Property Insurance Property Damage

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

Coverage Not Limited to Schedule of Locations in Fight Over Dam Liabilities

In C. Brewer & Co., Ltd. v. Marine Indem. Ins. Co. of Am., No. SCWC-28958 (Haw. Mar. 27, 2015), the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled that liability coverage is not limited to only those locations defined in an insurer’s schedule...more

Smelly Cat – Closely-Divided New Hampshire Supreme Court Addresses Whether Cat Urine Is a Pollutant

Last Friday, New Hampshire’s highest court unanimously held that the pungent aroma of cat urine could constitute physical loss or damage under a property policy. In Mellin v. Northern Security Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1869572, 2015...more

Eleventh Circuit: Sinkhole Loss in Florida Must Impair the Property’s Structural Integrity to be Covered

Effective in 2005, Florida statutes defined “sinkhole loss” to mean “structural damage to the building, including the foundation, caused by sinkhole activity,” and they left the all-important term “structural damage”...more

Labor Depreciation Class Actions Heating Up Across The Country

Class action litigation is spreading across the country involving the application of depreciation in calculating the actual cash value of property damage under homeowners and commercial property insurance policies. This blog...more

Indiana Court Dismisses Bad Faith Allegations and Praises Insurer for Timely Claims-Handling

A recent federal District Court decision from Indiana, Autumn Glen Homeowners Ass’n. v. Travelers Ind. Co. of America, 2015 WL 1256391, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33317 (S.D. Ind., Mar. 18, 2015) provides insight into both...more

California Court of Appeal Limits Scope of Agent's Immunity Rule Based on "Special Relationship" Between Insurers and Insureds

On April 2, 2014, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, published an opinion that limits the scope of the agent’s immunity rule insofar as it applies to employees of insurers involved in investigating...more

Texas Claims Are Getting Nasti: The Insured’s Burdens

Texas courts have long taken the position that “[w]hen covered and excluded perils combine to cause an injury, the insured must present some evidence affording the jury a reasonable basis on which to allocate damages.”...more

The Latest on Major Defense Verdicts in Arizona

What’s the latest news on Arizona’s civil defense verdicts? Here are some interesting defense verdicts from 2014: - Steak Out Restaurant & Saloon, L.L.C. et al. v. Old Lobos T&T, L.L.C. et al. Steak Out Restaurant...more

Sixth Circuit: Growing Marijuana is Not the Same as Buying a Houseplant or Entertaining Visitors

Half of the states in this country have now legalized marijuana for medical use, and that has led to a number of small-scale growing operations in policyholders’ homes.  While not nearly as dangerous as cooking meth on the...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Bright-Line Trigger Of Coverage Approach In First-Party Property Disputes

In Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., 771 F.3d 1026, 1030 (7th Cir. Wis. 2014), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals applying Wisconsin law set forth an analysis for determining trigger of coverage in first-party property...more

Don’t Mess With Texas Adjusters In Hail Damage Claims

Texas hail claim policyholder lawyers, like many plaintiffs’ lawyers, clearly prefer to be in state court rather than federal court. To accomplish this and prevent the defendant insurer from properly removing the lawsuit to...more

No Manifestation Destiny: The Seventh Circuit Declines to Set a Standard Trigger Rule for First-Party Property Policies

Property damage can be sudden and dramatic, but it can also be subtle and insidious, and that can make it hard to identify the moment when properly coverage is implicated. As a result, courts have recognized several...more

Client Alert: Michigan Insurance Company Not Subject to Personal Jurisdiction in California for Losses Suffered in Arkansas

In Greenwell v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co. (No. C074546, Filed 1/27/2015) (“Greenwell”), the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, held a California resident could not establish specific personal jurisdiction over...more

Property Insurance Law: 2014 Year in Review

Hurricane Sandy continued to generate a significant amount of litigation during 2014 which resulted in several important property insurance decisions. Most notably, as a result of Sandy and other events, the courts...more

Insurance Coverage for Businesses Affected by Winter Storm Juno

As the northeastern United States digs out from Winter Storm Juno, it is time for businesses and property owners to assess any damage suffered from the storm and analyze their property insurance policies in order to properly...more

Late Notice Held to Bar a $6,000,000 Hurricane Wilma Claim in Florida

In The Yacht Club on the Intracoastal Condo. Ass’n. v. Lexington Ins. Co., – Fed.Appx. –, 2015 WL 106862, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 293 (11h Cir., Jan. 8, 2015), a unanimous panel of the Eleventh Circuit recently held that a...more

Weathering Winter Storm Juno With Roof Collapse Coverage

For most of the Northeast, this winter was off to a slow start in terms of snowfall. That was, however, until winter storm Juno paralyzed much of the Eastern Corridor and resulted in eye-popping, 3-foot-plus snow totals in...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court's misapplication of the pollution exclusion and disregard for policyholders' business and purpose in...

Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued two opinions in which it held that pollution exclusions barred coverage for third-party claims resulting from alleged contamination of water due to the seepage of cow manure and...more

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