Standard Fire Insurance Policy

In 2016, State Farm came out with a new appraisal provision for its homeowner insurance policy.1 This new provision makes the appraisal process extremely burdensome for policyholders. While I have always felt the new provision violates the Standard Fire Policy, a Michigan federal district court recently reached the same conclusion.
Continue Reading State Farm’s Appraisal Provision Violates the Standard Fire Policy

The Standard Fire Policy still exists in a number of states. Some states also have standard policy forms although not the Standard 165 Line Fire Policy. The Property Casualty Insurance Association of America made the following chart several years ago for use when considering the impact of the Terrorism Insurance and its related federal legislation on standard policies mandated by various states:
Continue Reading The Standard Fire Policy—Are You in a State With a Standard Policy?

Merlin Law Group attorney Ed Eshoo wrote another stellar post yesterday, The Impact of Coronavirus on the Replacement Condition, which incorporated a discussion of the Standard Fire Policy. Eshoo is a guru when it comes to standard fire policy law and all of us at Merlin Law Group are lucky to have him as a colleague.
Continue Reading The Standard Fire Policy—Do We Need A Standard All Risk Insurance Policy?

An Illinois Public Insurance Adjuster recently contacted me regarding an insurer’s denial of a smoke damage claim. The facts were as follows. While a condominium unit owner was using the fireplace in the unit (“unit 1”), smoke began to fill up in the condominium unit above (“unit 2”). The condominium association made a claim to its property insurer for the smoke damage to unit 2. Concluding that the fireplace flu in unit 1 was improperly installed, the insurer denied the association’s claim, asserting exclusions for damage caused by or resulting from (1) faulty workmanship (“the faulty workmanship exclusion”) and (2) the discharge or release of pollutants (“the pollution exclusion”).
Continue Reading Where There Is Smoke, There Is… A Denial

Most policyholders usually do not know what to expect when they submit a claim to their insurance company. Some simply expect to fill out a claim form, maybe answer a few questions, and then receive a claim check from the insurer compensating them for the loss. Most policyholders are usually taken back when the insurance company asks for copies of their income tax returns, bank statements, bills, and other financial records.
Continue Reading Do I Really Have To Provide My Insurance Company With My Financial Records After A Loss?

Florence battered the Carolina Coast with 90mph winds when it made landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina on September 14, 2018. Florence downgraded to a tropical storm Friday evening and is now crawling across South Carolina at a drastically slow rate of approximately 5mph. The Carolinas are now facing the devastating effects of catastrophic storm surge, flash flooding, and prolonged river flooding. Some parts of North Carolina are already inundated with over thirty inches of rain.
Continue Reading Hurricane Florence – What Does My Flood Insurance Policy Cover?

Last November in my blogpost, Does the Standard Fire Policy Vacancy/Unoccupancy Condition Apply to a Fire Loss Occurring within Sixty Days of the Inception of Coverage, I discussed how courts have measured vacancy/unoccupancy when a loss occurs within sixty days of the inception of coverage; but, the insured property had been vacant or unoccupied for more than sixty days prior to the effective date of coverage.
Continue Reading The Standard Fire Policy 60-Day Vacancy/Unoccupancy Condition

I have handled many fire losses over the years involving vacant and/or unoccupied property.1 In some losses, the fire occurred within 60 days of the inception of coverage; but, the insured property had been vacant or unoccupied for more than 60 days prior to the effective date of coverage. Invariably, the insurers in those fire losses denied the claim, taking the position that vacancy/unoccupancy2 is measured from the inception of the vacancy/unoccupancy as opposed to the inception of coverage.
Continue Reading Does the Standard Fire Policy Vacancy/Unoccupancy Condition Apply to a Fire Loss Occurring within Sixty Days of the Inception of Coverage?

I wrote about Streit v. Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company1 in a recent blogpost. In Streit, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that an insurance policy “intentional loss” exclusion which precluded innocent co-insureds from recovering for a fire loss was unenforceable because it violated the minimum level of protection afforded by the Illinois Standard Fire Policy.
Continue Reading The Massachusetts Standard Fire Policy and the Innocent Co-Insured Doctrine