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The Southern District Finds Unambiguous Policy Language Controls NYU’s Superstorm Sandy Claim

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York recently granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a case arising from Superstorm Sandy based on unambiguous policy language providing a significantly lower limit of liability for losses resulting from flood damage. In New York University v. Factory Mutual Insurance Co., 2019 … Continue Reading

Drones and Insurance: How Unmanned Aircraft Systems Can Assist Insurers in Timely and Effectively Evaluating Property Damage Claims

A typical claim for a homeowner will involve some type of damage to the property, which, in turn, prompts the insurer to perform an inspection of the insured property, so as to assess the cause and extent of the alleged damage. Depending on the nature of the claim, insurers may be able to have a … Continue Reading

Insurance Company Drones May Be Hitting the Skies

Back in March, our Data Privacy + Security Insider blog reported an increase in the use of commercial drones by State Departments of Transportation across the country. Now, insurance companies are also getting in the game. Using drones for underwriting, determining property values and conditions for policy issuance, inspections and risk evaluations may be more economical, may … Continue Reading

Recent Decision Finds No Business Income Coverage Where Flood Caused Order of Civil Authority

When Super Storm Sandy struck the Northeast on October 29, 2012, states, cities, municipalities and towns up and down the East Coast ordered hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate from their homes and businesses.  In the aftermath of those mandatory evacuations, I published an article in the April 2013 issue of DRI’s For The … Continue Reading

Florida Federal Court Applies Statutory Definition of “Structural Damage” in Sinkhole Case

Over the last decade, policyholders and insurers have actively litigated the meaning and scope of “structural damage” under the Florida statutory sinkhole scheme. In 2011, in an effort to resolve the dispute, the Florida Legislature adopted a five-part definition of “structural damage” to be applied when interpreting insurance policies providing coverage for sinkhole losses. Fla. … Continue Reading

General Contractor Overhead and Profit Ruling Issued by Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court recently joined numerous other jurisdictions holding that general contractor overhead and profit should be included in an estimate on a property insurance claim when, based on the unique facts of the claim, it is reasonably likely that the insured will need to use a general contractor in completing the repairs. In … Continue Reading

Enforceability of 180-Day Requirement for Recovering Replacement Cost Holdback Addressed By Southern District of New York

A federal court in New York recently cast light on the permissibility of property insurance policy provisions that require an insured to repair or replace damaged property within a certain period of time in order to be compensated for the full cost of the repair or replacement, instead of just the actual cash value of … Continue Reading

Florida Regulator’s Rejection of Sinkhole Endorsement Limiting Coverage To 25% of Overall Limit of Liability Upheld

Amid a rash of recent, high-profile sinkhole losses, last week Florida’s First DCA affirmed the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s interpretation of a state statute as requiring property insurers to offer an endorsement covering sinkhole losses for the full amount of the coverage limit. The decision resolves some lack of clarity over whether carriers had … Continue Reading

Sinkhole Coverage Not Required in Florida for Surplus Lines Insurers: Federal Court Rules Florida Sinkhole Statute Inapplicable To Surplus Lines Insurers

Surplus lines insurance is typically provided to insureds who, for various reasons, are not able to secure insurance from an “admitted” or “authorized” carrier in a state. Legal issues surrounding surplus line coverage sometimes involve whether or not a particular statute applies to surplus lines carriers or only “admitted” or “authorized” carriers within a state. … Continue Reading

Proofs of Loss in Florida: Second District Court of Appeal Reverses Summary Judgment for Insurer Based On Waiver and Partial Compliance

Typical property policies require the insured to cooperate with the insurer in the investigation of the claim, and specifically require the insured to submit a sworn proof of loss within a certain time period (in some policies this applies only where the insurer requests a proof of loss). If the insured partially complies, i.e., provides … Continue Reading

Innocent Coinsured Barred From Recovery Under Iowa Standard Fire Policy

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 … Continue Reading

Sworn Proof of Loss is a Condition Precedent, and Florida’s 5th DCA Applies Presumption of Prejudice Rule

Typical property policies require the insured to cooperate with the insurer in the investigation of the claim, and specifically require the insured to submit a sworn proof of loss, provide timely responses to an insurer’s request for documentation related to the claim and, if requested, submit to examinations under oath. If the insured fails to … Continue Reading

North Carolina Designates More “State of Emergency” Counties Due to Hurricane Sandy, Implicating Statutory Requirements

On October 31, 2012, North Carolina’s Commissioner of Insurance issued Bulletin 12-B-07, which provides an expanded list of counties previously designated (by Executive Order 129 issued on October 26, 2012) as in a “State of Emergency.” When a particular county is so designated, the Bulletin indicates that N.C.G.S § 58-2-46 is triggered, which provides the … Continue Reading

No Hurricane Deductible in New York and New Jersey For Damages Due to Sandy According to News Reports

Following Maryland, Connecticut, and Rhode Island’s leads, New York and New Jersey are reportedly advising that the hurricane deductible should not apply to claims due to Sandy. This article published on-line by NBC, indicates that the New York State Department of Financial Services has advised the insurance industry that the hurricane deductible should not be … Continue Reading

Hurricane Sandy Insurance Claims: What Insurers Should Focus On

Insurers are starting to deploy adjusters to handle claims from Hurricane Sandy. An article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal reports that “Disaster-modeling firm AIR Worldwide estimates the industry’s share of losses at $7 billion to $15 billion. At the high end of that range, Sandy would become the third-most expensive storm for insurers in U.S. … Continue Reading

Assignment Does Not Relieve Insured’s Obligation To Submit To Examination Under Oath (EUO) According To Florida Court of Appeal

A Florida court of appeal recently held that an insured’s assignment of a claim did not relieve her of the obligation to appear for an examination under oath (EUO). This decision is significant because it makes a distinction between an assignment of proceeds of a property insurance policy and an assignment (or transfer) of the … Continue Reading