Property Insurance

News & Analysis as of

Avoiding Gamesmanship in Appointing Appraisal Umpires

Appraisal has long been utilized as a tool for resolution of disputes over the amount of loss at issue in property insurance claims. Unfortunately, the appraisal process has devolved in recent years. What was once considered...more

New Jersey Court Rejects Theory of Spoliation By Encouragement

Three years out, Superstorm Sandy litigation continues to wend its way through New Jersey’s courts.  Last weekend, a federal judge in the state handed a victory to the insurer in Stiso v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 2015 U.S....more

Insurers From Coast to Coast Notch Suit Limitation Victories

Over the last several months, courts in Washington, Kansas, and Virginia have awarded victories to carriers asserting a suit limitation defense, and there are three valuable takeaways from the decisions. First, the insurer...more

Florida Court Rejects Claim Replacement Of Undamaged Property Is Necessary For Aesthetic Uniformity

Late last week a federal court in Florida tossed a condominium association’s claims that it was entitled to replace undamaged hallway carpeting, wallpaper, baseboards, and woodwork in order to “achieve aesthetic uniformity”...more

Vermont Supreme Court Collapse Case Underscores Danger of Insuring Against the “Risk” of a Peril

Three months ago in Equinox on the Battenkill Mgmt. Ass’n. v. Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co., 2015 VT 98 (Vt., Aug. 7, 2015), Vermont’s highest court held that a policy insuring against the “risks of . . . collapse” affords...more

New Hampshire Federal Court Rules That England’s Statute Of Limitations Applies To A Cedent’s Breach Of Contract Claim

In a diversity action based upon breach of a facultative reinsurance certificate, a New Hampshire federal court recently held that England’s six-year statute of limitations governed a cedent’s contract claim, rejecting the...more

High Fire Season Followed by El Nino Sets California Policyholders on Collision Course With Property Insurers

Regular readers of the San Francisco Chronicle saw two familiar headlines in the September 10, 2015 issue of that paper. The first – “Northern California wildfire explodes in size”[1] – would not have been unusual on any...more

Minnesota Harmonizes the Mortgage Clause and the Vacancy Clause

Lat week, Minnesota’s highest court unanimously held that a mortgagee’s recovery for vandalism damage to a vacant building is only barred by the vacancy clause if the insured’s acts caused the vacancy. The decision is ...more

Food Recall Events: The Importance of Evaluating Your Insurance Coverage Before a Voluntary and Mandatory Food Recall

Food recalls are on the rise as consumer protection regulations become more stringent, and they can be costly events. There can be significant expenses associated with removing impacted products from stores; reimbursing...more

When an Exception to the “Mold Exclusion” Exposes Carriers to More Than Just Fungi or Bacteria

The recent New York City outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease (named for a 1976 outbreak of a type of pneumonia at an American Legion convention) has raised awareness of the illness. It has also renewed the courts’ interest in...more

Washington Federal Court Finds Assignment Of Replacement Cost Holdback Not Permitted Prior To Actual Rebuilding Or Replacement

In Sherard v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Am., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138548 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 9, 2015), Safeco Insurance (“Safeco”) issued a landlord insurance policy to Plaintiffs, Carol Sherard and Glenn Sherard for a rental house in...more

Utah Court: Seepage Over A Months-Long Period Is Excluded As Moral Hazard

Two weeks ago in Wheeler v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2015 WL 5714392, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131736 (C.D.Utah, Sep. 29, 2015), a Utah court barred coverage for a mold loss caused when a vacant log cabin suffered a long-term water...more

Doing Business in Australia: Infrastructure and Construction

DLA Piper has launched the second edition of "Doing Business in Australia: Infrastructure and Construction", a guide to the delivery of infrastructure in Australia. The guide looks at different procurement models including...more

When is a Vehicle Not a “Vehicle”?

Two police officers were riding in a police car that was struck by an intoxicated underinsured driver. The officer in the passenger seat suffered serious injuries that were inadequately compensated by the tortfeasor’s...more

Are Insurers Engaged in Deceptive Practices and Illegal Pricing? If so, what can be done about it?

We wish to call attention to a disturbing trend, that even in the highly regulated field of personal lines coverage, homeowners and auto policies, the insurance industry is engaged in courses of conduct designed to write...more

IREG Update - October 2015

Hot Topic - How Central United Life v. Burwell will affect the fixed indemnity market - Background - For many years, at least some state insurance regulators have sought to place limitations on the sale of fixed...more

Insurer Rolls A Gutter Ball On Claim That Insured Bowling Alley Waived Replacement Coverage

In Bowlers’ Alley, Inc. v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70090 (E.D. Mich. May 31, 2015), the insured bowling alley suffered flood damage that caused warping of several bowling alleys. The insured further claimed...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19359 - Persels & Associates, LLC v. Banking Commissioner - Noting that it has generally been the policy of the Courts to defer to the Legislature, especially as to the...more

State Data Breach Notification Requirements Specifically Applicable to Insurers

Almost all U.S. states and territories have enacted breach notification laws requiring private and/or government entities to notify individuals when their personal information is compromised....more

Symptoms of the Texas Progressive Claim Syndrome

Those familiar with the issues faced by insurers in Texas first-party insurance claims, particularly in the realm of hail damage claims, are undoubtedly aware of what has been labeled the "Progressive Claim Syndrome.” In a...more

It’s Not Their Fault: New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal of Nuisance and Trespass Claims in Environmental Context

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently clarified the elements needed to sustain a claim for nuisance and trespass in the environmental context. Generally, plaintiffs assert claims under common law such as nuisance and...more

Construction and Engineering Toolkit: Insuring Existing Buildings in Which and Next to Which Construction Work is to Take Place

This construction guide covers: -JCT contracts in real estate development -Minimum energy standards for letting buildings -Construction work adjacent to existing structures -Insuring the existing...more

Louisiana Court Grants Summary Judgment In Favor Of Insurer Based On Application Of Cooperation Clause

In Johnson v. GeoVera Specialty Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113838 (E.D. La. Aug. 27, 2015), the court granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer based upon the cooperation clause of the insurer’s...more

NAIC Report: 2015 Summer National Meeting

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) held its 2015 Summer National Meeting from August 13 through August 18 in Chicago, Illinois. The meeting was notable for the number of new insurance commissioners...more

Texas Federal Court Addresses Viability Of Extra-Contractual Claims Against Field Adjuster In Removal Dispute

A Texas federal court recently addressed the viability of extra-contractual claims against an individual field adjuster who had investigated a loss on behalf of an insurance company. In Mainali Corp. v. Covington Specialty...more

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