Recently, my fiancé and I watched the Season 3 premier of Divorce on HBO. It’s sort of a guilty pleasure. I admit, at first, I was hesitant when my fiancé recommended I watch. But, one episode in and I was hooked. It’s funny, witty, snarky, and overall relatable for many people. If you haven’t watched this show yet, I recommend it. Albeit, HBO has now announced this is the final season of the show so try and not get too attached.
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Chip Merlin and John Garaffa
Chip Merlin and John Garaffa

It is amusing and almost stunning to find others who used to be young attorney “rookies” in this field of property insurance law become masters. John Garaffa of Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig, is now a master in this field of law. He captured the room of property insurance law lawyers with what would normally be an impossible boring discussion regarding insurable interest. He provided specific examples explaining concepts and issues of insurable interest only gained through experience and a long time of thoughtful study. If my mentor, Paul Butler, could hear him, I am certain he would be proud.
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In this episode we’re headed to Rhode Island, the Ocean State, to define insurable interests.

Rhode Island case law on the issue dates back to the 1800’s. In Cronin v. Vermont Life Insurance Company, the Supreme Court of Rhode Island held that to recover on an insurance policy one needed an insurable interest.1 Rhode Island also follows the principle that we’ve seen many other states follow, a “person has an insurable interest in property, by the existence of which he will gain an advantage, or by the destruction of which he will suffer a loss, whether he has or has not any title in … the property itself.”2


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Papago State Park

A few weeks ago I traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona for a deposition. After the deposition concluded, I had a little bit of time before my flight home, so I stopped by Papago State Park in Phoenix to take in some of Arizona’s beauty and to take a few photographs (including the one above). This week in my series on insurable interests, we travel to the Copper State (aka the Grand Canyon State) to take a look at how insurable interests are defined.


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An extremely important, yet sometimes overlooked issue concerning property insurance claims is whether the person or entity making the claim has an insurable interest in that property. This blog is the first in a series which will discuss a state-by-state breakdown of exactly who or what holds an insurable interest in that state. This first episode in the series will look at my home state of New Jersey.


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