Property Insurance

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Coverage to Rebuild a Foundation to Comply with Changed Building Codes Following a Fire are Subject to Code-Upgrade Endorsement’s...

Does the efficient proximate cause rule serve to afford coverage for the additional costs to rebuild the foundation of a home in compliance with changed building code requirements beyond the sublimit of liability of an...more

Claims Journal Names Hail Top-Trending Story of 2016; Steven Badger Quoted

Claims Journal has named their top-five national trending stories affecting the property casualty claims industry in 2016, and hail tops the list. The video segment on the Claims Journal website notes...more

Court Affirms Summary Judgment Holding Insurance Agent Owed No Fiduciary Duties To Insured

In Brown v. Carrell, homeowners filed suit against their insurance agent over damages to their home from Hurricane Ike. No. 09-15-00016-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 13782 (Tex. App.—Beaumont December 29, 2016, no pet. history)....more

Appraisal is an Appraisal is an Appraisal, Except in Mass.

Like Gertrude Stein’s “rose”, an appraisal is an appraisal is an appraisal except in Massachusetts. Massachusetts’ version of appraisal is a statutory process named “reference.” Although a reference proceeding is very similar...more

Unlike Friendships, Policy Exclusions Are Not Severable In West Virginia

A homeowners insurance policy often covers every member of a family, and many policies state that the insurance applies separately to each insured. The same policies usually exclude coverage for intentional acts. But what...more

San Antonio Hail Suit Standing Orders: Here We Go Again!

Standing orders are orders that apply in every case relating to a particular subject matter. They commence as soon as suit is filed, even though neither party requests entry of an order. While predominantly found in divorce...more

Florida, Sebo and the Concurrent Causation Doctrine

The Florida Supreme Court recently issued a widely reported decision, Sebo v. American Home Assurance Co., which applied the concurrent cause doctrine in ruling that an all-risk homeowner’s insurance policy provides coverage...more

Fifth Circuit Clarifies Claims Handling Quandary: When Does a Cause of Action Accrue?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a per curiam opinion in De Jongh v. State Farm Lloyds, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21432 (5th Cir. 2016) that clarified a typical but potentially tricky question involving...more

The Supreme Court - December, 2016 #2

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in three cases today: Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-777: A jury found that smartphones manufactured by petitioner Samsung infringed respondent Apple...more

Competing Causes of Loss: Florida Supreme Court Issues Decision Applying The Concurrent Causation Doctrine

We have discussed on a number of occasions the issue of causation when there are multiple causes of loss, some covered and some not covered. Most jurisdictions apply what is known as the efficient proximate cause analysis...more

Hurricane Sandy, Flood, and Sewer Backup: New Jersey Federal Court Confirms Anti-Concurrent Causation Bars Insured’s Claim

As we have written about before on this blog, the water damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 gave rise to important questions concerning the applicability of so-called “anti-concurrent causation” clauses. Such was...more

Florida Supreme Court Decides that Concurrent Causes Equal Coverage

It’s said that “defeat is an orphan,” but insurable losses often have multiple, concurrent causes. In some cases, one or more of those causes might be outside the scope of coverage, either by omission or exclusion. In Sebo v....more

Ask the Public Adjustor: Covering Life with Wisdom*

Dear Public Adjustor: I’m often proud of my dad, like when he stood up to the PTA about The Catcher in the Rye. But lately he has me worried. He’s sacrificed an entire season’s corn crop to build a ballfield in the...more

Repeated Use of Defective Fireplace Triggers Duty to Defend Even if Active Fire Does Not Break Out Until After End of Policy...

In Tidwell Enterprises v. Financial Pacific Ins. Co. (No. C078665, filed 11/29/16), a California appeals court held that that even though a house fire occurred after the policy period, there was nonetheless a possibility of...more

Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co.

The Florida Supreme Court’s opinion in Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co. is important for two reasons: It modifies the allowable use of a presumption established in Florida’s statutory sinkhole scheme; and it explains, and perhaps...more

Rhode Island Regulation 68, Voluntary Restructuring of Solvent Insurers Act

Recently Rhode Island revised its Voluntary Restructuring of Solvent Insurers Act as implemented by DBR Regulation 68. This was, in many respects, modeled after the UK’s Part VII Transaction, which, subject to court approval,...more

Title Bout: Second Circuit Limits Parties’ Control Over Construction Of Policies

Like other contracts, insurance policies are divided into parts, and most of the parts appear under headings or captions. A separate contract term (known as a “titles clause” or a “headings clause”) sometimes specifies that...more

When It Rains, It Pours. When It Pours, It Floods. Is there Insurance Coverage for Your Resulting Losses?

The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, which is coming to a close, has been quite active (translation: destructive and costly). So far, there have been fourteen named storms this season. Six of them were hurricanes, three of...more

What's a Court to Consider After a Post-Suit Payment?

Most first-party insurance lawsuits are accompanied by a claim for attorneys’ fees based on section 627.428, Florida Statutes. The operative language of this statute has been part of Florida law for over a century, and the...more

Florida Sinkhole Statute And Recovery Of Attorneys’ Fees Without Bad Faith: Florida Supreme Court Reverses The 5th DCA And...

In Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co., 2016 Fla. LEXIS 2148 (Sept. 29, 2016), the Florida Supreme Court determined that the 5th DCA misapplied and misinterpreted two statutes, the first providing a presumption of correctness to the...more

HUD Advocates Broad “Disparate Impact” Liability for P&C Insurers

In February 2013, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development adopted a “Discriminatory Effects Rule,” which established liability under the Fair Housing Act for conduct that is otherwise lawful, but which has a...more

IN Catastrophes: Preparing for Hurricane Matthew Claims in the Carolinas

Thousands of homes and other buildings both on the coast and in the interior of the Carolinas have been damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, and ongoing flooding continues to cause damage and hinder recovery efforts. By...more

State-law Based Claims Against Parties Other than the United States Seeking Damages Arising Out of the Procurement of Flood...

Harris v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, __ F.3d __, 2016 WL 4174381 (6th Cir. Aug. 8, 2016) - Case at a Glance - Plaintiffs purchased a home located in a federal flood zone, but they did not purchase...more

Important Insurance Coverage Considerations for Losses Caused by Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew hammered the south eastern United States from October 6 through October 9, before finally veering off into the Atlantic. Matthew devastated parts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina...more

Post-Hurricane Matthew: Insurance Statutes and Regulations

Because Hurricane Matthew claims may be taking you and your colleagues to several different states, we thought it might be helpful to bear in mind the different claims adjusting standards and regulations in those states that...more

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