Tag Archives: Policy Language

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In an unpublished decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently used extrinsic evidence to interpret the meaning of “direct supplier” in the context of a commercial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

Do All Insurance Policies Require a Total Collapse to Trigger Collapse Coverage?

In California, if a property insurance policy does not specifically require a collapse to be complete or actual falling down to trigger coverage, then an imminent (i.e., impending) collapse will probably trigger coverage.1 However, on the flipside, if a policy does specifically require a collapse to be “complete” or “actual” falling down, then an imminent … Continue Reading

What Constitutes a “Residence Premises”

A standard term in a homeowners policy is “residence premises.” However, a dispute can arise regarding the interpretation of this term when an insured either moves and does not advise his insurance carrier or if the insured is not living at the property on the date of loss.… Continue Reading
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