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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...

house fire

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...

Oregon Court of Appeals Rejects Insured Conditioning His Duty to Cooperate after Loss

By Andrew E. Passmore , Associate, Bullivant Houser Bailey PC On the Rolling Stones' album Let It Bleed, Mick Jagger sang "You can't always get what you want." On July 2, 2014, the Oregon Court of Appeals sang a similar tune when it held that an insured could not condition his obligation...

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Negligence of Adjuster Not Basis for Bad Faith

Insurance adjusters are people knowledgeable in insurance retained by an insurer for the purpose of assisting the insured in proving a loss to the insurer. A person who expresses to the insured the fidelity and good faith of the insurer. The adjuster is not expected nor required to be perfect. In Murphy...

How to Defeat an Arson for Profit Attempt – Suspected Arsonist’s Bad Faith Suit Fails

Arson-for-profit is the most dangerous of all methods of attempting insurance fraud. When an insurer has sufficient evidence to suspect an arson for profit attempt and denies the claim it will expect that the insured will sue the insurer for fraud and bad faith. The best way to defeat such an action...

Legal Tools for Climate Adaptation Advocacy: Flood Insurance

Flooding is the most common and costly form of nature’s wrath, and its costs are likely to rise as the climate changes and sea levels rise. The federal government has attempted to address flooding through an insurance program aimed at effectively providing relief to those whose property is damaged...

High Fire Season Followed by El Niño Sets California Policyholders On Collision Course With Property Insurers

Regular readers of the SFGate website saw two familiar headlines on September 10, 2015. The first – “Northern California wildfire explodes in size” – would not have been unusual on any summer day in California, particularly in the last four years as an historic drought has ravaged...

West Virginia Supreme Court Clarifies Application of Landlords’ Homeowner’s Insurance Policy to Tenant’s Insurable Interest

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (“WVSCA”) recently rejected a circuit court decision finding that a tenant is an “equitable insured” under his landlords’ homeowner’s policy, which had precluded the landlords’ insurer from pursuing a subrogation claim...