LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
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...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Super Storm Sandy Victims Take Another Financial Hit

SUPER STORM SANDY VICTIMS TAKE ANOTHER FINANCIAL HIT: Thousands of vacation home and business owners in coastal areas of New Jersey slammed by Hurricane Sandy last October are getting hit with big increases in their flood insurance premiums this year. Richard Bandazian, who owns a vacation home on...

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

Property Insurance Only Insures the Interest of the Person Insured: Only the Risk of Loss of Property Is Insured

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to determine that although no repairs were performed on a damaged structure the insured was entitled to recover the depreciation holdback because it waived the time limit for repair. Before any repairs were performed the owner gave the property to another...

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...

Your Uninsurable Home? What is Climate Change’s Wild Weather Doing to Insurance?

Across Canada, this year has brought severe storms, floods, wildfires and other catastrophic weather. As people in Calgary, Toronto and other hard hit areas try to rebuild their lives, most of them expect that someone should help them pay for the damage. Oil-rich Alberta has promised $1 billion to support...

Foreclosure Destroys Insurable Interest

Every first party property policy of insurance requires that the person insured have an insurable interest in the property, the risk of loss of which was sought to be insured. The policy limits coverage to the extent of the insurable interest. If there is no insurable interest there is no damage to the...

Willful & Wanton Conduct: Malicious Conduct That Causes Damage is Vandalism

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit asked the highest court in New York two questions relating to a property insurance policy covering acts of “vandalism.” (1) For purposes of construing a property insurance policy covering acts of vandalism, may malicious damage...

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...