Tag Archives: Policy Language

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

Standard Fire Insurance Policies Still Provide Basic Protections—A Major Victory for Policyholders and Merlin Law Group

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal’s opinion this week in Streit v. Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company,1 is a major victory for policyholders in Illinois. There, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the lower court judgment entered in favor of my clients, Wesley and Barbara Streit, arising out of Metropolitan’s failure to cover a fire loss to their … 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In an unpublished decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently used extrinsic evidence to interpret the meaning of “direct supplier” in the context of a commercial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

The Interplay Between Property Damage Caused by an Explosion and Coverage

Insurance provisions related to explosions, like all other terms, are subject to the rules of construction applied to all insurance contracts. Typically, property damage caused by explosions is covered under the policy. However, some policies may expressly define the term “explosion” to exclude events that would generally be defined as such.1 For instance, policies may … Continue Reading

“Other Insurance” Provisions

In 2012, the Barnard Elementary School Building (“Barnard Building”) in Tulsa, Oklahoma sustained approximately $6 million in fire damage in 2012. There were two insurance policies covering the same policy period: (1) a policy issued by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company (“Philadelphia”) to the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences for coverage of the building it … Continue Reading

“Commencing” Deemed Ambiguous in Property Insurance Policy

A federal District Court in Illinois has determined that the term “commencing” is ambiguous in a property insurance policy that provides coverage for “loss or damage commencing [d]uring the policy period…[w]ithin the…United States of America.”1 At issue in Temperature Service Company, Inc. v. Acuity, was whether property damage, that began before the policy period, but … Continue Reading

Do All Insurance Policies Require a Total Collapse to Trigger Collapse Coverage?

In California, if a property insurance policy does not specifically require a collapse to be complete or actual falling down to trigger coverage, then an imminent (i.e., impending) collapse will probably trigger coverage.1 However, on the flipside, if a policy does specifically require a collapse to be “complete” or “actual” falling down, then an imminent … Continue Reading

What Constitutes a “Residence Premises”

A standard term in a homeowners policy is “residence premises.” However, a dispute can arise regarding the interpretation of this term when an insured either moves and does not advise his insurance carrier or if the insured is not living at the property on the date of loss.… Continue Reading

When Does Business Personal Property Become Personal Property?

Although they typically insure personal property owned or used by insureds while it is anywhere in the world, most homeowner insurance policies contain a special limitation of liability for “business” personal property. For example, under the 2011 edition of the ISO Homeowners 3-Special Form, property on the residence premises used primarily for business purposes is … Continue Reading

Policy Interpretation Matters for Coverage Application and Court Reminds Insurance Company that it Wrote the Policy

At a recent insurance conference, I heard a discussion in passing between industry folks about the trend of trying to kill the name “all-risk insurance policy.” The basic conversation was that we should stop using the all-risk language and use the form names more because the insinuation has been made that the policies labeled as … Continue Reading

Beware of Your Insurance Company’s Overused Denial Phrases Tactics That Are Not Supported by the Facts

The insurance policy for your property is not to be used as a warranty agreement. The policies generally cover sudden and accidental losses caused by covered perils or perils not excluded to covered property. There is a time and place insurers to rely upon the policy limitations and exclusions when after an investigation the facts … Continue Reading

Insurance Industry Pulling End Around on Texas Policyholders: Carrier Asking TDI to Approve Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clause in Policy Form

I am using this blog to get the word our to all persons in Texas who care about working Texans and Texas businesses who pay insurance premiums every day. Please read below from Alex Winslow of Texas Watch and please go on the Texas Watch website and oppose this type of policy. I emailed Alex … Continue Reading

More Money for Less Coverage

In Florida, you can rely on three things with certainty—death, taxes, and high property insurance premiums. The reason for the latter is the subject of an intense debate that plays itself out in the halls of Tallahassee and on the editorial pages of our leading newspapers. I will not rehash the debate; our blog archives … 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

Homeowners: Do Not Accept a Certificate of Insurance as the Only Proof of Insurance

I check the website of the California Department of Insurance (DOI) frequently. I like to see what the DOI shares with the public. Recently, the DOI has posted several news releases talking about the criminal prosecution of insurance agents who commit fraud and embezzlement by pocketing the insurance premiums paid by clients and not getting … Continue Reading
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