Property Damage

News & Analysis as of

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

Unanimous Washington Supreme Court: No Coverage for Water Damage to Vacant Building

The Washington Supreme Court, often described as pro-policyholder, issued a unanimous decision in favor of an insurance company on June 9, 2016: Lui v. Essex Insurance Company, No. 91777-9 (Wash., Jun. 9, 2016). Addressing a...more

Alabama Puts The Mystery Back Into All-Risk Coverage

Insuring property against loss creates an unavoidable moral hazard: policyholders often have an incentive to cause or allow their property to disappear. Early efforts to limit insurers’ exposure to that risk—such as requiring...more

Broad but not Ambiguous: Eighth Circuit Weighs In On Water Below The Surface Exclusion  

An exclusion in a homeowner’s policy for loss resulting from “water . . . below the surface of the ground” is not limited to naturally occurring water, according to a recent decision of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in...more

Product Liability Verdicts in Arizona

Product liability cases show a strong defense trend in Arizona. Since 2011, Arizona juries have given twelve defense verdicts and three plaintiff’s verdicts. Here are all of the Arizona product liability verdicts over the...more

Case Reminds Insurance Agents to Review Process of Receiving Approval from Insureds Before Submitting Applications to Carriers

Schmidt v. Indiana Insurance Co., No. 22S01-1507-PL-412, Supreme Court of Indiana, December 2, 2015 - Plaintiff was the owner of a house in which he allowed his cousin to live from 2007 to 2009. When the cousin moved...more

NY Appellate Court Rules “Blanket Ordinance or Law Coverage” not as Blanket as Insured Hoped

In 1947, some Bedouin shepherd boys were tending their sheep and goats near the ancient settlement of Qumran, near the Dead Sea. One of the boys threw a rock into an opening on the side of a cliff and heard something break. ...more

Agent Had No Duty to Produce Additional Insurance Coverage For Lost Rent and Soft Cost Without a Specific Request

Professional Lines Alert - APM, LLLP v. TCI Insurance Agency, Inc., No. 20150243, Supreme Court of North Dakota, March 15, 2016 - Plaintiff, a property management company, was seeking a builder's risk insurance...more

Do You Have to Use the Insurance Company’s Preferred Body Shops?

If a vehicle is repairable after an auto accident, it will be necessary to take it to a body shop for a repair estimate. The insurance company that’s handling the accident claim may suggest their preferred body shops for...more

Michigan Consumer Protection Act Claims Do Not Require Proof of Intent to Deceive

Because the Michigan Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) was derivative of common law fraud, many have argued that all claims brought under the MCPA require a plaintiff to prove fraud-like elements in order to create liability...more

Hurricane Season: Time to Determine Whether You're Covered for Weather

June 1 brings the beginning of the 2016 hurricane season. These storms have the potential to cause devastating damage for companies who own property such as apartment buildings, hotels, factories, retail outlets, warehouses...more

Court Cannot Divide An Offer To Settle

In Sugar Hut Group Ltd & ors v A J Insurance Service [2016] EWCA Civ 46, 3 February 2016, the Court of Appeal over-ruled the High Court’s judgment about how costs should be awarded where a claimant succeeds on only part of...more

Montana Supreme Court Revisits General Liability Coverage for Construction Defect Claims

In its recent decision in Emplrs Mut. Cas. Co. v. Fisher Builders, Inc., 2016 MT 91 (Mont. Apr. 16, 2016), the Supreme Court of Montana had occasion to consider what constitutes an “occurrence” in the context of a defective...more

Texas Hail Claims: Dealing With Multiple Disasters at Once

As reported in the national news, North Texas recently experienced multiple significant hail storms. This article will address some of the issues associated with insurance claims arising from multiple hail events over a short...more

New York’s Second Department Holds That Omission of Exclusion in Declination Letter Does Not Operate As Waiver

On April 6, 2016, New York’s Second Department issued a decision in Provencal, LLC v. Tower Insurance Company of New York, 2016 N.Y. App. LEXIS 2529 (Apr. 6, 2016) holding that an insurer does not waive application of an...more

Kentucky Court of Appeals Denies CGL Coverage For Damage To Property Other Than Insured’s Work

In Acuity v. Martin/Elias Props., LLC, 2016 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 237 (Ky. Ct. App. Mar. 25, 2016), the Court of Appeals of Kentucky held that commercial general liability insurer Acuity did not owe coverage for a claim that...more

What Constitutes ‘Physical Loss’ for Property Insurance?

In determining whether a property insurance policy responds to a loss, the fundamental, threshold question to be answered is whether or not the policyholder sustained “physical loss or damage” to insured property. In the...more

What Methods of Allocation Will Prevail in New York?

In the Matter of Viking Pump, Inc. and Warren Pumps LLC Insurance Appeals, No. CTQ-2015-00003 (NY) - Yesterday, on March 29, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, will hear oral argument on two...more

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