Undefined Term in Business Insurance Policy Must be Interpreted with Reference to Industry Specific Meaning to Satisfy Insured’s Reasonable Expectations

In an unpublished decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently used extrinsic evidence to interpret the meaning of “direct supplier” in the context of a commercial property loss.1 I previously blogged about this case in 9th Circuit to Interpret Meaning of “Direct Supplier” In Context of a Commercial Property Loss Claim. Continue Reading

Does an Insurer Have the Right to Raise a Defense in Litigation If Not a Basis For Its Denial?

The Appellate Court in New York recently reversed the trial court’s finding in favor of the insured which had concluded the vandalism exclusion did not apply to the loss.1 The insured owned certain real property which it was renovating and using as rental property. It was admitted the property had been vacant and unoccupied for six months before a fire substantially damaged it. The insureds filed a claim under their Landlords Package Policy, which was denied by Allstate. Continue Reading

Water Damage Loss Time Limits and Hidden Damage—What Do Insurers Promise to Departments of Insurance?

I spoke about water damage loss at the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters Annual Convention last week. One issue I discussed was the time limits of water damage. A recent post, Avoiding Denials of Water Damage Claims Based on “Long Term Damage Exclusions” also discussed the issue. Continue Reading

In California, Can an Insured Homeowner Recover Full Replacement Cost by Purchasing a Home at Another Location?

The short answer is yes. In Conway v. Farmers Home Mutual Insurance Company, the California Court of Appeal followed several out-of-state authorities in considering the issue and ruling in favor for the insured.1 Chip Merlin raised this issue with respect to Texas back in 2009 – finding that the courts there apply the law a bit differently. You can revisit the blog here: Obtaining Full Replacement Cost Benefits Through Replacement at a Different Location – Texas Style. Continue Reading

New York District Court Uses Discretion, Allows Pro Se Litigant to Perfect Service

Edmund Sanderson owned a house in Plattsburgh, New York. On January 7, 2014, he discovered water and mold damage at his home. He then notified his insurance carrier, First Liberty Insurance Corporation. After several months of negotiating, Sanderson realized filing a lawsuit was the only option he had. Continue Reading

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