News & Analysis as of

Minnesota Holds “Comparable Material and Quality” Requires Wholesale Replacement Where Undamaged Siding Is Faded

Matching issues are frequently problematic when storms damage only portions of an insured structure’s exterior and it proves impossible to replace the damaged sections with material that is an exact match for the rest of the...more

Florida’s Second District Evaluates Burden of Proof in Sinkhole Cases

In Mejia v. Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp., 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 19526 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Nov. 26, 2014), the Second District reversed a Pasco County trial court’s determination on the burden of proof applicable to a...more

Tenth Circuit: Property Damage Surrounding Defective Windows Is an “Occurrence” Because Damage Is Unexpected from Insured’s...

In Cincinnati Insurance Company v. AMSCO Windows, No. 13-4155 (10th Cir. November 26, 2014), Cincinnati insured AMSCO, which manufactures windows for use in homes and sells the windows to distributors. Certain AMSCO windows...more

Florida Court: Under All-Risk Policy, Insured Does Not Bear Burden of Showing Loss Was Caused by a Sinkhole

On November 26th, a unanimous panel of Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals held that a trial judge had erred in placing the burden of showing that loss was caused by covered sinkhole activity on the shoulders of the...more

And Another Texas Court Realizes What The Hail Is Going On?

Another Texas court -- this time in the Valley -- has realized What The Hail Is Going On? Nino vs. State Farm Lloyds is identical to thousands of hail damage lawsuits presently pending in the Valley. Most of these...more

Seventh Circuit Declines to Issue Bright-Line Rule Regarding Trigger in First-Party Property Cases

The Seventh Circuit addressed Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. 21794 (7th Cir. November 18, 2014) on an appeal from the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The Strausses constructed a home in Mequon, Wisconsin in...more

With Respect to Discoverability, Indiana Federal Court Distinguishes Between Pre-Suit and Post-Suit Reserves

In May, we reported on a Third Circuit decision holding that loss reserve information was generally irrelevant and not discoverable. In October, a federal court in Indiana came to the same conclusion with respect to...more

Insurance Alert: Insurer Delay Extends Time to Repair or Replace Damaged Property

In Stephens & Stephens XII v. Fireman's Fund Ins. (No. A135938, filed November 24, 2014), the plaintiffs obtained property insurance on a warehouse. Within a month, it was discovered to be stripped of all wiring and metal....more

Keeping Pace With Texas Hail Claim 'Case-Runners'

Texas insurance carrier clients writing significant property insurance business in Texas all confirm a disturbing trend. Historically, Texas insurers have seen less than 2 percent of their property insurance claims result in...more

Is That Covered? Hail Damage

Back in May, 2014, parts of Berks and Lancaster counties were hit with a freak hail storm. With hail as large as tennis balls reported, homes and cars suffered significant damage. Hail damage is generally covered under auto...more

Seventh Circuit: Under Wisconsin Law, “Continuous or Repeated Exposure” Language Means That a Continuous Trigger Theory Applies

Yesterday, in Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., – F.3d – , 2014 WL 6435314, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21794 (7th Cir., Nov. 18, 2014), the Court of Appeals held that the use of the phrase “continuous or repeated exposure” in a...more

Fifth Circuit Reaffirms the Importance of a Reasonable Claim Investigation Prior to Denial

In Santacruz v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, Inc., 2014 WL 5870429 (Nov. 13, 2014), the 5th Circuit allowed a policyholder to pursue a claim for common law and statutory bad faith even though the policyholder repaired the alleged...more

Appraisal of Insurance Losses and the “Actual” Definition of “Actual Cash Value”

Imagine a devastating fire renders your rental property uninhabitable. You dig out your insurance policy and are relieved to find that you are insured up to the “actual cash value” of the building. But what exactly does this...more

What The Hail Is Going On With Texas Insurance Claims?

The onslaught of new hail damage lawsuits does not appear to be ending anytime soon. The docket of every county in which a significant hail event has occurred in recent years sees numerous new hail damage lawsuit filings...more

Policy’s “Named Storm” Deductible Applies To New Jersey Superstorm Sandy Claim

In Wakefern Food Corp. v. Lexington Insurance Company, No. MID-L-6483-13 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. filed Oct. 29, 2014), the Superior Court of New Jersey held in favor of Lexington Insurance Company in connection with a $50...more

New Jersey Court Holds $22 Million “Named Storm” Deductible Applicable to a Superstorm Sandy Loss

On October 29th, a New Jersey trial court held that a commercial policyholder’s Superstorm Sandy claims were subject to a $22 million “named storm” deductible equal to 2% of the total insurable values at risk at all of the...more

Construction Case Law Update - October 2014 #3

Insurance, Sinkhole litigation -- Neither “Concealment or Fraud” nor “Duties After Loss” provision in homeowner’s insurance policy required insured to provide insurer with expert’s sinkhole damage analysis solicited by...more

A Unilateral Scrivener’s Error Can Reflect a Mutual Mistake Requiring Policy Reformation (or, Don’t Expect $20 Million in...

October 29 marked the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s assault on New York and New Jersey. Although the insurance litigation arising from this storm is just beginning, we have already seen a number of decisions out...more

Oklahoma Supreme Court Reconciles Sewer Backup Exclusion With Accidental Discharge Coverage Grant

In May, we reported that a New York court had found that a policy containing both an exclusion for water that backs up through sewers and drains and a coverage grant for accidental discharge or overflow from a plumbing system...more

Florida’s Second District Holds that Once Coverage is Established a Dispute over the Scope of Necessary Repairs Falls Squarely...

In Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Cannon Ranch Partners, Inc., 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 17033 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Oct. 17, 2014), the Second District reversed a Hillsborough trial court’s denial of Cincinnati Insurance...more

Pennsylvania Court: Inaction When Damage is Known to Be Likely is Enough to Render the Loss Non-Fortuitous

On September 19th, a federal court in Pennsylvania held that a wall collapse was not fortuitous because the insureds knew that the wall was unstable and likely to fall and yet took no steps to correct the problem. ...more

Florida Court: Your Own Attorney is Simply Not a “Disinterested” Appraiser

As noted yesterday, last month saw an intermediate level appellate panel in Florida address whether the attorney for the policyholder could serve as that party’s appraiser. It was a case of first impression in the Sunshine...more

Construction Case Law Update - October 2014 #2

Disputes over a mediation agreement’s validity must be resolved prior to a court ruling on discovery requests regarding matters potentially settled by the agreement. A dispute arose after Jilco, Inc. (“Jilco”) subleased a...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending October 10 & October 17, 2014

REAL PROPERTY CASES - - Sinkhole Loss/Statute of Limitations: homeowners’ lawsuit was barred by the one-year statute of limitations, even though lawsuit was filed promptly after FIGA processed the claim and made a...more

Texas Supreme Court Accepts a Concurrent Cause and Ordinance or Law Matter Involving Hurricane Ike

On October 3rd, the Texas Supreme Court granted a policyholder’s petition for review in a Hurricane Ike matter that potentially gives Texas’ highest court an opportunity to address several important insurance issues. They...more

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