A public adjuster recently asked me about a hotel that was under a specific brand and the contract to maintain the brand required the rooms and furniture to match. Following a loss, the insurance company has refused to pay for the portions of the physically undamaged property and the policyholder paid millions to match the old undamaged property with the new replacement property. Should an insurance company pay to match hotel property following a loss—especially if the policyholder has legal obligations to match all property which sometimes cannot be done because of age and obsolescence?
Merlin Law Group attorney Corey Harris asked me, “do you know of a case that stands for the proposition that when estimating the period of restoration, do you consider the amount of time needed for adjustment of the claim?” My quick response was “with any construction project, financing of the project is a time element needed for consideration. If the insurance is supposed to pay for the financing as most insurance companies promise, then it should be a consideration. I think we wrote about this in our property insurance blog.”
Last year when I wrote about Five Towns Nissan v. Universal Underwriters Insurance Company, I mentioned that the case would likely be around in the appellate system, and that has proven true. Recently, a New York appeals court reversed the trial court ruling and held that the policy excludes flood loss and the several million dollar business interruption claim the car dealership presented.1 The trial court opinion last year2 had found coverage for the policyholder’s business interruption claim despite a flood exclusion.
What makes a denied commercial claim improper. . .…
Continue Reading Commercial Insurance Claim Denied – What Makes a Denied Claim Improper
After the events that unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this week, many business owners have been reviewing their commercial property insurance policies because their properties have been damaged or destroyed as a result of rioting, including looting, fire, vandalism, and other associated damage.
There are changes occurring to the standard commercial general liability policy that all business owners should know of to make informed decisions when purchasing their insurance policy. The Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) now requires, as of May 1, 2014, a new endorsement that excludes data breach liability. This endorsement , entitled “Exclusion-Access or Disclosure of Confidential or Personal Information and Data-related liability-with limited bodily injury exception,” means that the current standard commercial general liability policy will not cover damages to a company from breach of data that leads to confidential or personal information leaks.
Builders risk policies for large projects can be complex and the scope of loss stemming from them can be difficult to measure. But what if a loss causes damage to property that pushes back the date of completion for the project? There could be coverage under the delay in completion policy form or endorsement.
At the end of April, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (S.D.N.Y.) held that an insured who suffered business interruption losses as a result of a Superstorm Sandy related power outage, were not covered as there was no “direct physical loss.”
Those handling Superstorm Sandy claims have likely seen their fair share of business interruption losses. In the last month, there was a ruling from a New York state trial judge in favor of an automotive dealer for business interruption losses sustained due to Superstorm Sandy.1 The interesting holding of the case concerned whether a flood exclusion applied to exclude the business interruption loss.
The life of a business can depend on its insurance carrier doing the right thing and promptly paying damages sustained by it quickly and efficiently after a loss. This is the reason many business customers obtain business interruption coverage from their insurance carriers. New York Courts recognize the importance of business interruption coverage to policyholders sustaining a loss.
Continue Reading New York Courts Recognize the Importance of Business Interruption Coverage to Policyholders Sustaining a Loss