Property

  • September 27, 2021

    Insurance Costs And Climate Change: Regulatory Roundup

    California's and Washington's insurance regulators took big steps they argue are designed to help policyholders secure affordable coverage, while several other states said businesses can expect decreases in their workers' compensation insurance rates. Here's a look at what happened in insurance regulation last week.

  • September 27, 2021

    Calif. Orders FAIR Plan To Offer More Policy Options, Again

    California's residual insurance market must expand its coverage offerings to include a comprehensive homeowners' insurance policy for those unable to obtain coverage in the private market, Golden State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said in an order Friday.

  • September 27, 2021

    9th Circ. Punts Insurance Tables Of Contents To Mont. Justices

    The Ninth Circuit agreed to certify to the Montana Supreme Court a question of whether insurers can rely on unambiguous exclusions to limit coverage if those provisions aren't noted in a policy's table of contents or other section of notice.

  • September 27, 2021

    Cincinnati Insurance Shakes Businesses' Virus Coverage Suit

    An Ohio federal judge won't let local businesses in six states score coverage from Cincinnati Insurance Co. for COVID-19-related financial losses, ruling that a loss must be physical and require repair for the policy to kick in.

  • September 27, 2021

    5th Circ. Revives La. Contractor's $2.7M Flood Coverage Suit

    The Fifth Circuit revived a Louisiana-based general contractor's bid for $2.7 million in coverage for a flooded New Orleans hotel, saying the policy language regarding a flood deductible that the contractor's insurers used to deny coverage was ambiguous.

  • September 24, 2021

    NJ Court Skeptical Of Contamination Pitch In Virus Suit

    A New Jersey state judge on Friday challenged Highgate Hotels LP's stance that purported contamination from COVID-19 at its properties across the country constituted physical damage and thus warranted coverage from a Liberty Mutual unit and other insurers, noting that the airborne virus has damaged the entire world.

  • September 24, 2021

    Carrier Group Knocks Kreidler Over Wash. Credit History Ban

    A leading trade group representing insurers criticized emergency regulations put in place by Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler to ban the use of credit history in pricing personal-line policies, saying the rules are disrupting the insurance market and raising premiums.

  • September 24, 2021

    NC Theaters, Chicago Eateries Lose COVID-19 Coverage Bids

    An Illinois federal judge has ruled that a North Carolina movie theater chain and a group of Chicago restaurants are not entitled to coverage for their pandemic losses, finding that the businesses did not show that they incurred a direct physical loss that would trigger coverage under their insurance policies.

  • September 24, 2021

    Waterfront Property Co.'s Virus Coverage Suit Washed Away

    A New York federal judge on Friday nixed a proposed class action brought against Travelers Indemnity Company of America over pandemic coverage, rejecting an argument from the suing property management company that government shutdown orders subvert its policy's virus exception. 

  • September 24, 2021

    Lloyd's Asks 11th Circ. To Toss Pizzerias' Pandemic Suit

    Lloyd's of London underwriters asked the Eleventh Circuit to toss a COVID-19 coverage lawsuit filed by two Florida pizzerias on the basis that the restaurants' arguments have already been rejected by the circuit.

  • September 24, 2021

    Philly Refinery Says Insurers Still Owe Coverage Of Fire Costs

    Former refinery operator PES Holdings has asked a Delaware bankruptcy judge to find its insurance carriers ignored the language of its insurance policy in an attempt to avoid paying the full amount they owed to cover the 2019 fire and explosion that put the operator out of business.

  • September 24, 2021

    Hurricane Nicholas Insured Damages Pegged At $1.1B To $2.2B

    Insured damages from the landfall of Hurricane Nicholas this month ranged from $1.1 billion to $2.2 billion, according to the risk modeling firm RMS.

  • September 24, 2021

    'Forever Chemicals' Coverage Suits Likely To Echo PCB Disputes

    The rising number of lawsuits and legislation concerning so-called forever chemicals has legal experts forecasting that related coverage disputes between product makers and their insurers could follow the same path as those involving another ubiquitous chemical: polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

  • September 23, 2021

    Ill. High Court Rules Against State Farm In Loss Value Dispute

    Illinois' top court upheld a win Thursday for a proposed class of homeowners accusing State Farm of automatically depreciating labor costs on top of the cost of materials when handling a property damage claim without disclosing the practice to policyholders, saying the policy is ambiguous and must therefore side with the insured.

  • September 23, 2021

    Novant Health Beats Zurich Bid To Kick Virus Coverage Suit

    A North Carolina federal judge ruled Thursday that Novant Health's allegations of the presence of the coronavirus and continuous reintroduction of the virus to its hospitals were enough to avoid dismissal, saying the health care company can continue with its suit against a Zurich Insurance unit.

  • September 23, 2021

    Fashion Co.'s COVID Coverage Capped At $1M, Insurer Says

    Tapestry Inc., which owns luxury brands Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, can only seek narrow coverage under its commercial property insurance policy for business losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, its insurer Factory Mutual Insurance Co. told a Maryland federal judge Thursday.

  • September 23, 2021

    Wash. Judge Tosses Fitness Centers' Virus Coverage Suits

    Two Washington-based fitness centers aren't entitled to coverage for their pandemic losses, a federal judge has ruled, saying they failed to show that they sustained the kind of physical loss that would qualify them for coverage under their insurance policies.

  • September 23, 2021

    Judge Cautions About Harming Surfside Site's Value

    A day after a conditional "stalking horse" contract was signed for the site of fallen condominiums in Surfside, Florida, the state court judge overseeing related litigation cautioned Thursday against public statements questioning the property's fate, which he said would only hurt its eventual sale price and victims' recovery.

  • September 23, 2021

    Cincinnati Scores 7 Virus Coverage Dismissals In Tenn., Pa.

    Cincinnati Insurance Co. won seven dismissals of coronavirus coverage suits in Tennessee and Pennsylvania federal courts, but a Missouri federal judge allowed a Kansas City restaurant and bar owner to head to trial against the insurer on its business income coverage claim.

  • September 23, 2021

    West Virginia Reappoints Former Insurance Commissioner

    West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice reappointed an insurance commissioner who previously held the post for two years starting in 2017, according to a letter issued by the governor's office.

  • September 23, 2021

    'Friends Of Court' Take Key Role In COVID Coverage Appeals

    The battleground has partially shifted to the federal and state appellate courts in many of the COVID-19 business-interruption suits across the country, and several insurer trade groups and policyholder associations have taken on a more prominent role providing voices on the key issues.

  • September 22, 2021

    Florida Property Market In 'Dire' Condition, Regulator Says

    Florida's property insurance market will not remain viable if recently enacted reforms are unsuccessful at stemming the record-breaking losses hitting domestic insurers, the state's insurance regulator warned a panel of lawmakers Wednesday.

  • September 22, 2021

    6th Circ. Sides With Insurer In Cafe's COVID Coverage Suit

    The Sixth Circuit became the latest to side with an insurer in a dispute over COVID-19 business interruption coverage, with a panel unanimously holding Wednesday that an Ohio cafe's property insurance policy did not cover losses attributed to the pandemic and shutdown orders.

  • September 22, 2021

    Insurer Defeats Aspen Restaurant's COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    An Aspen, Colorado, Italian restaurant isn't entitled to coverage of losses it sustained because of government pandemic restrictions, a federal judge ruled, saying the eatery didn't allege the kind of physical damage required for coverage.

  • September 22, 2021

    Allstate Must Face Bad Faith Claim In Miss. Fire Coverage Suit

    Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co. will have to face accusations that it acted in bad faith when it withdrew from the appraisal of fire damage to a Mississippi home, a Magnolia State federal judge ruled Tuesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Ruling Rightly Sends COVID Biz Interruption Question To Jury

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    After a string of insurer coronavirus coverage wins on dispositive motions, a Missouri federal court's ruling this week in favor of the policyholder in K.C. Hopps v. Cincinnati Insurance places the decision-making responsibility about the facts and science in COVID-19 business interruption cases back where it belongs — with a jury, say attorneys at Pillsbury.

  • Policyholder Outlook Following UK Biz Interruption Test Case

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    In the nine months since the U.K. Supreme Court ruled in favor of policyholders in the Financial Conduct Authority’s test case on insurance coverage for COVID-19 businesses interruption claims, similar lawsuits filed against insurers show that a positive outcome for insureds is not guaranteed, say Peter Sharp and Paul Mesquitta at Morgan Lewis.

  • Lessons From 3rd Circ. COVID Biz Interruption Ruling

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    The Third Circuit's recent DiAnoia's v. Motorists Mutual Insurance decision, directing district courts to reevaluate their remand of three pandemic-related business interruption cases to state courts, holds a lesson that determining Declaratory Judgment Act jurisdiction requires a rigorous analysis of all factors, says Regen O'Malley at Gordon Rees.

  • What 5th Circ. Ruling Means For Insurers' Post-Award Liability

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    The Fifth Circuit's recent decision in Randel v. Travelers, holding that an insurer's timely preappraisal payment did not extinguish its liability to its insured, highlights the importance of thoroughness and accuracy in initial loss inspections, says ​​​​​​​Karl Schulz at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Insurance Commissioner's Agenda: Del. Tackles Mental Health

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    Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro highlights the state's efforts to achieve insurance coverage parity for mental health care by confronting systemic stigma and penalizing disparate and restrictive insurance determinations.

  • Key Takeaways From The NAIC Summer National Meeting

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    Stephanie Duchene and Kara Baysinger at Willkie highlight what insurance practitioners should know about top industry priorities from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ recent national meeting, including climate-related risk, diversity and inclusion, and technological innovation.

  • New Fla. Atty Fee Law May Be Boon To Property Insurers

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    A new Florida law designed to curb property insurance litigation should add some balance to a historically hostile environment for insurers by shifting the onus onto policyholders to prove entitlement to attorney fees, say attorneys at Zelle.

  • Embracing ESG: AIG Counsel Talks SEC Risk Alert

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    As the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission responds to the changing landscape on environmental, social and corporate governance investing, including with its recent risk alert, it is imperative that the regulator take a measured approach, says Kate Fuentes at AIG.

  • Insurance Commissioner's Agenda: Wis. Tackles Climate Risk

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    Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance Mark Afable talks about educating consumers on potential climate-risk coverage gaps and mitigation efforts, and encouraging insurers to recognize the latter in underwriting, in the face of increasingly frequent and severe weather disasters.

  • Insurer Considerations For Post-Pandemic Virtual Mediation

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    To determine whether to continue engaging in virtual mediations after the pandemic ends, insurers should weigh the format's challenges against its benefits, including decreased hostility between parties, time and cost, and increased client participation, say Jennifer Gibbs and Amanda Rodriguez at Zelle.

  • The Right Condo Governance Provisions Can Enhance Safety

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    Though condominium and community governance documents cannot prevent a structural failure, such as the Champlain Towers tragedy, developers and their lawyers can draft these documents to better educate board members and remove obstacles to preserving community assets, says Bob Burton at Winstead.

  • Risks To Consider For Commercial Real Estate Gap Closings

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    The use of the gap closing mechanism in commercial real estate transactions — when there is a delay between a purchase and the recording of documents — has been increasing amid the pandemic, but certain complications can arise for buyers when an intervening matter influences a title's quality, says Jennifer Ioli at Sherin and Lodgen.

  • NY Ruling Should Make Counsel More Cautious In Emails

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    A recent New York Appellate Division decision, Philadelphia Insurance v. Kendall, makes it much more likely that a settlement could be effectuated by simple email exchanges without more formal written documentation memorializing all the terms of the settlement, says Christopher Gorman at Abrams Fensterman.