National Insurance Law Forum

National Insurance Law Forum

Published By The Attorneys of the National Insurance Law Forum

Category Archives: Property Insurance

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Criminal Acts Exclusion and Joint Obligations Clauses Bar Coverage for Claims Arising from Insured’s Criminal Act

Posted in Personal and Advertising Injury, Property Insurance, Recent Cases
Criminal Acts Exclusion and Joint Obligations Clauses Bar Coverage for Claims Arising from Insured’s Criminal Act In Allstate Insurance Company v. Morgan, 123 F. Supp. 3d 1266 (D. Or. 2015), the District of Oregon held an insurer was not obligated to defend their insured’s son against tort claims arising out of the son’s assault on… Continue Reading

CyberAttacks and Superstorm Sandy: Implications for the U.S. Power Grid

Posted in Property Insurance
Much has been written about business interruption losses following Superstorm Sandy and still more, of late, concerning the type of losses that might flow from a directed cyber-attack targeting U.S. infrastructure.  As yet, however, no one has looked at what happened after Superstorm Sandy and connected the dots to the implications it might have for… Continue Reading

Where There’s Smoke, There May Be Coverage: Marijuana Meets the Law

Posted in Property Insurance, Recent Cases
A provocative new opinion from Colorado (where else) has explored the potential scope of first-party property insurance coverage for a loss of marijuana plants. The opinion highlights some of the problems that first party insurers face in evaluating losses in an area that is emerging into the mainstream but has not yet entirely lost its… Continue Reading

Whither Water Losses In New England?

Posted in Property Insurance
Even as New England suffers through one of the hottest, dryest summers on record, local courts are pouring cold water on policyholder efforts to obtain first party insurance for water losses from earlier, wetter times.  In two recent rulings, the supreme courts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island have respectively upheld the construction of "surface water"… Continue Reading

Does an Insurer “Waive” the Fortuity Requirement under an All Risk Policy By Failing to Exclude a Risk It Knows About?

Posted in Property Insurance, Recent Cases
  It is black letter law that in order to recover under an all risk policy, the insured has the burden of showing that its loss resulted from a fortuitous event. "Fortuitous" means happening by chance or accident, or occurring unexpectedly or without known cause. Black’s Law Dictionary 664 (7th ed. 1999).   If the insurer knows of… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Addresses the Meaning of “Ice” in an All Risk Property Insurance Policy

Posted in Property Insurance
In Terminal Freezers Inc. v. U.S. Fire Ins., 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 20321, an unpublished opinion issued on September 11, 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals employed Washington law to examine the meaning of the undefined term “ice” as used in an “all risk” property insurance policy. In Terminal Freezers, the plaintiff, who runs… Continue Reading

“Occurrences” And The First Party Policy

Posted in Property Insurance
Despite the growing body of case law that has emerged in recent years construing the limits of coverage under CGL policies, there is still a surprising dearth of first party "occurrences" jurisprudence.  Although most of the original "occurrences" cases involved disputes between policyholders and insurers in which policyholders sought a finding of multiple "occurrences" to trigger additional… Continue Reading

Louisiana Supreme Court Upholds Flood Exclusion in Katrina Cases

Posted in Property Insurance
On Tuesday, the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the standard flood exclusion in the standard commercial property policy rejecting the claims of the citizens and business owners of New Orleans who claimed the flood exclusion was ambiguous and should not exclude "man made" disasters such as levee breeches or the failure to operate drain pumps.   In Joseph Sher… Continue Reading

South Carolina’s High Court Clarifies Rules on Construction Defect Coverage

Posted in Property Insurance
Clarifying several rulings on coverage for construction defects, South Carolina’s Supreme Court ruled this week that a trial court did not err in determining that a CGL policy covered damages awarded to a homeowner in an arbitration against an insured contactor for water intrusion related to negligent application of stucco by a subcontractor. The court… Continue Reading

No Coverage For Mold

Posted in Property Insurance
Although winter storms may bring another round of mold claims, California appellate courts again have upheld the right of insurers to exclude coverage for damage caused by mold. De Bruyn v. Superior Court (Fire Ins. Exchg.) (2007) 07 C.D.O.S. 5019. The efficient proximate doctrine, which in California (unlike many states) constrains insurers in how they communicate what… Continue Reading

Efficient Proximate Cause Held Inapplicable To First Party Pollution Exclusion

Posted in Property Insurance
Efficient proximate cause issues have been much in the news lately as insureds and insurers joust over wind-water and anti-concurrent causation clauses throughout the Fifth Circuit.  In an ew opinion, however, the Vermont Supreme Court has ruled that courts need not consider the efficient or predominant cause of a loss, much less ACC clauses, if… Continue Reading