Property Damage

News & Analysis as of

Court Holds That Trimming of Neighbor’s Trees is Not an Insured Accident or Occurrence

In Albert v. Mid-Century Insurance Co. (No. B257792, filed 4/28/15, ord. pub. 5/20/15), a California Court of Appeal held that an insured’s trimming of a neighbor’s trees which allegedly damaged the trees was not an accident...more

Sixth Circuit Refuses to Create a Cause of Action for Reverse Bad Faith

In an opinion handed down last week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to adopt a new cause of action under Kentucky law for a reverse bad faith claim by an insurer against its insured where the Kentucky Supreme...more

Florida High Court Set to Clarify When an Insured Is Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees When an Insurer Initially Denies a Sinkhole...

On April 15, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of Omega Insurance Co. v. Johnson, No. 5D13-1701, 2014 WL 4375189 (Fla. 5th DCA Sept. 5, 2014), which found that an insured was not entitled to an award of...more

Arizona Court: Argument that All Business Income Loss Caused by a Wildfire is Covered is “Off Base”

Several weeks ago in White Mt. Communities Hosp., Inc. v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1755372, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50900 (D. Ariz., Apr. 17, 2015), an Arizona federal court underscored that business interruption losses...more

Texas High Court Clarifies Multiple Perils Coverage Scope

Often damage to a building or structure can be the result of multiple perils. One of the most common examples is when a windstorm causes a building to sustain both flood and wind damage. Based on the policy language at issue,...more

Middle District of Pennsylvania: No Bad Faith Where Insurer’s Brief Inspection Yielded Reasonable Basis to Deny Claim

Boulware v. Liberty Ins. Corp., No. 3:13-CV-1541, 2015 WL 1219283 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 17, 2015). After a portion of the insured’s deck collapsed, the insurer denied coverage based on a brief inspection without hiring an...more

New Jersey Court Applies Continuous Trigger Theory and Finds That No Coverage Is Available Because Damage Manifested Prior to...

In Cypress Point Condo. Ass’n. v. Selective Way Ins. Co., 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 721 (March 30, 2015), the New Jersey Law Division dismissed a declaratory judgment action filed against an insurer for a framing...more

Supreme Court of Texas Examines an Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause for the First Time

In JAW The Pointe, L.L.C. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 2015 Tex. LEXIS 343 (Tex. Apr. 24, 2015), the Supreme Court of Texas had occasion to consider an insurance clause that federal courts and lower courts of appeals have...more

Coverage Not Limited to Schedule of Locations in Fight Over Dam Liabilities

In C. Brewer & Co., Ltd. v. Marine Indem. Ins. Co. of Am., No. SCWC-28958 (Haw. Mar. 27, 2015), the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled that liability coverage is not limited to only those locations defined in an insurer’s schedule...more

Smelly Cat – Closely-Divided New Hampshire Supreme Court Addresses Whether Cat Urine Is a Pollutant

Last Friday, New Hampshire’s highest court unanimously held that the pungent aroma of cat urine could constitute physical loss or damage under a property policy. In Mellin v. Northern Security Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1869572, 2015...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - April 2015

In This Issue: - En Banc Mississippi Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer, Adjuster and Employer on Bad Faith Claims Arising from Denial of Coverage and Benefits for Work-Related Injury -...more

Texas Supreme Court Enforces Anti-Concurrent Causation, Bars Coverage Where Wind and Flood Combine to Cause the Loss

Last Friday, Texas’ highest court unanimously endorsed lower court and federal court decisions giving effect to anti-concurrent causation (ACC) clauses and held that such provisions bar coverage where a combination of an...more

Court Denies Insurer’s Request To Arbitrate

In a case involving a dispute arising from a fire at the Wisconsin County Courthouse, a Wisconsin federal court issued an order denying Lexington Insurance Company’s motion to participate in an arbitration between the two...more

Insurance Recovery Law - April 2015 #2

Policyholder Can Keep Selected Counsel, Court Rules; Insurers’ Objection Too Late - Why it matters: A policyholder was able to maintain its selected defense counsel after a federal court judge ruled that the insurers’...more

A New Twist in the California Debate Over Allegedly Inadequate Replacement Cost Limits in Homeowners’ Policies

The April 8, 2015 decision of the California Court of Appeals in Ass’n. of Cal. Insurance Companies v. Jones, 2015 WL 1569669, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 298 (Cal.Ct.App., Apr. 8, 2015) held that the state’s Insurance Commissioner...more

Construction Case Law Update - April 2015 #2

Commercial General Liability Policies; “Injury-in-fact” vs. “Manifestation” as Trigger for Coverage; “Your Work” Exception – A CGL policy’s “Your Work” exclusion precludes coverage for defective installation when no damage...more

Texas Court Talks Insurance And Actual Cash Value

When an insured suffers a property loss, the insurance policy defines the parameters of recovery. Typically, a property insurance policy’s default valuation provision for a property loss is the actual cash value of the...more

Squatter’s Warming Fire in Vacant Home Held Not to be Vandalism by Divided California Court

In February, we published a Post about a Florida decision that aligned that state with the clear majority of American courts that have held that the destruction of property by an intentionally set fire is encompassed within...more

The Eleventh Circuit Holds that for Sinkhole Losses, Structural Damage ? Any Damage to a Structure

The land in Florida is prone to sinking and insurance companies must often scramble for solid footing on which to anchor the scope of coverage for sinkhole losses. In Hegel v. First Liberty Insurance Corporation (11th Cir....more

Construction Case Law Update - April 2015

The fraud statute of repose does not bar fraud claims when the jury finds no evidence of the plaintiff’s reliance during the repose period, because it is the defendant’s last action or omission that triggers the fraud repose...more

Fracking: Not “Abnormally Dangerous” Says Middle District of PA

Civil liability for damages normally requires evidence of a defendant’s negligence as the cause of the property damage or injury involved....more

Insurers Argue Damage by Meteor is all that is Covered in a CGL

In a decision out of the Superior Court in Delaware, Judge Rocanelli bought a favorite insurance industry argument so extreme, several state legislatures (including Colorado and South Carolina) have passed laws overruling...more

The Perilous 'Superperil' Ruling In NJ Storm Surge Case

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Essex County's ruling in Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. v. Ace American Insurance Co. on March 23 follows a line of thought advanced by many policyholder lawyers that included a...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions - March 2015

HOW TO USE THIS CASE SERVICE - When you receive your summaries, each page will have an alphabetical letter located in the upper right-hand corner. Each alphabetical letter corresponds to a separate subject matter...more

New Jersey Spill Act: No Statute of Limitations After All

Several months ago we wrote about a then-pending challenge before the New Jersey Supreme Court over the question of whether the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (the “Spill Act”), N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq. was...more

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