Archives: Property Insurance

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Renewal Notices Must Warn of Major Changes in Coverage

California Insurance Code §678 provides as to personal lines policies (such as homeowners, auto or personal liability): “(a) At least 45 days prior to policy expiration, an insurer shall deliver to the named insured…(1) an offer of renewal of the policy contingent upon payment of premium…stating…(A) Any reduction of limits or elimination of coverage…” Insurance … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Endorses the Insurance Commissioner’s Authority to Regulate Wayward Insurers

On Monday, the California Supreme Court revived a 2011 insurance regulation designed to protect homeowners from underinsurance because of the insurance company’s use of potentially misleading estimates for home replacement costs.  This was a big win for consumers, and will be particularly important for those who lose their homes in natural disasters (in particular fire) … Continue Reading

Scope of Insurers’ Subrogation Rights Reexamined

Insurance companies often seek subrogation after they paid a claim, even at times squeezing their insureds for first place in line to recover their respective damages from a tortfeasor. The law has imposed certain restrictions on insurers’ rights in this area, basically limiting insurers’ subrogation rights to cases where the third party’s “equitable position is … Continue Reading

Are Insurers Engaged in Deceptive Practices and Illegal Pricing? If so, what can be done about it?

We wish to call attention to a disturbing trend, that even in the highly regulated field of personal lines coverage, homeowners and auto policies, the insurance industry is engaged in courses of conduct designed to write policies that reduce and undercut the “standard” protections the companies claim publicly to offer, thus securing maximum premium dollar … Continue Reading

Insurers Argue Damage by Meteor is all that is Covered in a CGL

In a decision out of the Superior Court in Delaware, Judge Rocanelli bought a favorite insurance industry argument so extreme, several state legislatures (including Colorado and South Carolina) have passed laws overruling court decisions in their states adopting it. The argument is that the definition of “occurrence” in a Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) policy “an … Continue Reading

We Need to Read Insurance Policies Like Lay Folks Do!!

Lawyers who regularly deal with insurance coverage disputes are always tempted to parse the sometimes nearly unintelligible language of the insurance policy to determine whether and what kind of coverage exists.  Indeed, courts can fall into that same temptation, e.g., Foster-Gardner, Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. (1998) 18 Cal. 4th … Continue Reading