Recently, a federal district court in Oregon clarified where one may sue an insurance reciprocal exchange. In the case of Staggs v. Farmers Insurance Exchange,1 the homeowners were Oregon citizens who brought suit under a homeowners’ policy issued by Farmers Insurance Exchange in a federal district court in Oregon. Farmers moves to dismiss, arguing that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because there was no diversity; that although its primary place of business was California, the Staggs were Oregon citizens.
Continue Reading Insurance Reciprocal Exchanges and Federal Diversity Jurisdiction

As many Californians continue to repair, rebuild, and regain financial health after the disasters throughout the State, many are looking at insurance reform as a solution for the future. Insurers should provide the funds due to individuals and businesses after a disaster, but as surveys have shown, these funds don’t always flow as they should.1
Continue Reading Why California Insurance Reform Can Improve Disaster Recovery in the Future

The case of Weingarten v. Auto Owners Insurance Company,1 may have raised some interesting ideas about insurance policy interpretation, yet it was ultimately decided by a number of case-specific facts. Connie and Edward Weingarten sued their homeowner’s insurer, Auto-Owners Insurance Company, arguing that the company had improperly denied their insurance claim, which sought coverage for property damage due to an illegal marijuana grow operation. The Weingartens alleged breach of insurance contract, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, and statutory unreasonable delay or denial.
Continue Reading Can a Marijuana Grow Operation Also Be a “Residence”?

Following a devastating loss to one’s home, as is the case throughout California due to recent fires and mudslides, the process of contacting your insurer to begin the rebuilding or repair can be complicated and daunting. Many are quick to begin the rebuilding and repairs immediately or as soon as possible. However, there are requirements in working with your insurer to properly rebuild or repair. If an insured fails to follow appropriate protocols, the insurer can not only deny coverage, but do so on the basis of fraud.
Continue Reading Don’t Expose Yourself to Fraud Allegations by the Insurer

California State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones recently posted a bulletin urging insurance companies to provide North Bay fire victims up to 100% of their personal property coverage limits by not requiring the insured to fill out a detailed inventory.
Continue Reading California State Insurance Commissioner Issues Helpful Bulletin for Insureds

We recently had a request for a blog topic discussing additional living expenses (“ALE”) options following the loss of a home and subsequent evacuation. Under many insurance policies, not only is your real and personal property covered, but you may be entitled to additional living expenses, meaning food and housing costs, relocation, storage, meals when there’s no access to a kitchen, furniture rentals, and additional transportation expenses.
Continue Reading What Are Your Temporary Housing and Additional Living Expenses Options Following a Devastating Property Loss In California?

In Northern California, more than a dozen wildfires that began on Sunday are still raging. These fires have become one of the deadliest outbreaks in the state’s history, already burning through more than 100,000 acres, destroying thousands of homes, businesses, and wineries. Growing up visiting family in the Bay Area often, and attending law school in San Francisco, I am saddened to see friends and families on social media grappling with the devastation.
Continue Reading Will Insurance Companies Fairly Adjust Claims Following Recent California Fires?

The California Department of Insurance recently issued a press release announcing that the California Supreme Court affirmed the homeowner reimbursement protections recently decided in California Fair Plan Association v. Garnes.1 Back in June, my colleague Kevin Pollack wrote about the recent decision and whether actual cash value means fair market value or replacement

In the recent California case, Duarte v. Pacific Specialty Insurance Company, the appellate court examined an insured’s “misrepresentations” when applying for an insurance policy and concluded that the insurer had wrongfully denied coverage.1
Continue Reading When is a Misrepresentation Material for the Purpose of Insurance Coverage in California?