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Does a Protective Safeguards Endorsement Violate the Standard Fire Insurance Policy?

As discussed in my blog post last week, the 1943 New York Standard Fire Policy (“the Standard Fire Policy”), or a statutory version differing from it only slightly, is used in many states. The Standard Fire Policy potentially affords insureds more fire coverage than they may otherwise have, given the limited number of provisions which … Continue Reading

Super Lawyer Rene Sigman Joins Merlin Law Group in Texas

Rene Sigman first came to my attention in 2008 at a Hurricane Ike hearing in Galveston. I told Javier Delgado that “this lawyer has her act together.” I then watched as she headed-up Mostyn Law Firm’s litigation department, winning thousands of cases resulting from Hurricane Ike and then in New York following Superstorm Sandy. We … Continue Reading

Appraisers Agreeing Not To Include Issues of Loss May Render Policyholders with No Later Recovery

Appraisals can result in losing propositions for policyholders. I often teach that policyholders need to make certain that they do their best during appraisal and not expect a bad award to get overturned. Policyholders need very hardworking, honest, and knowledgeable persons selected as their appraisers.… Continue Reading

Is Unauthorized Construction/Demolition Performed by a Tenant Covered Damage Under a First-Party Property Policy?

If a homeowner agrees to sell a home, and as part of the sale agreement allows the prospective buyer to: (1) lease the property before escrow is closed, and (2) make certain improvements to the property with the owner’s permission, but then, after taking possession during the lease, the prospective buyer tears the property down … Continue Reading

Court Upholds Policy Suit Limitations Provision and Holds Appraisal Award Unenforceable for Failure to File a Timely Lawsuit

This blog has often discussed the importance of carefully reading your insurance policy. It is imperative to know of your rights should your insurance claim become problematic. It is crucial to know the policy’s suit limitation clause as well as your state’s statute of limitations, so you don’t miss the filing deadline. Once this period … Continue Reading

Cracks Caused by Construction Operations May Be Covered

Judges often make erroneous decisions based on the information presented and argued to them by the attorneys selected by the parties. I was thinking about this while writing my post, Experts Regarding Causation Can Be More Important Than Witnesses — or, Don’t Believe Your Lying Eyes When Your Insurance Company Hires an Expert.… Continue Reading

Experts Regarding Causation Can Be More Important Than Witnesses — or, Don’t Believe Your Lying Eyes When Your Insurance Company Hires an Expert

Insurance companies hire all kinds of experts to help them for all kinds of reasons. The problem is that some experts are not honest and never try to find the truth. The other problem is some policyholders or their under-financed attorneys do not hire experts or very good experts.… Continue Reading

Action Against Broker Is Time Barred — Insured Knew or Should Have Known of Deficient Policy Limits Upon Receipt of Insurance Policy

Upon notice that an insurer will no longer insure a specific risk, insureds often call their broker or agent and request they obtain the insurance from another carrier with the same or similar coverages relative to the cancelled policy. Assuming the agent or broker did so, many insureds may not review or read their new … Continue Reading

CoreLogic Storm Surge Analysis Identifies Nearly 6.9 Million U.S. Homes at Risk of Hurricane Storm Surge Damage in 2017

Commemorating the start of the 2017 Hurricane season, CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics, and data-enable solutions provider, released its 2017 Storm Surge Report on June 1, 2017. Alarmingly, this report projects that almost 6.9 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are at potential risk of hurricane storm surge damage with a … Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Kentucky Holds “Substantial Impairment” Is Not Collapse

Insurance policies are all different. Some policies include a definition of the word “collapse” and some do not. The Kentucky Supreme Court in Thiele v. Kentucky Growers Ins. Co., 2017 WL 2598494 (Ky. June 15, 2017), recently addressed whether termite infestation and damage which caused substantial damage was covered under the policy’s collapse provision.… Continue Reading

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 … 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 … Continue Reading

Is SIMSOL Better Than Xactimate?

I walk around at conventions and conferences trying to learn and pick up ideas I can use. At the first celebration of FAPIA’s 25th Anniversary two weeks ago, I stopped at the SIMSOL vendor booth. I asked a rather simple question: Why do you guys think you are better than Xactimate?… Continue Reading
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