Blog Archives

New York Court: Broadly-Worded Flood Limit “Meaningless” Unless it Applies to Any Kind of Loss Caused by Flood

Yesterday in El-Ad West LLC v. Zurich American Ins. Co., 2015 WL 4078762, 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5753 (N.Y.App.Div., Jul. 7, 2015), a unanimous panel of New York’s intermediate level appellate court held that a flood sub-limit capped all loss caused by flood, without regard to whether it was physical damage to property or a “downstream” financial loss such as delay in completion.  In the words of the opinion, reading the contract of insurance in such a way as to find that the flood sub-limit did not apply to delay in completion losses “would render the flood limit meaningless with respect to that coverage.”  The panel thereby affirmed a Superstorm Sandy decision that we reported on in July of

Tagged with:
Posted in Builders' Risk, Delay in Completion, Flood, Superstorm Sandy

Missouri Court Clarifies What Constitutes An Ensuing Loss

Last week in Performance Arts Cmty. Improvement Dist. v. ACE Amer. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 3491292, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71592 (W.D. Mo., June 3, 2015), a federal court in Missouri shot down an insured’s arguments that a wall collapse caused by the excluded peril of defective design was a covered ensuing loss under a builder’s risk policy.  The developer admittedly erred in calling an for excess amount of concrete slurry to be pumped behind the structure, but the policyholder contended that the collapse that that mistake caused was a separate loss by “excessive lateral pressure.”  The court analogized to that to arguing that the collapse of a defectively-designed building was a separate loss caused by the covered peril of

Tagged with:
Posted in Builders' Risk, Collapse, Ensuing Loss, Faulty Workmanship or Design

Indiana Court Nixes Requests for Reinsurance and Reserves

Early last month a federal court in Indianapolis barred a policyholder from seeking the claims and underwriting files of the defendant carrier’s reinsurer in Indianapolis Airport Auth. v. Travelers Property Cas. Co. of Amer., 2015 WL 1548959, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45123 (S.D. Ind., Apr. 7 2015).  Several months ago, the same court also shot down the policyholder’s requests for the insurer’s reserves. The insured operated the Indianapolis International Airport, and it began construction on the $1 billion Midfield Terminal Project in 2005 and secured a builder’s risk policy from Travelers to cover the work.  On January 24, 2007, temporary shoring towers collapsed, damaging the building, disrupting the original construction schedule, and generating claims by consultants and contractors.  The policyholder

Tagged with:
Posted in Builders' Risk, Collapse, Discovery, Reinsurance, Reserves

New York Court: All Sandy Losses, Including “Downstream” Financial Ones, Capped By Annual Aggregate Limit For Flood

Superstorm Sandy jurisprudence is starting to shed light on some unresolved issues in the effected states.  In El-Ad 250 West LLC v. Zurich American Ins. Co., — N.Y.S.2d —, 2014 WL 2931058 (N.Y.Cty., June 27, 2014), a New York court held last week that a $5 million annual aggregate limit of liability for losses caused by flood capped any recovery for all such loss, without regard to whether it was physical damage to property or a “downstream” financial loss such as delay in completion.  It was a case of first impression in New York. On October 29, 2012, the policyholder, El-Ad 250 West LLC, was converting an 11-story office building into a 12-story luxury condominium complex in lower Manhattan.  Superstorm

Tagged with:
Posted in Builders' Risk, Delay in Completion, Flood, Superstorm Sandy
About The Property Insurance Law Observer
For more than four decades, Cozen O’Connor has represented all types of property insurers in jurisdictions throughout the United States, and it is dedicated to keeping its clients abreast of developments that impact the insurance industry. The Property Insurance Law Observer will survey court decisions, enacted or proposed legislation, and regulatory activities from all 50 states. We will also include commentary on current issues and developing trends of interest to first-party insurers.
Stay Connected

Email:

Topics
Cozen O’Connor Blogs