Property

  • March 14, 2024

    La. Strip Mall Says Insurers' Arbitration Clause Unenforceable

    A New Orleans-area strip mall owner said it shouldn't be forced to arbitrate its bad faith claim against its insurers for the handling of its Hurricane Ida damage claim, telling a Louisiana federal court that the arbitration clause in its policies is unenforceable.

  • March 14, 2024

    An Insurance Attorney's Call To Military Service

    Jeffrey Bristol of Parrish Law PA is a self-described "later-in-life lawyer" wearing many hats because he has dedicated more than a decade to serving in multiple branches of the U.S. armed forces.

  • March 14, 2024

    Towers Watson Ruling Energizes Bump-Up Supporters, Critics

    A Virginia federal court decision freeing Towers Watson's insurers from covering shareholder suit settlements totaling $90 million has offered carriers support for their use of the so-called bump-up exclusion and prompted criticism from policyholders that the exclusion has gone too far.

  • March 13, 2024

    Wash. Law Firm, Travelers Settle $136K Theft Coverage Fight

    A Seattle law firm and Travelers settled their coverage dispute over an employee's nearly $136,000 worth of unauthorized charges on a credit card, the parties told a Washington federal court.

  • March 13, 2024

    Ala. Hotelier Says Insurer Must Cover Fire Damage

    A Montgomery, Alabama, hotel owner said an insurer must cover a property-destroying fire under a $13 million policy, telling a New York federal court the insurer made "no attempt whatsoever" to meet its obligations despite the hotelier having met all conditions under the policy.

  • March 12, 2024

    La. Property Owners, Insurers Settle $5M Hurricane Ida Fight

    Lloyd's of London and other insurers and underwriters have agreed to settle claims by a group of New Orleans-area property owners who allege the insurers wrongly denied more than $5.1 million in claims from Hurricane Ida damage after the insurers demanded the dispute be resolved in arbitration.

  • March 12, 2024

    Maui Wildfire Case Sent Back To Hawaii State Court

    A Hawaii federal judge lobbed to state court a family's suit seeking to hold Maui County, energy utilities, telecommunication companies and others liable for property damage caused by a wildfire that left over 100 people dead, rejecting the defendants' argument this case should be removed and consolidated in federal court.

  • March 12, 2024

    Pa. Property Owner Knocks Insurer's Early Win Bid

    A Pennsylvania property owner urged a federal court to reject its insurer's bid for a pretrial win, arguing that a vacancy provision in its policy is ambiguous and does not preclude coverage of the $5 million in damages it seeks following a warehouse break-in.

  • March 11, 2024

    Prejudice Rule Applies To Property Claims, Colo. Justices Say

    A rule excusing some policyholders for filing late claims applies to occurrence-based, first-party homeowners' property policies, a divided Colorado Supreme Court held Monday, reversing two insurers' wins in a pair of coverage disputes over hail damage.

  • March 11, 2024

    Travelers Owes No Coverage For Mo. Wall Mishap, Judge Says

    Travelers has no duty to provide over $1.4 million to a St. Louis area property developer for administrative expenses and loss of rental income stemming from a retaining wall failure, a Missouri federal court ruled Monday, finding such coverage didn't extend to additional insureds on a general contractor's policy.

  • March 11, 2024

    Atty, Marketing Biz Knock Call To Continue Hurricane Ad Suit

    A legal advertising company and an attorney are objecting to a Texas federal judge's recent decision in favor of a woman pressing class claims over legal advertising to Louisiana hurricane victims, arguing that the woman still hasn't shown concrete injury.

  • March 08, 2024

    State Farm Beats Spas' COVID Shutdown Suit At 4th Circ.

    The Fourth Circuit sided with State Farm insurance entities Friday in tossing a coverage dispute brought by a class of spa businesses alleging they were owed under "all risk" policies after COVID shutdown orders, with the court holding that recent precedent determined similar policies dealt with physical damage, not business closings.

  • March 07, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The California Supreme Court heard COVID-19 coverage arguments, the Fifth Circuit ordered arbitration between a property owner and its domestic insurers, and a New Hampshire federal court said Liberty Mutual owes no defense for class action claims over a sleep machine cleaner.

  • March 07, 2024

    5th Circ. Affirms Arbitration In Hurricane Coverage Feud

    The Fifth Circuit has ordered the owner of a New Orleans luxury apartment and retail complex to arbitrate a dispute with its domestic surplus lines insurers over coverage for $7 million in hurricane damage, ruling that arbitration is permitted under a carveout in conflicting Louisiana state law.

  • March 07, 2024

    Mixed Feelings On AI At Cyberinsurance Symposium

    Panelists at the Professional Liability Underwriting Society's cyber symposium in New York City on Tuesday and Wednesday were both excited and scared about generative artificial intelligence, acknowledging that it may be used in more complicated cyberattacks yet curious about the possibility the new market could bring. 

  • March 07, 2024

    Texas Wildfires Strike Underinsured Agricultural Sector

    A series of Texas wildfires including one estimated to be the worst in the state's history are underscoring the increasing risk of severe natural catastrophes to underinsured populations and insurance markets already under stress, experts say.

  • March 07, 2024

    Anti-Fraud Tool At Risk In 8th Circ. Billing Row, Carriers Say

    Insurers' ability to enter agreements that limit billings with healthcare providers, which they contend help combat insurance fraud, is up in the air in Minnesota as the Eighth Circuit gears up to hear arguments Thursday over whether such agreements violate a state law guaranteeing prompt automobile accident insurance payouts.

  • March 07, 2024

    Towers Watson Insurers Off Hook For $90M Merger Coverage

    Towers Watson's insurers do not need to cover settlements totaling $90 million in two shareholder suits stemming from the company's merger with Willis, a Virginia federal judge ruled, saying the transaction was barred by a so-called bump-up exclusion.

  • March 07, 2024

    Women In Insurance Law On Breaking Down Barriers

    Building a better environment for women in the legal industry starts from the top, women in insurance law told Law360. To mark International Women's Day, both junior and senior women attorneys share their experiences in the industry and offer words of advice.

  • March 06, 2024

    Fla. Judge Relieves Insurer Of $1M Construction Defect Row

    An insurer has no obligation to defend or indemnify a general contractor or subcontractor in an over $1 million faulty construction dispute, a Florida federal judge ruled, finding that the subcontractor's policies contained an unambiguous "residential construction" exclusion that clearly barred coverage.

  • March 06, 2024

    Power Co. Can't Escape Explosion Fraud Claim

    An infrastructure supply company can't toss a fraud claim brought by an industrial company's insurers in a suit seeking to recoup $18.7 million in damages for a manufacturing facility explosion, an Ohio federal court ruled, finding that the carriers can bring both a breach of contract claim and a fraud claim.

  • March 05, 2024

    Calif. Justice Asks Why COVID Triggers Insurance But Not Flu

    A California Supreme Court justice appeared skeptical during a hearing Tuesday that COVID-19's presence fulfills the "physical loss or damage" requirement in commercial property insurance policies under Golden State law, questioning whether COVID-19 is different from the flu with respect to property coverage and calling asbestos litigation "far afield."

  • March 04, 2024

    5th Circ. Says Hurricane Coverage Battle Must Be Arbitrated

    A Louisiana property owner and its eight domestic insurers must arbitrate the owner's claims that they mishandled and delayed paying its Hurricane Laura property damage claim in bad faith, the Fifth Circuit ruled Monday, reversing a district court's decision that found an arbitration provision at issue unenforceable.

  • March 04, 2024

    Arizona Iced Tea Asks 2nd Circ. To Affirm Audit Expense Win

    The maker of Arizona Iced Tea told the Second Circuit that Hanover Insurance Co. must cover additional audit expenses it incurred after a power surge erased two years' worth of financial data, arguing its "period of restoration" ended when the audit concluded, not when replacement accounting software was in place.

  • February 29, 2024

    9th Circ. Sends COVID-19 Coverage Row Back To Tribal Court

    A Ninth Circuit panel unanimously affirmed the Suquamish Tribal Court's jurisdiction over a COVID-19 coverage dispute, finding in a published opinion Thursday that although the tribe's insurers weren't present on its land, a consensual business relationship means tribal law applies.

Expert Analysis

  • A Recovery Option For Lenders With Planes Stuck In Russia

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    For aircraft lessors considering insurance coverage litigation to recover for losses of equipment leased to Russian airlines, negotiating an assignment of rights may provide a faster pathway to recovery, say David Klein and Jose Lua-Valencia at Pillsbury.

  • Policyholders Should Also Want To Fight Social Inflation

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    Effectively combating the ills of social inflation — the upward creep in insurance litigation and expected payouts — requires all stakeholders, not just insurers, to recognize the mutual interests between insurers and the risk pool of insureds, says Bryant Green at Zelle.

  • Property Claim Ruling Rightly Backs Texas Removal Policy

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    The Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in Advanced Indicator v. Acadia Insurance, allowing the insurer to remove a property damage suit to federal court, ensures that abusive practices related to weather claims will continue to be thwarted per an important chapter of the Texas Insurance Code, says Karl Schulz at Cozen.

  • Trends And Opportunities In Canada's Insurance M&A Market

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    Laurie LaPalme and Derek Levinsky at Dentons discuss the results of a survey regarding Canada's insurance mergers and acquisitions market, and their expectations for the next year in this space — including an increased focus on accident and sickness insurance, and technology-focused assets.

  • 4 Themes From Policyholder Wins In COVID Coverage Cases

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    As COVID-19 business interruption coverage lawsuits wind their way through state and federal courts, the broader trends emerging from the policyholder victories can assist insureds and their counsel with strategic litigation decisions, says Nicholas Insua at Reed Smith.

  • Capturing Insurance Coverage For Climate Change Suits

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    As municipalities increasingly file suits seeking damages from oil companies in connection with climate change, the companies should consider filing actions to forestall insurer denials of commercial general liability coverage based on theories of novelty or inapplicable pollution exclusions, say attorneys at Haynes and Boone.

  • After Climate Rulings, Insurers May Go On Coverage Offense

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    As climate change lawsuits progress, coverage litigation quickly follows — as evidenced by two recently filed suits, Aloha Petroleum v. National Union Fire Insurance and Everest Premier Insurance v. Gulf Oil — and insurers will likely become more proactive in seeking to limit their exposure, say Jose Umbert and Hernan Cipriotti at Zelle.

  • Indirect Hurricane Ian Losses Could Be Covered By Insurance

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    Even companies indirectly affected by Hurricane Ian — for instance, by losses in their supply chain — should review their commercial property policies as they might benefit from specific insurance clauses covering these types of losses, says William Wagner at Taft.

  • Lessons From 1st COVID Biz Interruption Policyholder Verdict

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    Robyn Anderson at Lathrop examines what made Baylor College of Medicine's recent COVID-19 business interruption case a success in Texas state court, and considers whether this first win on behalf of an insured is an outlier or a sign of more to come.

  • State COVID Insurance Rulings Highlight Errors In Dismissals

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    Recent California and Vermont decisions in favor of policyholders, along with a $48 million jury verdict in Texas, underscore the error that courts are making by dismissing COVID-19 business interruption lawsuits at the pleading stage without consideration of the facts and evidence in each case, say Joseph Niczky and Michael Levine at Hunton.

  • Fla. Evidence Code Update Lowers Burden For Image Use

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    Florida's recent evidence code change permits judicial notice of images and certain other graphics, a hugely meaningful development for litigants across a wide range of practice areas, though the effect will likely be immediately felt in property insurance cases, say Eve Cann and David Levin at Baker Donelson.

  • Courts Are Not Shifting On COVID Biz Interruption Stance

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    Although a recent Law360 guest article suggested that the pendulum is about to swing in favor of policyholders seeking business interruption coverage for pandemic-related losses, the larger body of appellate case law — applying the laws of 25 states — continues to find no coverage, say attorneys at Dentons.

  • What Snap Removal Debate Means For Insurance Disputes

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    A potential circuit split regarding the permissibility of snap removal to federal court, which allows defendants to circumvent the forum defendant rule, is particularly a concern in insurance cases due to the difficulty of removing such cases, and the perception that some state courts are more favorable to policyholders, says Greg Mann at Rivkin Radler.

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