Edward Eshoo

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Federal District Court Weighs in on Whether Labor Can Be Depreciated in Arriving at an Actual Cash Value Loss Settlement

Whether labor can be depreciated in arriving at an actual cash value property loss settlement has been a hot topic of debate over these past five years. A federal district court in Ohio recently weighed in on the issue in ruling on motions to dismiss two putative class action lawsuits, one against State Farm Fire … Continue Reading

What Is A Fire?

Last month, I spoke at the First Party Claims Conference in Rhode Island on the topic of the Standard Fire Insurance Policy, which 165-line form provides coverage for direct loss by fire and lightning.1 My presentation presumed that everyone knows what a fire is, myself included. I changed my mind though after reading the Connecticut … Continue Reading

What Constitutes an “Abrupt Collapse”?

Most property insurance policies provide additional coverage for direct physical loss of or damage to covered property caused by or resulting from an “abrupt collapse.”1 In Hoban v. Nova Casualty Company,2 a California federal district court recently addressed the meaning of the phrase “abrupt collapse,” which the commercial insurance policy at issue defined as “an … Continue Reading

Examinations Under Oath: Be Careful What You Ask For

My article published in Adjusting Today,1 Property Insurance 101: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Examinations Under Oath – But Were Afraid to Ask!, was the subject of my blog post last month. As discussed in the article, an examination under oath (“EUO”) is not just another deposition. An insured’s counsel must be well-versed … Continue Reading

Is a “Matching” Dispute Appropriate for Appraisal? – Update

Last year in one of my blogposts, I wrote about Windridge of Naperville Condominium Association v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, and the issue whether appraisal is appropriate to resolve a dispute over the cost of repairing physically undamaged siding of townhome buildings to remedy a mismatch with repaired damaged siding. There, a federal district court … Continue Reading

Determining Actual Cash Value in Indiana

While the term actual cash value is typically found in a property insurance policy, it often is not defined in the policy. Courts around the country use four primary methods to give meaning to the term actual cash value when it is not defined in an insurance policy. Those methods are: (1) replacement cost without … Continue Reading

Does Entering Into a Land Contract for Replacement Property Satisfy the “Actual And Complete Replacement” and “Amount Actually Spent” Requirements for Replacement Cost Benefits?

Under the “Loss Settlement” provision in the typical homeowners property insurance policy, the insurer is not obligated to pay replacement cost benefits unless and until “actual repair or replacement is complete.” The “Loss Settlement” provision also limits the insurer’s replacement cost payment to the lesser of: the limit of liability that applies to the building, … Continue Reading

Compliance with Policy Conditions After a Denial of Coverage

In Florida, an insurer’s denial of coverage constitutes a waiver of its right to require an insured to comply with policy conditions before filing suit.1 But, what if insured requests an insurer to reconsider its coverage denial before filing suit? Does the request to reconsider nullify the insurer’s previous denial of coverage requiring the insured … Continue Reading

Does the Standard Fire Policy Vacancy/Unoccupancy Condition Apply to a Fire Loss Occurring within Sixty Days of the Inception of Coverage?

I have handled many fire losses over the years involving vacant and/or unoccupied property.1 In some losses, the fire occurred within 60 days of the inception of coverage; but, the insured property had been vacant or unoccupied for more than 60 days prior to the effective date of coverage. Invariably, the insurers in those fire … Continue Reading

Allstate’s 180-Day Dwelling Replacement Requirement Trumped by the Illinois Standard Fire Policy

Under the powers vested by sections 397 and 401 of the Illinois Insurance Code, the Director of Insurance has promulgated certain regulations which provide for a Standard Fire Policy.1 Under the regulations, all fire insurance policies must “conform to such form of the Standard [Fire] Policy or, if another form is used, shall for the … Continue Reading

The Massachusetts Standard Fire Policy and the Innocent Co-Insured Doctrine

I wrote about Streit v. Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company1 in a recent blogpost. In Streit, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that an insurance policy “intentional loss” exclusion which precluded innocent co-insureds from recovering for a fire loss was unenforceable because it violated the minimum level of protection afforded by the Illinois Standard Fire … Continue Reading

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

When Must a Negligence Claim Be Brought Against an Illinois Insurance Producer?

Section 13-214.4 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure provides that “[a]ll causes of action brought by any person or entity under any statute or any legal or equitable theory against an insurance producer1 . . . concerning the sale, placement, procurement, renewal, cancellation of, or failure to procure any policy of insurance shall be … Continue Reading

The Scope of Appraisal in Illinois

The appraisal clause in a typical residential and commercial property insurance policy provides for an appraisal if the parties disagree as to “the amount of loss.”1 That phrase has been the subject of extensive legal debate between insureds and insurers in terms of its meaning and scope. While most courts have concluded that ascertaining the … Continue Reading

Does a Residence Restriction Violate the Standard Fire Insurance Policy?

Homeowner property insurance policies usually cover the dwelling located at the “residence premises,” which is typically defined as the one, two, three, or four-family dwelling used principally as a private residence and where the insured resides. What happens if the insured is not residing in the dwelling at the time of a fire loss? Is … Continue Reading

Is a “Matching” Dispute Appropriate for Appraisal?

In my last blog post, I discussed Windridge of Naperville Condominium Association v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company,1 and the issue whether appraisal is appropriate to resolve a dispute over the need for a general contractor to perform repairs following a covered loss. Windridge of Naperville also involved whether appraisal is appropriate to resolve a dispute … Continue Reading

Is a Dispute Over General Contractor Overhead and Profit Appropriate for Appraisal?

In Windridge of Naperville Condominium Association v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company,1 a federal district court in Illinois recently addressed the issue whether appraisal is appropriate to resolve a dispute over the need for a general contractor to perform repairs following a covered loss. There, hail damaged townhome buildings, requiring repairs. Philadelphia paid for losses it … Continue Reading
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