Release of Asbestos During Ceiling Renovation Falls Within Pollution Exclusion of Property Insurance

By Samuel H. Ruby, Shareholder, Bullivant Houser Bailey PC A California Court of Appeal has held that the release of asbestos in and about a condominium complex during the scraping of acoustical "popcorn" ceiling falls within a property insurance policy's pollution exclusion. Villa...

Insurance Implications in the Wake of Hurricane Irene

After Hurricane Irene, individuals and businesses will face property losses and interruption of business and will look to insurers for coverage of these multi-faceted losses. To remain up-to-date on the coverage issues raised by Hurricane Irene and similar natural events, we invite our Community to access...

LexisNexis® Insurance Law Community Podcast: Selena J. Linde on Hurricane Irene Insurance Coverage Issues

On this edition, Selena J. Linde of Perkins Coie in Washington, D.C. discusses insurance claims arising from Hurricane Irene. She reviews business interruption and contingent business interruption claims, differences between flood and hurricane damage and steps companies should take to maximize recovery...

Bullivant Secures Jury Verdict, Court Awards Judgment under Counterclaim for First-Party Insurance Fraud

By John A. Bennett, Stuart D. Jones, Matthew E. Hedberg, Andrew E. Passmore, Attorneys, Bullivant Houser Bailey PC Following a two-month trial, Safeco Insurance Company of Oregon was awarded $9.977 million on its counterclaim for insurance fraud against a former insured, Sohail Masood. An August...

Evaluating First-Party Property Claims with Multiple Causes Under the Efficient Proximate Cause Doctrine

By Susan J. Field and Rina Carmel, Attorneys, Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP In "Evaluating First-Party Property Claims with Multiple Causes Under the Efficient Proximate Cause Doctrine," appearing in the November/December 2011 issue of Coverage , Susan J. Field and Rina Carmel of Musick...

Ensuing Loss Provisions, Efficient Proximate Cause Rule, and Definition of Collapse Addressed by WA Supreme Court

By Jerret E. Sale , Daniel R. Bentson On May 17, 2012, the Washington Supreme Court issued two new opinions addressing "ensuing loss" provisions (also known as "resulting loss" provisions), the "efficient proximate cause" rule, and the definition of "collapse"...

SNR Denton US LLP on Miller v. Safeco Insurance Co. of Am.: Insurer May Not Enforce Exclusions in Newly Issued Property Insurance Policy If Insured Not Notified of Those Exclusions Before Discovering the Loss

By William T. Barker, Partner, SNR Denton LLP The Millers purchased a home with severe preexisting water and mold damage which they and their home inspector failed to detect. In Miller v. Safeco Insurance Co of Am., the Seventh Circuit held that the loss had not manifested itself until after the...

Homeowner’s Insurance – New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition, Chapter 53

By Joseph D. Jean and Gregory D. Miller Section 53.01 introduces homeowner's insurance generally and discusses the types, processes and coverages available in homeowner's policies. Section 53.01[1] discusses the general organization and scope of homeowner's policies and tracks the unique...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Health and Homeowner’s Insurance

BUSINESS: MARYLAND Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) signs SB 446, legislation that bars insurers from denying or canceling a homeowner's or renter's policy solely because the consumer does not also have their car insured with that company, or vice versa (MARYLAND GOVERNOR'S OFFICE). • The...

Force-Placed Insurance: Another Multi-Billion Dollar Industry Caught in the Regulatory Cross Hairs

By Karen C. Yotis, Esq. Forced-placed insurance (FPI), which is sometimes referred to as 'lender-placed insurance,' is a specialty product that is intended to insure properties when standard property coverage is allowed to lapse. During the housing boom, FPI occupied an overlooked corner of...

Barry Zalma: Contract of Personal Indemnity – Failure to Protect Insurable Interest Expensive

By Barry Zalma, Attorney and Consultant Insurance is a contract of personal indemnity and does not follow the title in the land. When parties enter into lease agreements of real or personal property both the lessor and lessee have an insurable interest in the property. Either one or both can individually...

Supreme Court Affirms Circuit Court’s Broad Discretion

On June 21, 2013, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued a Memorandum Decision in Moore v. Allstate Insurance Co. , et al. (No. 12-0288) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], affirming a trial court’s discretion when instructing the jury, permitting expert witnesses...

Fire Evacuees Should Check Homeowners’ Insurance for Reimbursement of Certain Living Expenses Associated with Mandatory Evacuation

The California Department of Insurance (CDI) is currently tracking evacuations due to wildfires in the state, including the Mountain Fire near Riverside. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is reminding wildfire evacuees that they may be eligible for reimbursement for additional living expenses due to...

Property Insurance Umbrella Protect House

Law Enforcement Agencies Work Together to Provide Silver Fire Victims with Advice to Avoid Post-Disaster Insurance Schemes and Scams

Fraud detectives and the Department of Insurance Investigation Division’s Disaster and Recovery Team (DART) have been deployed to help educate residents about potential scams that target wildfire victims. The teams have coordinated with the Riverside County Sheriff and other allied agencies to...

Certain Living Expenses May Be Reimbursed From Homeowners' Insurance Coverage For Rim Fire Evacuees

The California Department of Insurance is currently tracking evacuations due to wildfires in the state, including the Rim Fire in Yosemite. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is reminding wildfire evacuees that they may be eligible for reimbursement for additional living expenses due to mandatory evacuations...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: A Coastal Conundrum: Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act and Coastal Insurance Policy

Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act just two months before Sandy scoured the northeast, and “requires rates to rise 25 percent annually on some repeatedly flooded houses, second homes and businesses,” and on properties where the costs imposed by past floods exceed...

Safeco Insurance Company Pays $900,000 Fine For Market Conduct Violations; Refunds More Than $3 million To Policyholders

Insurer agrees to end unapproved use of credit score analysis in underwriting and implement other business practice reforms California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has announced that Safeco Insurance Company has agreed to pay a $900,000 fine and reform its approval process for homeowners and...

New Nevada Statute May Affect Enforceability of Appraisal Clause in Property Insurance Policies

A growing trend is the imposition of statutory and regulatory limitation on arbitration clauses. To some degree this is a reaction by some jurisdictions to the strongly pro-arbitration position taken by the United States Supreme Court in recent years. Nevada has now followed the anti-arbitration trend...

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6th Annual “Coverage For Dummies”: Seeking Coverage For The Frailty And Imperfection Of The Human Brain

Liability insurance is, by definition, a product that provides financial protection for when things don’t turn out as planned. Most of the time when this occurs it’s simply a case of bad luck or because, well, stuff just happens. Or the outcome is one that nobody could have seen coming. ...

I’m Not Lion: The Coverage Case Involving Cats That You Must Read

I really dislike cats. It has got to be one of the worst musicals ever. That it came from Lloyd Webber just serves as evidence that even the greatest are entitled to an off day now and then. That it is one of the most successful Broadway and West End musicals ever just serves as evidence that P.T. Barnum...

Fortuity Rules Insurance Interpretation: No Fire Insurance For Preexisting Condition of Property

Every insurance contract is based on the concept of fortuity. Insurance must, by definition, only indemnify the insured against a contingent or unknown risk of loss. No one should be able to purchase insurance after a home burns to the ground by purchasing insurance after the fire. Preexisting conditions...

Farmers Insurance Withdraws Class Action Alleging Failure to Adapt to Climate Change

On June 3, 2013, a group of lawsuits that generated significant interest among environmental lawyers were abruptly withdrawn .[1] The cases notably alleged a novel theory of liability and duty of care regarding climate change projections. In Illinois Farmers Insurance Co. v. Metro Water Reclamation District...

Court Looks For Fair Way To Interpret Golf Cart Coverage: Insurer Gets It Rough And Insured Gets The Green

Lots of courts have addressed whether golf carts are “autos” for purposes of liability and automobile policies. I’ve confronted the issue a couple of times and it’s an interesting one. The Court of Appeals of Georgia just had a golf cart coverage case before it. But the issue...