Two Wrongs Can Make It Right

There are few things I hate more than seeing a policyholder forfeit coverage.  Most of my claims involve close calls, or unsettled or novel areas of the law.  Sometimes the claim is the type that is clearly covered, but the insurer refuses to provide coverage because it asserts the policyholder forfeited the coverage due to …

The “Intentional Injury Exclusion” Does Not Mean What Your Insurer Would Like It To Mean

A while back I wrote a series entitled, “Top 10 Commercial Insurance Myths & Misconceptions.” I did not cover the “Intentional Injury Exclusion” in that series, but perhaps I should have. Insurers continue to try to use this exclusion to argue that there is no coverage for injury or damage caused by a policyholder’s “intentional …

Florida Supreme Court Reaffirms Concurrent Cause Doctrine

I have a couple of other cases I want to write about, but it is not often that the Florida Supreme Court hands down an important insurance law decision, so those other cases will have to wait.  Yesterday, in Sebo v. American Home Assurance Co., Case No. SC 14-897 (Fla. Dec. 1, 2016), the Florida Supreme Court …

Florida Supreme Court to Decide if Florida 558 Proceeding is a “Suit” Triggering a Duty to Defend

I previously wrote here about Judge Marra’s decision in the Southern District of Florida in Altman Contractors, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Ins. Co., No. 13-80831-CIV, 2015 WL 3539755, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72466 (S.D. Fla. June 4, 2015). The question in that case was whether a Florida 558 proceeding constitutes a “suit” that …

Severability Clause Saves Coverage For Additional Insureds

It has been a fairly quiet first half of 2016 for insurance law decisions in Florida.  Several important cases are pending with Florida appellate courts, and as the weather heats up hopefully some of those decisions will be released.  In the meantime, I want to discuss a common general liability insurance clause addressed in a …

Triggering Coverage For Construction Defect Claims in Florida & Potential Coverage Gaps For Florida 558 Proceedings

Triggering an insurer’s duty to defend is an important first step in any insurance coverage claim.  Typically, an insurer’s duty to defend is triggered when the insurer receives notice of a lawsuit filed against its policyholder.  But disputes can arise when a policyholder is required to respond to a claim that falls short of litigation, …

Insurer Loses Its Own Coverage Due to Earlier “Related Claim”

It has been a slow summer down in the swamp for Florida insurance law decisions.  It has been too hot to crank out opinions.  But now that fall is here and the mercury has dropped below 80, the decisions are starting to flow again.  A recent decision out of the Southern District of Florida, Direct …

Florida Comes Full Circle On Injury-In-Fact Trigger

I have written several times on what it means to “trigger” an insurance policy for a long-tail claim (see here, here, and here).  Long-tail claims stretch over several years of coverage. Examples are environmental claims, latent bodily injury claims, and many types of construction defect claims.  Unlike a single-point-trigger claim, like a car accident or …

New Florida Appellate Decisions on Rescission, Coverage For Prevailing Party Fees

Today I want to discuss two important recent Florida appellate decisions addressing insurance law topics.  The first decision, Mora v. Tower Hill Prime Ins. Co., Case No. 2D13-4125 (Fla. 2d DCA Jan. 23, 2015), involved a common underhanded insurer tactic: try to avoid paying a valid claim by searching for errors in the application.  In Mora, …