News & Analysis as of

Property Insurance Property Damage

Subrogation Following a Hurricane is All Hands on Deck

Hurricane season began June 1st, and runs through November 30th. However, we are about 30 days from approaching the peak of hurricane season, when the season becomes its most active. Weather predictors are predicting an...more

Texas Passes Bill to Curb Hail Litigation

Texas governor Greg Abbott recently signed legislation designed to curb the state’s recent spate of hail litigation against homeowner’s insurers. The new legislation, House Bill 1774 (and its counterpart Senate Bill 10), will...more

WV Court Rules Earth Movement Exclusion Unambiguously Precludes Coverage Regardless of Whether Landslide Was a Man-Made or...

by Carlton Fields on

In Erie Insurance Property and Casualty Company v. Chaber, No. 16-0490 (W. Va. June 1, 2017), the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia reversed a lower court’s decision, holding that damage caused by a landslide was...more

Repair Cost Exceeding Actual Cash Value Does Not Establish “Total Loss” Under Fire Insurance Policy

In California FAIR Plan Assn. v. Garnes (No. A143190, filed 5/26/17), a California appeals court ruled that “total loss” under Insurance Code section 2051 refers to physical damage or loss, not the economic fact that the cost...more

Texas Legislature Votes to Restrict Policyholders’ Rights

by Reed Smith on

Texas lawmakers are now on the fast track to restrict policyholders’ rights when their insurance companies fail to pay property insurance claims arising out of weather events, such as storms involving heavy winds and hail....more

Insurance Takeaways From Texas’ New Hailstorm Bill

by Zelle LLP on

On Feb. 1, 2017, the Texas Department of Insurance published the results of its presentation to the Texas Legislature titled: “Interim Charges: The Cost of Weather-Related Property Claims and Related Litigation.” Notably, the...more

First Quarter Numbers for Property Insurers Look Bleak, But is it Too Early to Call it a Trend?

by Zelle LLP on

The insurance industry has been able, in the past few years, to avoid a string of major catastrophes like those in the early 2000’s. One might think that property insurers have gotten off easy. Appearances can be deceiving,...more

Suit Limitation Period In Standard Flood Insurance Policy Is Not Tolled By Filing In State Court: Hurricane Irene Claim Dismissed...

The terms and conditions of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (“SFIP”) are specified by regulations promulgated under the National Flood Insurance Act (“NFIA”). One of the terms in the SFIP provides that the insured cannot...more

When is a Flood a “Flood”: East Coast Edition

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Last month, heavy rainstorms in California brought to the forefront the issue of what is a “flood” under California law, particularly in regard to rain and surface water. We noted a California court held “flood” in its plain...more

District of New Jersey Dismisses Third Party Claims Sounding in Policy Handling on Preemption Grounds

A federal court in New Jersey recently dismissed state law claims brought by third party plaintiffs, including the insured’s broker, against a Write Your Own insurance carrier. The claims at issue in Residences at Bay Point...more

New York Court Upholds Suit Limitation Period, Ruling Appraisal is Not a Condition Precedent to Filing Suit

by Carlton Fields on

Courts will generally uphold reasonable suit limitation periods in property insurance policies, if the insurer does not affirmatively waive or extend them. In MZM Real Estate Corp. v. Tower Ins. Co. of New York, No....more

Appraisal Award Unenforceable Where Suit Limitation Period Expired Prior To Filing Suit: New York County Dismisses Storm Sandy...

Suit limitation provisions in insurance policies shorten the statutory period of time that a plaintiff may bring a suit against an insurer for certain causes of action. A New York court recently held that an appraisal award...more

Georgia Diminished Value Putative Class Action: Motion to Dismiss Decision

In prior blog posts, I’ve covered developments in the putative class actions against insurance companies in Georgia involving diminution in value on property insurance claims (see my March 11, 2016 post, for example)....more

Damn Ice Dams

by Zelle LLP on

After over 2 feet of snow was dumped on most of New England in the beginning of February, the submission of those “damn” ice dam claims may start at any moment. Record high temperatures may have melted the snow in a blink of...more

California’s Storms Are Not California Dreaming

- It is essential to keep track of deadlines mandated under policies. - Keep in mind that several types of insurance—not just property insurance—may cover flood and storm-related losses (such as property damage, loss of...more

When it Rains it Floods: California Rainstorms and Flood Insurance

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

Until very recently, the scarcity of water and the decline in oil prices in California prompted the joke that oil was being used as fracking fluid to get water out of the ground. In the last week, however, so much rain has...more

A Reprieve from the Deluge of Hail Litigation in Texas

by Zelle LLP on

In recent years, the number of Texas lawsuits arising from hail-damage claims to residential and commercial properties has reached staggering levels, leaving the courts in several Texas counties struggling to keep up with...more

California’s High Court Gives Insurance Regulators New Tools To Broaden Authority

by Pullman & Comley, LLC on

Nearly two years ago, a California appellate court invalidated a rule promulgated by the state’s Insurance Commissioner, on the ground that the regulator lacks authority to prohibit “deceptive acts or practices” which are not...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Replacement Cost Estimate Regulation (For Now)

by Cozen O'Connor on

In 2011, the California Insurance Commissioner promulgated a regulation governing replacement cost estimates for homeowners insurance (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 10, §2695.183 [the Regulation]). After the trial court and...more

District of Connecticut Reaffirms That Definition Of “Collapse” Is Unambiguous

The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut recently reaffirmed its ruling that the term “collapse,” as defined by a homeowners insurance policy, is unambiguous and that the policy in question did not...more

Defence & Indemnity - December 2016: IV. PRACTICE ISSUES

by Field Law on

Successful application to dismiss the plaintiffs’ action pursuant to Rule 4.33 on the basis that three or more years had passed without a significant advance in the action and the new 3-year drop dead Rule applies...more

New Year - New Insurance Law

by DLA Piper on

In an earthquake related judgment issued in late December 2016, the High Court (Court) found a mutual duty of good faith applied to parties to an insurance contract, including during the claims handling process. A breach of...more

Virginia Court Dismisses RICO Claim Against WYO Flood Insurer and Its Adjusters

by Cozen O'Connor on

The preemptive effect of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on overlapping claims asserted by policyholders based on federal and state common law theories of liability is well established. “Numerous courts have held...more

Accrual of Statutes of Limitations in TX Bad Faith Claims

by Zelle LLP on

Every Texas building owner knows that shortly after a hail or wind storm the doorbell knockers will follow. These doorbell knockers are typically contractors or public adjusters, but may even now be attorneys (or their...more

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

by Cozen O'Connor on

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

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