Property Insurance

News & Analysis as of

Oklahoma Holds Question of Whether Fracking Causes Earthquakes is for the Courts to Decide.

The issue of whether hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” causes earthquakes has first-party insurance implications because policies typically exclude damage from tremors attributable to man-made causes as opposed to purely...more

Florida Appellate Court Rejects Bid to Curb Insureds’ Assignments to Contractors

Many property insurance policies contain terms that prohibit assignment, but Florida law has long deemed those terms inoperative once a loss has occurred. E.g., W. Fla. Grocery Co. v. Teutonia Fire Ins. Co., 74 Fla. 220...more

Washington Supreme Court Addresses the Meaning of “Collapse”

Washington State has long been a jurisdiction with no judicial pronouncement as to the meaning of the term “collapse” in a property insurance policy. This changed on June 18, 2015, when the Washington Supreme Court issued its...more

Florida Federal Court Limits First Party Bad Faith Claims

First party bad faith actions in Florida must be pursued under §624.155 Florida Statutes because Florida does not recognize common law first party claims. The statute provides that an insured may bring a civil action against...more

Telematics and Usage-Based Insurance

The NAIC’s Center for Insurance Policy and Research (CIPR) released a white paper analyzing the future of "telematics" in premium rate-making by auto insurers. Telematics allow for the measurement of actual driving...more

It Means What It Says: Federal Court of Appeals Rejects Insurer Attempt to Read Limitations Into Additional Insured Endorsement

In the world of insurance coverage litigation, insurance companies like to accuse policyholders of attempting to expand coverage terms, or limit the scope of exclusions, beyond the language’s plain meaning. “The policy means...more

Florida’s Third District Finds Existence of a Question of Fact Regarding Whether Notice of a Hurricane Claim was Timely Precludes...

In Laquer v. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, 2015 Fla. App. Lexis 7570 (Fla. 3d DCA May 20, 2015), the Third District reversed a trial court’s order granting partial summary judgment to an insurer because an...more

Credit For Reinsurance Laws – 2015 Legislative And Regulatory Developments

During the first half of 2015, state legislatures and state insurance departments continued to revise state credit for reinsurance laws and regulations. The majority of these legislative and regulatory developments are due to...more

New York Court Denies Insurer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Based upon Undefined Term “Occurrence” in Policy

In Rafer Rokeach v. Hanover Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65801, *1-16 (S.D.N.Y. May 19, 2015), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York examined the undefined term “occurrence” in the deductibles...more

Texas Floods: What You Need To Know About Your Insurance

Texas has recently suffered historic flooding, causing tremendous damage and destruction in areas affected by heavy rain and floodwaters. Because of the damage sustained, commercial policyholders may have significant...more

IREG Update

State insurance commissioners take on price optimization - To date, four states—California, Florida, Maryland and Ohio—have issued formal bulletins and memoranda, prohibiting the practice of “price optimization” by...more

California Insurance-Related Bills Meet Deadline for Passage in 2015

The deadline for Assembly bills to be passed by the California Assembly and for Senate bills to be passed by the California Senate was June 5. Bills that met the deadline are eligible for enactment this year. Bills that...more

Florida’s Immune System: No First-Party Bad Faith Claims Against The State-Created Property Insurer

Earlier this month, in Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Perdido Sun Condominium Association, Inc., No. SC14-185 (Fla. May 14, 2015), the Supreme Court of Florida held that the immunity from suit granted to Citizens under...more

New Jersey State Court Rules Damage Caused by Superstorm Sandy Not Subject to Flood Sublimit

In a decisive victory for policyholders, Judge Thomas Vena of the Essex County Superior Court in New Jersey ruled that significant damages incurred by Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (“PSEG”) as a result of storm surge...more

Will Insurers Respond To The Texas Floods?

May 2015 was a month of record rain for Texas. Meteorologists reported that in May alone, 37.3 trillion gallons of water fell in Texas — enough to cover the entire state with 8 inches of water. The nonstop barrage has caused...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Property Damage Directly Caused By Fire

In Stankova v. Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8935 (9th Cir. May 29, 2015), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Arizona law, had the opportunity to address the concept of...more

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Immune to Statutory Bad Faith Claims

The Florida Supreme Court has decided unanimously that the Florida legislature did not intend for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (a state-created entity that provides property insurance) to be liable for statutory,...more

Courts Say There’s No Claim for “Reverse Bad Faith.” Could They Be Wrong?

Last month, in State Auto Property & Casualty Ins. Co. v. Hargis, No. 13-5020 (6th Cir. May 6, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit predicted that the Kentucky Supreme Court would not allow insurers to sue...more

Florida High Court Finds State Insurer Immune From Statutory Bad Faith Claims (updates article posted on Oct. 31, 2014)

After its property was damaged by a hurricane, Perdido Sun Condominium Association filed an insurance claim with Citizens Property Insurance Corp., a state-created entity that provides property insurance. Perdido Sun was not...more

Ninth Circuit: Under Arizona Law Mudslide Can Be Covered as the Direct Result of Fire

Last Friday, a unanimous panel of the Ninth Circuit held that loss from the excluded peril of mudslide occurring one month after a wildfire could be covered as the “direct” result of the blaze. In Stankova v. Metropolitan...more

Oklahoma Court Holds the Policyholder Can Also Be the Vandal

Earlier this week an Oklahoma federal court addressed a mortgagee’s claim for vandalism loss – a topic we also discussed in Wednesday’s post. In American Modern Home Ins. Co. v. Tulsa Fed. Credit Union, 2015 WL 2372549, 2015...more

Illinois Court Holds Vacancy Clause Does Not Bar Vandalism and Theft Claim by Mortgagee

In a case of first impression in Illinois, a unanimous panel of the state’s Appellate Court recently addressed the interplay between a vacancy clause and a mortgagee provision and held that the insured’s failure to comply...more

The Flying Insurance Adjuster—Implications of Insurers’ Use of Drones

Insurers perform property inspections in connection with underwriting to determine if the property meets their standards for issuing coverage, and to determine the appropriate premium classification. Insurers inspect damaged...more

Iowa Court: Anti-Concurrent Causation Language Mandates That the Jury Determine Whether an Excluded Peril Was One Cause of the...

Last month, we discussed a recent Texas Supreme Court decision that enforced an anti-concurrent causation (ACC) clause.  The month of April also saw a unanimous panel on Iowa’s intermediate level appellate court do the same...more

Words Have Consequences: Insurer Narrowly Avoids Disclosing the Privileged Contents of Hundreds of Claim Files

It’s not news that plaintiffs’ lawyers contrive far-fetched rationales for rummaging through insurer’s records, but a recent case from South Dakota illustrates just how much discovery even flimsy arguments can...more

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