“Chance favours the prepared mind.”
― Louis Pasteur

You better have an expert for a collapse case.

One thing is for sure, collapse coverage claims are fact specific and the exact language within the policy is crucial in determining whether the damage at the building will be covered. Counsel also needs to be very familiar with court decisions of a particular jurisdiction to understand how the courts decide these cases. My prior posts have explained the evolution and two main views of the coverage. The traditional view holds collapse is covered when there is either a falling down or a caving-in – into a flattened form of rubble. But the liberal view holds a collapse happens when there is a substantial impairment of structural integrity, without an actual collapse of the building or part thereof being necessary.

Continue Reading Experts and Photos – Clearing Up Collapse Coverage, Part V

A devastating property loss and a warning of collapse danger both made headlines recently. One of the news resources that those of us in the property insurance industry turn to is the Claims Journal. I have the Claims Journal app on my iPhone and check it frequently, but I was surprised when two stories in the same feed were reporting on collapse issues in two different parts of the country.

Continue Reading Collapse Claims Make National Headlines – Clearing Up Collapse Coverage, Part IV

It’s the last Saturday in January, and that means pirates invade Tampa Bay this weekend. Not familiar with Gasparilla? Here is a little on the Legend. While the name may sound like a rare tropical flower or an exotic drink, to Tampa, Gasparilla means boats, pirates, parades, and merriment and it is important to know that this invasion is just steps away from our office on Harbour Island in Tampa!

Continue Reading Clearing up Collapse Coverage, Part III – on Gasparilla Saturday

Is my collapse claim covered? Can my insurance company deny the claim, my balcony just collapsed? My porch is hanging by a thread… am I covered?

Looking for an answer to questions about collapse coverage? You have come to the right firm’s blog. This series is intended to give the basics on collapse coverage, the history and background, plus explore how different courts have handled different collapse provisions. As I mentioned in part one, it is imperative that readers understand that the reason collapse can be a frustrating issue is in part because of the variations in the policy language from policy to policy, and state to state. This is an important topic for policyholders, public adjusters, and counsel but while the topic isn’t scorching hot, seeking coverage can be very controversial.

Continue Reading Clearing up Collapse Coverage, Part II

Property insurance coverage dealing with collapse claims has long been a battle for policyholders. This is one of those perils (or exclusion, depending on the policy) that is fair to classify as one that gives practitioners on both sides of the claim indigestion. So take out the antacid, because its time to delve into the history and evolution of collapse coverage under a property insurance policy. This is an important topic for policyholders, public adjusters, and counsel but because the material can be dry, we recommend playing a good game of Jenga after you finish this post to see a collapse in action.

If you found this blog because you were looking for articles on Florida’s catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage, click here.

Continue Reading Clearing up Collapse Coverage, Part I

Cases around the country discuss property loss resulting from collapse. The issue is often litigated because collapse is usually a process that occurs over time and to various degrees. See Sherman v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Am., Inc., 716 P.2d 475, 476 (Colo. App. 1986) (where masonry work supporting the sill plate had cracked causing complete release of the sill plate, roof had fallen more than two and one-half feet producing a marked sag in the roof line, upper tiers of bricks on the two supporting walls had fallen out and the walls were bowed out, the condition was, as a matter of law, a “collapse” within the meaning of that term in the insurance policy).

Continue Reading Collapse Coverage: Is Coverage Triggered When the Building Shows Signs Of Distress, When Collapse Is Imminent, Or When It Crumbles To The Ground?

Snow is falling all over the United States. So much that roofs are falling from the weight of snow and ice. Can you imagine the policyholder outrage if the insurance company’s engineer says the roof was designed wrong and coverage is denied on that basis?

Continue Reading Snow is Causing Roofs to Fall — Is There Coverage After the Insurer’s Engineer Says the Roof was of Faulty Design?

Insurance defense attorneys will not agree with this post. However, they fear the argument enough to falsely argue in some cases that a hurricane is not a “windstorm,” in order to avoid policy language that may provide coverage for total losses where wind and water combine to destroy a structure. As promised in yesterday morning’s post, The Insurance Industry Recognizes Hurricanes are "Windstorms"–An Important Admission, I am providing legal suggestions to help TWIA policyholders and others “slabbed” to obtain full coverage for their losses. Randy Santa Cruz, William Weatherly, and I came up with this idea while working in Mississippi following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. I’ve attached a draft memorandum of law so others may use this argument with their own facts and policy language.

Continue Reading Total Destruction Caused By Hurricane Wind and Flood May Be Covered Under the Additional Coverage of Collapse: Why Defining a “Hurricane” as a “Windstorm” is Significant