruled on several significant insurance coverage issues, including whether an insurer has standing to pursue a...more

Florida: Coverage Determination, Not Breach of Contract, Permits Bad Faith Litigation

The risk of bad faith litigation continues to increase for insurance companies following a Florida court’s determination that an insurer’s confirmed liability for coverage and the scope of damages – but not breach of contract...more

The Napa Earthquake Reminds Us To Protect Insurance Rights in the Aftermath of Disaster

The August 24 earthquake in Napa Valley and the numerous after-shocks caused significant damage to businesses throughout the area. Although the overall financial impact directly attributed to damaged property at local...more

If Rainwater Lands Where it Doesn’t Belong, It’s Still “Surface Water” in the Eleventh Circuit

The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed a decision of the Southern District of Georgia, finding an insured’s claim for water damage fell within an exclusion for loss or damage caused by “surface water.” In Williams v. State...more

Insurance Coverage for Businesses Affected by the Napa Earthquake

As the Napa Valley community begins the process of repairing damage and healing from injuries and losses related to the earthquake that struck on August 24, 2014, we extend our heartfelt wishes to those affected by the...more

Texas Limits Scope of Anti-Technicality Statute and Material Breach Doctrine in Vacancy Clause Case

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court handed down an opinion that involved two unique (and somewhat troublesome) creatures of state law – the so-called “anti-technicality” statute and the material breach doctrine – and in Greene...more

Florida Finds No Coverage For Property Damage Caused By Neighbor’s Corpse.

On August 20, 2014, the Florida Court of Appeals refused to reconsider its decision in Rodrigo v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co., No. 4D12-3410 (Fla. App. 4th Dist. April 23, 2014), that the insured breached the policy by not...more

Sixth Circuit Finds Excess Carrier Had Duty to Indemnify Insured for Property Damage Arising From Alleged Misrepresentations and...

In a decisively pro-policyholder decision issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in IMG Worldwide, Inc. v. Westchester Fire Ins. Co., Nos. 13-3832, 13-3837 (6th Cir. July 15, 2014), the court...more

Current Florida Sinkhole Statute Held to Apply Even Though Policy Used Prior Statute’s Formulation

Florida adopted a stringent, five-part definition of what constitutes a covered sinkhole loss in 2011, but many policies continue to employ the 2005 statutory formulation which merely defined “sinkhole loss” as “structural...more

Start Spreading the News: With National Union v. TransCanada, New York Prepares to Broadcast Communications with Coverage...

This is the third and final article about the decision of a New York appellate court in National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh v. TransCanada Energy USA, Inc., 119 A.D.3d 492 (1st Dep’t 2014). The first article discussed...more

Texas Court Lays Out a Useful Roadmap of the Defenses to a Hailstorm Claim

Hailstorm claims for damage to roofs often involve belated notification that an already old or damaged structure has been further compromised. In a recent Texas case, the court provided a primer for carriers confronting such...more

Start Spreading the News: With National Union v. TransCanada, New York Prepares to Broadcast Communications with Coverage...

This is the second article of a three-part series about the decision of a New York appellate court in National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh v. TransCanada Energy USA, Inc., 119 A.D.3d 492 (2014). The first article...more

The Napa Earthquake: Now Is The Time To Think About Insurance Coverage

In the aftermath of this weekend’s earthquake, we at Farella Braun + Martel would like to offer our insights. If you have a business that was affected by the earthquake, now is the time to look at your insurance policies,...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - August 2014

In This Issue: - Northern District of Texas Dismisses Bad Faith Claims in Well-Control Policy Dispute - District of South Dakota: Denying a Claim for Reasons Known to be False is Not a Reasonable Basis to Deny...more

Texas' Progressive Claim Affliction Is Treatable

A case recently considered by Texas' Thirteenth Court of Appeals illustrates a fact pattern becoming all too familiar in Texas first-party property insurance claims. The story goes something like this....more

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Statutory Definition of “Structural Damage” Applies to Homeowners Policy Issued after the...

In Shelton v. Liberty Mutual Fire Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 16120 (11th Cir., August 21, 2014), the Court addressed an often-contested issue regarding homeowner’s sinkhole insurance coverage. The Sheltons filed a claim...more

Trust but Verify: How are you Listed On Your Borrower’s Property Insurance Policy?

It is time to refresh recollections on a perennial issue: why a lender or mortgagee absolutely must be active and vigilant with respect to a borrower’s insurance policies. On August 7, the Dallas Court of Appeals decided...more

Suit Limitations Provisions are Enforceable. Except When They’re Not

When might a court find a reasonable and enforceable suit limitation provision neither reasonable nor enforceable? According to New York’s highest court, it’s when the provision would bar a claim to enforce the replacement...more

Ask the Public Adjustor: Covering Life with Wisdom*

In December 2010, after sharing a few drinks with his classmates, Josh began driving a dump truck that didn’t belong to him. The police of Stow, Ohio, asked Josh to pull over, but he led them on a 50-mile chase at speeds up...more

New York’s High Court Finds Contractual Limitation Period Unenforceable, Where it Places Policyholder in Impossible Catch-22...

How is a policyholder supposed to obtain coverage under a policy that requires the insured to bring its claim within two years of the loss and also imposes preconditions on bringing a claim that cannot reasonably be satisfied...more

“California’s Right To Repair Act Is Not A Homeowner’s Exclusive Remedy When Construction Defects Cause Actual Property Damage.”

The California Court of Appeals recently issued two decisions holding that California’s Right to Repair Act (“SB 800”) is not the exclusive remedy for a homeowner seeking damages for construction defects that have also...more

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