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.

Continue Reading Insurable Interests Defined: A Blog Series – Episode One, New Jersey

The systematic process of analyzing a property insurance policy has been a topic in my last three seminars before public adjusting groups. I am suggesting a methodology so issues are uncovered early following a loss. After having all paperwork in place, I suggest that the first item to consider is "who" is insured under the policy.

Continue Reading Analyzing the Insurance Policy: “Who” is Insured Should Be the First Determination

After my last blog about insurable interests according to California case law, I received a request to research and present the same topic under Florida case law. Specifically I noted that home purchasers may not have proper insurance policies when they purchase homes with deeds held in trusts, corporations, or other business entities such as an LLC (limited liability company). Often, investors or buyers do this to protect their assets but a problem arises when the home held in the business is not the named insured under the policy. In Florida, the case law is very similar to that of California in that the proper named insured should match up with the owner of the deed of the property to have an active and proper policy where there is an insurable interest.

Continue Reading Insurable Interests – Making Sure You Really Have an Insurance Policy

In California, we see a lot of claims where investors or wealthy buyers purchase homes held in trusts, corporations or other business entities such as the LLC (limited liability company). Often, investors or buyers do this to protect their assets. However, the irony is that it is exactly in these scenarios that homeowners find they may run into issues if they are not clear with their insurance brokers or agents and do not purchase their insurance policy properly.

Continue Reading Insurable Interest – Making Sure You Really Have an Insurance Policy

Last week, I discussed the concept of insurable interest in Florida and the effect of a foreclosure judgment on a party’s insurable interest in property. Let’s continue the discussion of insurable interest this week. Does a property management company have an insurable interest in commercial property which it manages but does not own?

Continue Reading Insurable Interest of a Property Management Company in Commercial Managed Property

Can an insurance company waive a defense based on lack of insurable interest by accepting premiums for the policy and issuing it? It may depend on the jurisdiction you are in. If the insurance company issued the policy and accepted the premiums even though it should have known its customer did not have an insurable interest, the policyholder may be able to recover in some jurisdictions.1 New York Courts have recognized the theories of waiver and estoppel under these circumstances.2

Continue Reading Can An Insurance Company Waive A Defense Based On Lack Of Insurable Interest?

When considering an insurable interest question in an insurance claim, there are two important times to look at: when the policy is issued and the time of loss. This is because the policyholder must have an insurable interest at the time the insurance policy is taken out and at the time of loss. A Florida case demonstrates this point.

Continue Reading A Policyholder Must Have an Insurable Interest in Property at the Time the Insurance Policy Is Issued and at Time of Loss

Continuing the discussion last week on the importance of having an insurable interest in property to pursue a claim, I came across a New York case involving an “insurable interest” clause in an insurance policy with a different outcome from the New York case discussed last week in my post, One Can Have An Insurable Interest In Property Without Having A Legal Interest In The Property.

Continue Reading The “Insurable Interest” Clause Of An Insurance Policy

The concept of an insurable interest in property insurance claims is a very important one. Without an insurable interest, you cannot recover damages in a claim. But the concept of the insurable interest does not always follow the legal concept of title. Having title, ownership, occupancy and responsibility for all expenses related to a property may often be the case with the typical residential claim scenario, and makes the insurable interest easy to find. But what about the person that has an ownership interest in a company and that company is the title owner of the property?

Continue Reading One Can Have An Insurable Interest In Property Without Having A Legal Interest In The Property