Tag Archives: Policy Language

Replacement is Not Always a Prerequisite for an Insured to Claim Replacement Cost Benefits

Replacement cost insurance generally allows recovery for the actual value of property at the time of loss, without deduction for deterioration, obsolescence, and similar depreciation of the property’s value. Depending on the circumstances, the difference between the actual cash value and the replacement cost value of a loss can be significant.… Continue Reading

When Words Allide, Plain Meaning Wins

Navigating the Mighty Mississippi and the English language have quite a bit in common. Sometimes it takes a lot of skill and creativity to get where you want to go. Due to a recent dispute in Continental Insurance Co. v. L&L Marine Transportation, Inc.,1 regarding the meaning of the undefined policy term “tow” and the … Continue Reading

My Insurance Claim Was Denied Because My Water Leak Lasted Over a Period of 14 Days or More – Was the Denial Proper?

Many property insurance policies have a provision that states something similar to the following: “we do not insure…for loss…caused by…constant or repeated seepage or leakage of water…over a period of 14 or more days.” Insureds may find their claims for water loss under their homeowners’ policy denied on the grounds that the leak was present … Continue Reading

My neighbor had coverage, so why was I denied?

A common theme I have noticed lately is the tendency of homeowners, having just weathered a major natural disaster, to compare their ability to recover insurance proceeds to that of their neighbors. Wondering if you can recover alternative living expenses? Curious to know if you can recover for your sewage back-up claim? Rather than looking … Continue Reading

How Does the Ordinance Section of My Insurance Policy Affect the Florida “25% Rule”?

Section 708.1.1 of the Florida Building Code, often referred to as the “25% Rule,” implements guidelines for roof replacement requirements. The section states, Not more than 25 percent of the total roof area or roof section of any existing building or structure shall be repaired, replaced or recovered in any 12-month period unless the entire … Continue Reading

Colorado Joins a Growing List of Jurisdictions Allowing Depreciation of Labor Costs When Determining Actual Cash Value

While I often argue that depreciating labor simply does not make sense, insurers continue to push the question of whether the depreciation of labor costs in Actual Cash Value policies is acceptable. Though several jurisdictions have rejected the depreciation of labor, surprisingly, the recent trend of jurisdictions touching upon the subject has been to allow … Continue Reading

Does a Protective Safeguards Endorsement Violate the Standard Fire Insurance Policy?

As discussed in my blog post last week, the 1943 New York Standard Fire Policy (“the Standard Fire Policy”), or a statutory version differing from it only slightly, is used in many states. The Standard Fire Policy potentially affords insureds more fire coverage than they may otherwise have, given the limited number of provisions which … Continue Reading

Standard Fire Insurance Policies Still Provide Basic Protections—A Major Victory for Policyholders and Merlin Law Group

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal’s opinion this week in Streit v. Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company,1 is a major victory for policyholders in Illinois. There, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the lower court judgment entered in favor of my clients, Wesley and Barbara Streit, arising out of Metropolitan’s failure to cover a fire loss to their … Continue Reading

Undefined Term in Business Insurance Policy Must be Interpreted with Reference to Industry Specific Meaning to Satisfy Insured’s Reasonable Expectations

In an unpublished decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently used extrinsic evidence to interpret the meaning of “direct supplier” in the context of a commercial property loss.1 I previously blogged about this case in 9th Circuit to Interpret Meaning of “Direct Supplier” In Context of a Commercial Property Loss Claim.… Continue Reading

The Interplay Between Property Damage Caused by an Explosion and Coverage

Insurance provisions related to explosions, like all other terms, are subject to the rules of construction applied to all insurance contracts. Typically, property damage caused by explosions is covered under the policy. However, some policies may expressly define the term “explosion” to exclude events that would generally be defined as such.1 For instance, policies may … Continue Reading

“Other Insurance” Provisions

In 2012, the Barnard Elementary School Building (“Barnard Building”) in Tulsa, Oklahoma sustained approximately $6 million in fire damage in 2012. There were two insurance policies covering the same policy period: (1) a policy issued by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company (“Philadelphia”) to the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences for coverage of the building it … Continue Reading

“Commencing” Deemed Ambiguous in Property Insurance Policy

A federal District Court in Illinois has determined that the term “commencing” is ambiguous in a property insurance policy that provides coverage for “loss or damage commencing [d]uring the policy period…[w]ithin the…United States of America.”1 At issue in Temperature Service Company, Inc. v. Acuity, was whether property damage, that began before the policy period, but … Continue Reading
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