Jennifer Van Voorhis

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Fresh vs. Salt Water Flooding

As I watched Hurricane Irma coverage on CNN, following the landfall in Naples, I was reminded of a problem many insureds faced following Superstorm Sandy: “Is the water the result of flood or rain?” While Naples was in the eye of the storm, CNN showed a six block stretch of water covering streets where rain … Continue Reading

Crumbling Foundation and the Collapse Provision in a Homeowners Policy

Recently, Connecticut has had an increase in insurance claims for crumbling foundations due to faulty foundations poured in the 1980s and 1990s. Some foundations poured during this time frame contained a mineral, pyrrhotite, which can cause cracking when it reacts with oxygen and water. It is estimated nearly 20,000 foundations poured contain the mineral.… Continue Reading

Depreciation of Labor Costs

A common question by insureds has to do with depreciation, and how it is defined when calculating an Actual Cash Value (“ACV”) payment for property loss. For an underlying discussion of Depreciation Values, I direct you to Chip Merlin’s post on November 21, 2016: Determining Depreciation–Are Policyholders Getting Ripped Off?… Continue Reading

FEMA to Revise NYC Flood Maps

If you’re a property owner in New York City, you already know the high cost of insurance in the city. If you have a mortgage on your property, you also know that property owners in a high flood-risk zone are required to purchase flood insurance. In October, FEMA announced it will revise its flood maps … Continue Reading

What is Force-placed insurance?

Force-placed insurance is an insurance policy placed by a lender, bank or loan servicer on a home when the property owners’ own insurance is cancelled, has lapsed or is deemed insufficient and the borrower does not or cannot obtain another policy. They are also known as “creditor-placed, lender-placed or collateral protection” insurance.… Continue Reading

Bailee Liability in New Jersey

As Hermine made its way up the Eastern Seaboard, everyone along the New Jersey Coastline was praying this would not be a repeat of Hurricane Sandy. We in the tristate were lucky this time and the storm went out to sea with little impact, but as I read recent blog posts while preparing for the … Continue Reading

Poor Air Quality Can Be Physical Damage

I’ve lived all over the country and prior to making my way to the East coast, I was lucky enough to live in the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon, home of Harry and Davids, Jackson and Perkins, and—for you craft beer aficionados—Rogue Brewery. One of my favorite things in the Rogue Valley is the Shakespeare … Continue Reading

Panama Canal Expansion Expected to Expand Shipping from Asia to the East Coast: What Law Will Govern if My Shipment is Lost?

If you ship goods between Asia or South America and the United States, you are no doubt aware of the “Third Set of Locks Project,” which doubled the capacity of the Panama Canal by adding a new lane of traffic and increasing the width and depth of the existing lanes and locks, allowing larger ships … Continue Reading

What Is a Permissions Granted Clause and How Does It Affect a Carrier’s Ability to Disclaim Property Losses for Increased Hazards?

Most home owner policies have a potential coverage defense for “increase of hazard.” An increase of hazard clause generally allows a carrier to disclaim coverage when “a new use is made of the insured property, or when its physical condition is changed from that which existed when the policy was written, and the new use … Continue Reading
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