Property Damage

News & Analysis as of

Workmanship and Earth Movement Exclusions Preclude Coverage for Collapse As a Matter of Law

A U.S. federal district court recently granted Peerless Insurance’s summary judgment motion, concluding that, as a matter of law, under Virginia law, a property policy insuring a building under renovation would not provide...more

Is a Rock a Landslide? Montana Supreme Court Says Yes

In a recent decision, the Montana Supreme Court upheld application of an Earth Movement exclusion to bar coverage for damage to a home when a single large boulder rolled down a hill and smashed into it. In doing so, the court...more

Property Tax and Valuation Topics: Summer 2016

Interim “Watch Tower” Revaluation After High Sale Upheld - The last citywide revaluation conducted by Milford was as of October 1, 2011. On that date, the residential property at 19 Beach Avenue was valued by the...more

Prevailing in an Era of Regulatory Enforcement – Balancing Risk and Compliance [Expect Focus – Vol. II, July 2016]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT - - SEC Sanctions Unregistered EB-5 Investments Broker SECURITIES - - FINRA to Assess Member Firms’ Culture - SEC Seeks Fund Responses to Distribution-In-Guise Guidance...more

Don’t Mess with the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act: One Court’s Appraisal Result

Virtually all property insurance policies contain an appraisal clause, which outlines the appraisal procedure in broad terms. Those broad terms sometimes do not provide much guidance about the process, or about the effect...more

Recent Florida Legislation Will Allow for Creation of Specialty Sinkhole Coverage Lines

The Florida Legislature passed legislation this session that allows specialty limited sinkhole coverage. According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, Florida has more sinkholes than any other U.S. state. As such,...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds Insurer Is Entitled To Subrogation Despite Fact That Insured Was Not “Made Whole”

In Dufour v. Progressive Classic Ins. Co., 2016 WI 59 (Wis. 2016), Dairyland Insurance Company’s insured sustained physical injuries and damage to his vehicle following an automobile accident with an underinsured tortfeasor....more

Latest Developments in Arbitration for the Construction Law Practitioner

G. T. Leach Builders V. Sapphire V.P.: Non-Signatories’ Right to Compel Arbitration; Waiver of Right to Arbitrate - By far, the most recent, significant arbitration development for construction law practitioners was the...more

New York Appellate Court Finds “Electronic Data” Exclusion Applies to Data Breach

The computer network of a Five Guys Burger franchise, RVST Holdings, LLC (RVST), was hacked. Customers’ credit card information was stolen and used to make numerous fraudulent charges. Trustco Bank brought an action against...more

More Common Sense: Coverage for Collapse Requires More Than an Engineer’s Finding of Substantial Impairment

In February this blog commented on Washington State’s newly-adopted definition of “collapse” in property insurance policies that contain no specific definition of the term. (Observer, February 8, 2016, Common Sense Prevails: ...more

Western District of Virginia Confronts Several Legal Issues That Frequently Impact Multi-Party Construction Disputes – Economic...

Allstate Insurance Company v. Structures Design/Build, LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34349 (WD VA March 17, 2016) - This construction dispute case arises from a failed pipe connector that caused water damage to a facility...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Narrowly Interprets the “Permanent Property Insurance” Condition in a Builder’s Risk Policy

In Fontana Builders, Inc. v. Assurance Company of America, Case No. 2014AP821, 2016 WL 3526408 (Wis. Jun. 29, 2016), the Wisconsin Supreme Court addressed whether the purchase of a homeowner’s policy by the occupiers and...more

Drone Mapping the Way of the Future for Insurance Companies

Drone mapping provides insurance companies with an easy, fast and accurate method of documenting a scene and preserving key details while also letting the process of clean-up and reconstruction begin as quickly as possible....more

Insurance Coverage – Genuine Dispute as Defense to Bad Faith

Clayton D. Paslay, et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (June 27, 2016) - Under the genuine dispute doctrine, an insurer denying or delaying the payment of...more

Hybrid Property Policies: The Burden of Proof to Establish Policy Coverage and Exclusions

One coverage issue frequently arising under first-party property insurance policies entails a determination as to which party has the burden of proof to establish coverage, or to show the applicability and effect of a policy...more

July 4th Auto Accidents

While a time for celebration, the long Independence Day weekend can also bring with it a number of serious personal injuries, including car accidents from drinking and driving, illegal firework injuries, and dog bites....more

Federal Court in Maryland Denies Summary Judgment, Holding That Subcontract Provision Placing Responsibility for Property Damage...

Turner Constr. Co. v. BFPE Int’l, Inc., No. JKB-15-368, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39161 (D. Md. Mar. 25, 2016) - The University of Maryland Medical Center (“UMMC”) entered into a contract (the “Prime Contract”) with Turner...more

5th Circ. Brings Consistency to Improper-Joinder Analysis

Weather events in recent years have led to a surge of lawsuits seeking coverage for property damage. Often, in an effort to defeat diversity jurisdiction, a Texas resident will sue both a foreign insurance company and a...more

Is Anyone Home? Washington Supreme Court Interprets Two-Step Vacancy Endorsement

Disputes involving “vacancy” exclusions typically involve the appropriate definition of that word. The recently-decided case of Lui v. Essex Ins. Co., 2016 Wash. LEXIS 692 (Wash. June 9, 2016) presents a somewhat different...more

Contractual Waiver of Subrogation Applied to Owner’s Non-Work Property

After an insurer pays for a covered loss by an owner under a property policy the insurer generally has the right, whether under the common law, statute or the policy itself, to seek recovery of the payment from the...more

Common Law Indemnity Claim Affirmed on Justifiable Beliefs

Yesterday, the Arizona Court of Appeals issued an interesting opinion in Hatch Development v. Solomon. Hatch illustrated two key points in real estate and construction litigation: (1) a contractor’s indemnity does not always...more

Florida Court Declines to Apply a Multiplier as to Attorneys’ Fees in a First Party Insurance Coverage Dispute

In Fla. Peninsula Ins. Co. v. Wagner, 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 8262 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016), the Second District examined whether the trial court properly applied a multiplier as to attorneys’ fees after the insured homeowners...more

Florida Court Enforces Four Year Statute of Limitations For Work Performed by Window Installer

In Brock v. Garner Window & Door Sales, Inc., 187 So. 3d 294 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App., 2016), plaintiffs, Lawrence and Laura Brock (“Plaintiffs”) sued the contractor that installed windows on their home after they sustained water...more

New York Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Love Canal Claims

In its recent decision in Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Roy’s Plumbing, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75958 (W.D.N.Y. June 10, 2016), the United States District Court for the Western District of New York had occasion to consider...more

Tightening the Timeline for Original Condition: the First Circuit Denies Writ from Ruling Applying Subsequent Purchaser Doctrine...

In the watershed Corbello decision, the Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed a $33 million award—the cost to restore property valued at $108,000 to its “original condition” after it was damaged by oil and gas operations.  If...more

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