LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
McCarter & English LLP on Chinese Drywall Litigation and Insurance Coverage

By Nicholas Insua, Jason Alexander & Michael Smith, Attorneys, McCarter & English, LLP In their commentary, "Update: Chinese Drywall Litigation Continues," Nicholas Insua, Jason Alexander & Michael Smith of McCarter & English, LLP, first note that the housing boom of the...

A Dog Bite Coverage Case Gets To A Supreme Court

I love dogs. I love coverage cases. So do the math -- I love dog bite coverage cases. On one hand, I’m glad that there are so many of them. On the other hand, a lot of dog bite coverage cases can mean only one thing -- there are a lot of dog bites. And that’s not a good thing. So it’s...

Not Every Man’s Best Friend: A Dog Bites (Mail)Man Story

Lauren Kelly Villanova School of Law 2L J.D. Candidate 2016 “Of my six dog bites in those 10 years the most memorable was of a miniature French poodle,” Herb, a postal worker, recounts on the online news forum PostalMag.com. The site allows postal workers to submit stories of dog bites...

tree damage to house

Is That Covered? Insurer Refusal to Pay for Full Property Loss May Be Bad Faith

By Michael R. Kelley If you or your clients have ever had the experience of submitting a claim to an insurance company, you probably know how difficult it can be to get the insurance company to pay the full amount of damages. Even if the company agrees that a loss is covered, insurers frequently...

Intentionally Striking Another Individual Ruled Not an “Occurrence” and Therefore Uncovered Even if Done in Self-Defense

David v. Allstate Ins. Co. , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119473 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 25, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] In David, the Central District of California ruled that intentionally hitting and biting another person was not an accident, and therefore did not fall within...

Arson-for-Profit Fails Because of Lack of Insurable Interest and Misrepresentation: Insurance Competence Needed to Commit Insurance Fraud

Arson is relatively easy. Pour some gasoline and light a match and a fire will burn. Successfully turning an arson fire into profit is more difficult and requires some knowledge of insurance and insurance claims. In Ross v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co ., Slip Copy, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18707 (S.D.Ohio...

Going to Pot: How to Lose Fire Insurance Coverage

Members of the public think that the covenant of good faith and fair dealing only applies to the insurer and the insured can do whatever they want and hide important information from the insurer to avoid increased premium or loss of coverage. In Michigan endorsements added to homeowners policies require...

An Insurance Blue Moon: Coverage Owed For Sexual Assault -- “A Particularly Odd Set of Facts”

The number of decisions addressing the availability of coverage for a sexual assault are legion. They often, but not always, arise under the liability section of a homeowner’s policy. I have never undertaken a formal count, but, anecdotally, I can say that coverage is rarely owed for such claims...

Mortgagee Not Required to Buy Liability Insurance for Borrower

Insurance companies only sell the insurance requested by the insured not the insurance that the insured should have purchased. Mortgagees, who require insurance on the property that was security for a loan require that the mortgagor purchase hazard insurance to protect the mortgagee against loss of its...

April Fool's Day Sees National Flood Insurance Rates Rise

By J. Wylie Donald So what day would you pick to have your flood insurance premium double? April Fool's Day? You got it. Well, that's a little hyperbolic. Rates aren't doubling instantaneously tomorrow. Instead they are rising between 10% and 18% per year until they match commercial...

I’m Not Lion: Court Holds That Cat Urine Not Precluded By Pollution Exclusion – Case More Enjoyable Than Cats

Pollution Exclusion cases have become so abundant, and similar, that I’ve taken to limiting my discussion of them in Coverage Opinions to the ones that are truly unique. (See CO, __ (trust me)). Mellin v. Northern Security Insurance Co., No 2014-020 (N.H. Apr. 24, 2015) is in the unique category...

When Is a Landslide a Fire? Ninth Circuit Finds Fire To Be Direct Cause of Landslide that Destroyed House

Those of us who live in the western United States see wildfires on a regular basis. Fire is a named peril and is covered by a simple fire policy and by a homeowners or commercial property policy. Landslides and mudslides that follow wildfires because the fire burned off the vegetation that would hold...

Is There Coverage for Assaulting Your Employee? Business Dispute Not Covered by Homeowners

A Homeowners policy provides worldwide liability insurance coverage to the homeowners subject to various exclusions and limitations. In Perry v. Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company , Not Reported in A.3d, 2015 Del. Super. LEXIS 267 (Del.Super., 6/3/2015), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com...

California Court Considers Intentional Acts Exclusion in Homeowners Policy

In Albert v. Mid-Century Insurance Company , 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 431 (April 28, 2015, status changed from published to unpublished May 20, 2015), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the California Court of Appeal had occasion to consider whether the over-pruning of trees across...

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), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Arizona law, had the opportunity to address the concept of “direct causation”...

Three Sheets To The Win: Policyholder Rewarded For Being Drunk

The court in IDS Property Casualty Ins. Co. v. Schonewolf, No. 13-6039, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67542 (E.D. Pa. May 26, 2015), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], gave away the ending right at the get-go: “Although I am mindful that courts should...

Can Murder Ever Be Accidental? – Tenant is Not an Insured

By definition liability insurance never applies to an intentional act. When a person rents a room in her house to a convicted felon with a history of violence and then gives the tenant a gun to use as he desires, she cannot claim that when the felon kills her son-in-law, that the shooting was an accident...

Why Insurance is Expensive – Statutes to Protect Consumers Not Intended to Allow Insureds to Profit

States, like Pennsylvania, have enacted statutes to protect consumers from insurers who cancel insurance without proper reason and after a policy has been in effect for more than 60 days. These statutes are intended to protect the consumer not give an insurance consumer the right to bludgeon an insurer...

Inclusive Communities: Supreme Court Recognizes Disparate-Impact Claims Under FHA – Implications for Property Insurers

By Kathleen A. Birrane , David D. Luce , and Peter S. Rice By a five-to-four margin, the Supreme Court of the United States has held that “disparate-impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act.” Texas Dep’t of Hous. & Cmty. Affairs v. Inclusive Cmtys. Project,...

Business Pursuits Exclusion: Always Something Interesting

Cases involving the potential applicability of a Business Pursuits exclusion, in a homeowners policy, can be interesting. Some people operate a variety of unusual home-based businesses. Suit is filed against the homeowner. He or she seeks coverage under a homeowner’s policy. And the question arises...

Federal Agencies Finalize Flood Insurance Rules

Federal regulators have finalized a joint rule that amends regulations relating to loans secured by properties in special flood hazard areas. The final rule implements changes to the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (FDPA) as mandated by the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA...

Why is a National Flood Insurance Program Policy Not Insurance?

Fulfill the Condition Strictly or Get Nothing Contrary to what it is called, the National Flood Insurance Program is not insurance. It is, rather, a government funded entitlement that can only pay claims by dipping into the treasury of the United States. As a result, unlike insurance policies,...

Very Interesting “Expected Or Intended” Case

It is a safe bet that if a person fires a gun, and then seeks coverage for any resulting injuries, coverage issues, especially “expected or intended,” will ensue. It is also a safe bet that the person seeking coverage will come up empty. When it comes to wayward guns, it can be a challenge...