In California, the combination of both a covered loss and an uncovered loss can still be covered under the Efficient Proximate Cause Doctrine provided that the covered loss is the efficient proximate cause of the loss. California Courts have interpreted California Insurance Code sections 530 and 532 to codify the efficient proximate cause doctrine.
Continue Reading A Primer on the Efficient Proximate Cause Doctrine in California

Joseph J. Henderson & Sons, Inc. (Henderson), was hired to install panels on a roof designed to expand the Iowa City’s wastewater treatment facility. Henderson was also a named insured on the builder’s risk insurance policy issued by Travelers Property and Casualty Company of America. The panels were damaged during a windstorm event and Henderson filed a claim with Travelers. Travelers responded by denying the claim, stating they were not liable due to Henderson’s faulty workmanship. The case went to trial where Henderson won $581,235.65 in damages, and Travelers appealed.1
Continue Reading Appellate Court Rules Contractor’s Faulty Workmanship Did Not Bar Coverage

Most homeowners and commercial insurance policies contains exclusions for loss or damages caused by mudflow or other similar occurrences. An example of on such exclusion is included below:

b. Earth Movement and Settlement, meaning earthquake, which includes land shock wavers or tremors before, during or after a volcanic eruption; landslide; mudflow; sinkhole; earth sinking, rising or shifting; clay shrinkage or other expansion or contraction of soils or organic materials; decay of buried or organic materials; setline cracking or expansion of foundation;

Continue Reading California Mudslide Exclusions Unenforceable Where Wildfires Caused Slide

On December 1, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court decided Sebo v. American Home Assurance Company, Inc.,1 resolving whether coverage existed under an all-risk policy when there were multiple causes of loss and at least one of the causes was excluded, in favor of the insured.

Continue Reading The Florida Supreme Court Clarifies What Rule to Apply When There Are Multiple Causes of Loss Under an All-Risk Policy

A recent opinion was issued from a Florida appellate court involving a property insurance claim that stemmed from multiple losses. The Second District Appeals Court of Florida noted in the opinion that the multiple-peril loss issue has not often arisen in Florida case law history regarding first-party property insurance claims. The case is American Home Assurance Company v. Sebo.1 The facts of the case are as follows:

Continue Reading Florida Law On Multiple-Peril Losses

Recently, a small restaurant was vandalized. The damage caused by the vandals caused a water leak, which damaged the restaurant’s top floor bathroom and the bottom floor of the property. The damage was extensive, and the restaurant retained a water remediation company that same day.

The restaurant’s owner retained a public adjuster who he used in the past, and the claim was presented to the carrier. The carrier immediately changed the focus of the claim from the covered peril of vandalism to the excluded peril of water damage. The insurer denied coverage based on the insurance policy’s water loss exclusion.

Continue Reading Efficient Proximate Cause: There May Be Coverage For An Excluded Cause of Loss