Property Insurance

News & Analysis as of

Prevailing in an Era of Regulatory Enforcement – Balancing Risk and Compliance [Expect Focus – Vol. II, July 2016]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT - - SEC Sanctions Unregistered EB-5 Investments Broker SECURITIES - - FINRA to Assess Member Firms’ Culture - SEC Seeks Fund Responses to Distribution-In-Guise Guidance...more

Don’t Mess with the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act: One Court’s Appraisal Result

Virtually all property insurance policies contain an appraisal clause, which outlines the appraisal procedure in broad terms. Those broad terms sometimes do not provide much guidance about the process, or about the effect...more

More Common Sense: Coverage for Collapse Requires More Than an Engineer’s Finding of Substantial Impairment

In February this blog commented on Washington State’s newly-adopted definition of “collapse” in property insurance policies that contain no specific definition of the term. (Observer, February 8, 2016, Common Sense Prevails: ...more

Serial Plaintiffs Are Filing Waves of Disability Cases

Hotels, restaurants and retail establishments have been flooded with new lawsuits filed by serial plaintiffs that allege that a property (a place of public accommodation) is in violation of Title III of the Americans with...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Narrowly Interprets the “Permanent Property Insurance” Condition in a Builder’s Risk Policy

In Fontana Builders, Inc. v. Assurance Company of America, Case No. 2014AP821, 2016 WL 3526408 (Wis. Jun. 29, 2016), the Wisconsin Supreme Court addressed whether the purchase of a homeowner’s policy by the occupiers and...more

Mississippi Supreme Court Rules In Insurer’s Favor In Windstorm Pool Assessment Dispute

In a dispute concerning a post-Hurricane Katrina assessment levied by a state-based windstorm pool, the Mississippi Supreme Court recently held that an insurer was entitled to submit revised information pertaining to its...more

Hybrid Property Policies: The Burden of Proof to Establish Policy Coverage and Exclusions

One coverage issue frequently arising under first-party property insurance policies entails a determination as to which party has the burden of proof to establish coverage, or to show the applicability and effect of a policy...more

Federal Court in Maryland Denies Summary Judgment, Holding That Subcontract Provision Placing Responsibility for Property Damage...

Turner Constr. Co. v. BFPE Int’l, Inc., No. JKB-15-368, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39161 (D. Md. Mar. 25, 2016) - The University of Maryland Medical Center (“UMMC”) entered into a contract (the “Prime Contract”) with Turner...more

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

Loss Payee Versus Lender’s Loss Payee: One Word Can Make All The Difference

When a lender makes a loan secured by personal property, it will perfect its interest in the collateral under applicable law. To further protect the value of the collateral supporting its loan, the lender will also require...more

The Second Circuit Requires Insureds To Be Truthful With Its Insurers

In a twist on the old adage, “bad facts make bad law”, the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company v. Great American Insurance Company of New York, Civil Action No. 14-1346-cv, 2016 WL 2943139 (2d...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

NAIC Report: 2016 Spring National Meeting

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) held its 2016 Spring National Meeting from April 1 through April 6 in New Orleans, Louisiana. As host, Louisiana provided beautiful weather and bountiful great food....more

What Constitutes an Unequivocal Denial of Coverage? New Jersey District Court Provides Some Guidance

Like most jurisdictions, New Jersey allows parties to an insurance contract to shorten the six-year statute of limitations for contract actions. See N.J.S.A. 2A:14-1 (“Every action at law . . . for recovery upon a...more

Colorado Takes A Stand Against Unauthorized Settlements

The “notice-prejudice” rule gives a pass to policyholders who breach the notice or cooperation provisions of their policies, if the breach is found not to have prejudiced the insurer. Sometimes, the late notice does not...more

The Latest on Late Notice in Texas Property Insurance

Texas hail season is in full swing and the courts are giving insureds (and their prospective attorneys) a lot to think about when it comes to turning in those claims. The eagerly awaited decision by the Fifth Circuit in...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

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds that a Person Violates the Insurance Fraud Statute Even if Insurer is Not Duped Into Paying a...

In the recent case of State of New Jersey v. Robert Goodwin, 224 N.J. 102, 129 A.3d 316 (N.J. 2016), the Supreme Court of New Jersey held that a person violates the insurance fraud statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4.6(a), even if he...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending April 29 & May 6, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Requests for Admission: trial court erred by involuntarily dismissing foreclosure action based solely on lender’s failure to respond to requests for admission because lender’s...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

Florida Regulators Approve Policy Language Aimed at Limiting “Assignments of Benefits” Claim Practice

Insurance companies that write property risks in Florida are getting in line to request approval from the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) for two key policy revisions intended to control losses from a water damage...more

Maximizing Insurance Recovery For Businesses Impacted By Recent Natural Disasters

There has been a spate of natural disasters throughout the world recently—from major earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador to torrential rainfall and flooding in Texas. These events have had devastating consequences, including the...more

Recent Washington Decisions Illustrate Need to Handle Property Claims in Timely Manner

An issue that often arises in the context of property insurance is whether a carrier’s delay in adjusting a claim can create a basis for a viable bad faith claim.  The law in each state is different and the prudent practice...more

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