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Stephen Clancy is an attorney in Robinson+Cole’s Litigation Section and a member of the firm’s Insurance + Reinsurance Group. He focuses his practice on insurance coverage litigation, professional liability defense, commercial litigation, and products liability. He is also experienced in representing insurers in complex litigation involving allegations of bad faith and unfair claim settlement practices.

Prior to joining Robinson+Cole, Stephen was an associate at Morrison Mahoney LLP and a judicial clerk for the Honorable Barry R. Schaller of the Connecticut Appellate Court in Hartford, Connecticut.

Read Stephen’s bio.

The “Water Damage” exclusion incorporated in many property insurance policies is the subject of much litigation, including the scope and applicability of the “surface water” exclusion to various water damage scenarios. The New York Appellate Division, Fourth Department recently interpreted the application of the “surface water” exclusion where the source of water was not from natural precipitation. This is the second New York decision to interpret the meaning of “surface water” in the context of a property insurance policy.
Continue Reading The Water Exclusion: New York’s Fourth Department Interprets The Definition of Surface Water

In Tripodi v. Universal North America Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181807 (D.N.J., December 31, 2013), The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted an insured’s motion for summary judgment on the basis that damage to the insured’s basement wall fell within the policy’s definition of “collapse,” because

In Georgitsi Realty, LLC v. Penn-Star Ins. Co., 2013 N.Y. LEXIS 2857 (N.Y. App. Ct., October 17, 2013), Georgitsi Realty, LLC owned a four-story apartment building which it insured pursuant to a “named perils” policy issued by the defendant, Penn-Star Insurance Company. The policy provided coverage against “direct physical loss or damage .

In Quaker Hills, LLC v. Pacific Indemnity Co., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 18040 (2d. Cir., August 29, 2013), the insured Quaker Hills LLC (“Quaker Hills”) owned real property on which its principal built a home in or about 2005. From 2005 through 2009, the home was insured via a series of fire insurance policies

One significant problem that can arise in the underwriting of property insurance policies is that the location intended to be insured is not correctly identified in the policy documents. In a recent summary judgment decision, a Louisiana federal court concluded that a policy which unambiguously listed the insured premises as one address could not be

A Florida federal court recently ruled that third-party beneficiaries under an insurance contract were not entitled to attorney fees under Fla. Stat. § 627.428 where they were not named in the insurance contract. In Conyers et al. v. Balboa Insurance Company, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42340 (M.D. Fla., Mar. 26, 2013) (Hernandez Covington, J.),

Typical property policies include an exclusion for law and ordinance coverage, i.e., when the insured property suffers a loss requiring repair, the policy does not cover costs of repairs required to comply with building codes. The issue of law and ordinance coverage typically arises in older buildings that are not up to code at the

Jurisdictions typically follow one of three theories with respect to whether an innocent coinsured may recover under a property policy where another insured has committed an intentional act, such as arson, resulting in property damage: (1) a complete bar to coverage based on an unrebuttable presumption that the coinsureds hold joint interests in the property and joint obligations under the policy; (2) recovery permitted by innocent coinsured if it is established that his or her interest in the policy is severable from the wrongdoer; and (3) a contractual language and intent of the parties analysis.

In Postell v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co., 2012 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 102 (Nov. 16, 2012), the Supreme Court of Iowa followed the contractual language and intent of the parties theory, holding that: (1) a coinsured who sets fire to an insured dwelling in order to commit suicide has the requisite intent to “cause a loss” under the fire insurance policy; (2) an innocent coinsured, who did not participate in setting the fire, could not recover due to the subject policy’s intentional loss exclusion and (3) the innocent coinsured could not recover under the amended Iowa standard fire policy.
Continue Reading Innocent Coinsured Barred From Recovery Under Iowa Standard Fire Policy

The United States District Court for the District of Arizona recently held that the efficient proximate cause doctrine does not exist in Arizona and, therefore, a policy’s concurrent causation language should be given effect.

In Stankova et al. v. Metropolitan Property and Casualty Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150900 (D. Ariz. Oct. 17,