Property Insurance Property Damage

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

Hurricanes vs. Wildfires — 2015’s Dramatic Contrast

Two of this blog’s four rotating headers depict a hurricane and a fire as examples of potentially-destructive types of property damage, and the hurricane season (June through November) and the wildfire season (late spring...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Defects in the Construction of a “Known-Loss” Exclusion

A mason who performed work on a residential project was notified in 2006 that cracks had developed in his work. Several months later, the mason purchased a commercial general liability policy that expressly excluded coverage...more

Insurance Recovery Law - July 2015 #3

Two Years, Too Long for Coverage Under Claims-Made-and-Reported Policy - Why it matters: Claims-made-and-reported policies require that the claim be both made against the insured and reported to the insurer within the...more

Perspectives on Insurance Recovery

Welcome to the latest edition of Pillsbury’s Perspectives on Insurance Recovery. As this 2015 edition of Perspectives demonstrates, our team is working on the most challenging issues—from cyber-insurance and complex claims...more

Seventh Circuit Holds Insured Entitled to a New Roof for Purely Cosmetic Hail Damage

The Seventh Circuit is becoming a difficult venue for insurers. In November we reported that the Court of Appeals had held that the phrase “continuous or repeated exposure” in definition of occurrence meant that a continuous...more

Planning for the Unexpected: Casualty issues in Commercial Properties

PROPER BUSINESS PLANNING includes planning for unlikely but significant events such as a casualty that impacts commercial property. In part 1 of a 2 part article, we will focus on some key issues that tenants need to...more

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

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