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The Earth Movement Exclusion: How Does it Affect Construction Defect Cases?

One of the biggest considerations for parties on both sides of any lawsuit is whether insurance coverage will apply to the plaintiff’s claims. This is especially true in construction defect cases, where the cost of repairing the alleged damage can

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New Jersey Supreme Court Issues Important Ruling for Developers and General Contractors Regarding Coverage Under CGL Insurance Policies

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s August 4, 2016 holding in Cypress Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, LLC is the latest decision to fall in line with the “strong recent trend” by state and federal courts to recognize that

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NJ Supreme Court Decision Paves the Way for Condominium Associations in Transition to Recover Damages against the Developer and Subcontractors

On August 4, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its decision in Cypress Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, LLC, et al., which held that faulty workmanship by a subcontractor that causes property damage is a covered loss

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Workers’ Compensation: What Your Board-Management Team Should Know

For over a century, states have had laws, rules and regulations in place to ensure that employees who are injured while performing their jobs are adequately taken care of. An uninsured employer that finds itself embroiled in a workers’ compensation

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FEMA Reps Roasted Over Costly Flood Map Error In Ocean City (MD); ‘Disagreement’ Between City, Feds Still Being Worked On

However, in a few areas of the resort, particularly along condo row from 93rd to 123rd streets, FEMA determined through its new maps an existing secondary dune, built in front of several oceanfront properties in the early 1980s is now

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Insurance dispute at trial in Judge Crowder’s courtroom (IL)

According to the complaint, a fire severely damaged the condominium structure on June 20, 2012. At the time of the fire, insurance policies covering the loss had been previously issued by the defendants and were allegedly in full force.  The

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Putting a Premium on Your Insurance Coverage – A Guide to Understanding Condominium Property Claims

Even with proper risk management best practices, it’s impossible to completely avoid all types of insurance claims from happening. At heart, a claim is like any other business dealing—a negotiation. Your ability to convincingly argue your position and support it

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The Blame Game

Most of us can be quick to point fingers. It might be a fender-bender, an overcooked hamburger, or losing the Superbowl on the last play of the game – I know my first instinct is to figure out who is

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New Jersey Supreme Court Gives Supreme Win to Policyholders

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of New Jersey unanimously affirmed the Appellate Division’s holding that consequential damages caused by a subcontractor’s faulty workmanship constitute “property damage” and an “occurrence” under the 1986 Insurance Services Office, Inc. (“ISO”) form commercial general liability

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Issues Involving Illinois Condo Claims

In Chicago, we often find property loss claims that occur at condominium units. Of course, these claims tend to come with their own special issues that require investigation. Aside from general issues that come with all property claims, such as

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Is Ordinance or Law Insurance Right for Your HOA?

Homeowner associations (especially condominiums) are required to properly insure the common elements which often include the structures. As buildings age, the unavoidable happens: they fall out of compliance with building codes. Building code changes periodically to improve fire and life

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Insurance Discovery Rule

I have a number of “First Party Insurance” claims sitting on my desk (e.g. an Association pursuing its own carrier for discovered property damage). Many of these involve the “discovery rule.” Having dealt with this rule on a number of

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Identifying and Protecting Against Storm, Hail and Wind Damage

Although insurance brokers and agents are not meteorologists, they still play a big role in helping their commercial clients identify and protect their businesses against destruction caused by storms. Preparing clients for the random yet inevitable severe weather patterns that

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Do You Know the Limits of Your Homeowners Association’s Insurance?

If you’re a member of an HOA board, you probably know that having insurance for your homeowners association is a necessity to protect the HOA and its members. But do you know what type of insurance you need to have

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Reducing Risk

We all experience risk in our everyday lives. Things such as making our morning coffee in our own kitchen, driving a car or even shopping at our local grocery store are all actions that can put us at risk. We

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Water Losses, Co-owner Negligence, and the Shifting of Association Insurance Deductibles

A classic “right of spring” for attorneys at our firm every year is handling the resolution of water loss disputes for Associations. Most often, these situations arise from a non-resident co-owner’s or foreclosing lender’s failure to properly winterize a vacant

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Insurance and Animal Bites in Your HOA

Question: My condominium association is overrun with dogs. We are concerned that someone will be injured, and we will be sued because we did not impose the proper precautions. What should we do?      Read the Q&A………….

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Another Good Reason to Have Worker’s Compensation Coverage-Death on the Job?

Here is a scenario I feel is critical in the scheme of helping board members understand the importance of having worker’s compensation insurance. Several years ago at a national law conference we were told about a case where a board

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Are You Covered? Insurance for Condos Goes Beyond the Basics

The experts who advise condo associations on insurance matters admit that the basic policies are pretty standardized and often seem to be all the same. Trustees may tend to gloss over the details and assume that anything important relative to

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Reducing Risk

If you are a board member of your association it is important to be alert and attentive when driving or walking through your association property; make sure to assess your territory. Are any street lights burnt out which cause a

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Social Engineering Coverage—Nothing to Do with Stem Cell Research

When I see the words “social” and “engineering” in one sentence, my brain immediately goes to the scientific and medical side. But in this case, we’re talking about something completely different. The term, in this case, refers to the Social

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FEMA ‘error’ may cost condominium owners (MD)

Hundreds of Ocean City condominium owners are finding themselves waist-deep in insurance premiums in the wake of new flood maps that local officials criticize as flawed.    Read the article………….

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Unmatched Property Damage Exclusion

Recently we learned that a nationwide property insurer has adopted an additional endorsement which becomes part of the association’s property insurance policy upon its renewal.  The endorsement states that the policy does not cover the cost to replace undamaged materials

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Extreme Weather Patterns On The Rise

Safeguarding the structural integrity of buildings of all sizes and purposes will be a crucial endeavor for all industries and sectors in the coming years. As extreme weather conditions continue to increase, so too does the risk of damage to

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Homeowners near Upper Rockyford dam might tax themselves to pay for repairs (SC)

A group of Richland County homeowners could be the test case for a solution to pay for costly dam repairs after historic rains and flooding damaged dozens of dams across the state last fall.     Read the article………………

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An Insurer’s Duty to Defend the Insured

A key consideration in developing a litigation strategy is whether or not insurance coverage applies to the causes of action at issue, which is important for both parties. For the plaintiff, coverage can mean that he has a greater chance

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The Need for Professional Liability Insurance for Architects, Engineers and Construction Managers

There are numerous insurance risks associated with every construction project, however, one of the most important policies is all too often overlooked by architects, engineers and construction managers. While many construction firms will do what they can to ensure they

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Certificates of Insurance Don’t Deliver the Protection they Promise for Associations and Managers

We’ve all heard that oral contracts “aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.” The same might be said of the certificates of insurance condo associations demand from their contractors: The certificates aren’t what they appear to be; they don’t provide

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Frenchman’s Bend (LA) map revision backfires in flood

Some homeowners in Frenchman’s Bend subdivision are reeling from their decision to drop flood insurance from their property after a revised flood map was issued that gave them the option.  Read the article…………

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Insurer prevails on late claim dispute against homeowners association

QBE Insurance Corp. was justified in denying a homeowners association’s claim for hailstorm damage because it filed its claim nine months late, and failed to adequately explain the late notice, says a federal appeals court in upholding a lower court

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When Insurance Doesn’t Insure

During the job, one of the subcontractors was seriously injured, and the worker sued the co-op. The board, as is typical in occurrences like this, contacted Utica First, requesting coverage because the co-op had been listed as an additional insured

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Common Sense Prevails: State of Collapse Nonexistent Thirteen Years before Discovery of Decay

For years, property insurance policies that exclude rot damage have been called upon to cover rot because the policies extend coverage to “collapse”—an undefined term—caused by hidden decay, even if the structure remains standing and in use.  Read the article………..

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Falling temperatures means frozen pipe claims – how to avoid your insurance claim being denied.

Cold weather is upon us, and this sets the stage for frozen pipes and water damage. If you experience any property damage from the winter weather, be sure to have your property protected from further damage when it is safe

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Make Sure Your Crime Insurance Has Got You Covered

It’s every co-op and condo board’s worst nightmare: your property manager is a crook. Could anything make it worse? How about a technicality on your insurance policy that allows the insurance company to deny your claim? Believe it or not,

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Appeals Court Sides With Insurer In Hurricane Claim (FL)

In a dispute stemming from Hurricane Jeanne in 2004, a South Florida appeals court has rejected condominium owners’ arguments that they sustained tornado damage — not hurricane damage.      Read the article…………….

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Florida Court Rejects Claim Replacement Of Undamaged Property Is Necessary For Aesthetic Uniformity

Late last week a federal court in Florida tossed a condominium association’s claims that it was entitled to replace undamaged hallway carpeting, wallpaper, baseboards, and woodwork in order to “achieve aesthetic uniformity” with similar hallway components replaced after water damage.

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Chubb Insurance Sued Over Sandy Condo Damage In NJ

The aftereffects of Superstorm Sandy continue to blow through New Jersey’s courthouses, with a Fort Lee, New Jersey, condominium association now accusing Chubb Insurance Co. of New Jersey of failing to properly compensate it for heavy damage from the hurricane.

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How to best use (or not use) your HOA Insurance Policy

While carrying insurance to protect your community is important, it’s also important to use the policy properly. Unlike personal home and auto insurance, the types of claims that an HOA may file can vary greatly and understanding when to file

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The Great Carnac Would Have Been One Hell of an Insurance Agent

One of Johnny Carson’s greatest bits was when he donned a cape and turban and became the Great Carnac. The Great Carnac had the ability to divine answers to unknown questions. If the Great Carnac was real, he probably would

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Does Your Property Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Insurance policies are designed to cover sudden and accidental events, and not cover repeated ongoing damage that occurs over weeks, months or years. The same holds true for water damage claims. Leaky pipes, leaky roofs and wind-driven rain are all

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Does your property insurance cover water damage?

With all of the weather-related damage we’ve seen from heavy rains over the last several days, this is a good time to review what is and is not covered by insurance when it comes to water damage claims.    Read

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Insurance Decisions: How Much Coverage is Enough

From equipment failure and personal injuries to tornadoes and tropical storms, disasters happen. Any condominium association worth its salt knows that it needs to be prepared for a rainy day. A great chunk of that preparation is insurance.    Read

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Homesharing and Insurance: What Your Board Should Know

In the tri-state area, where even the most profligate among us may shed a tear or two at hotel room prices, the homesharing trend has grown by leaps and bounds, with more co-op and condo owners than ever renting out

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Property Insurance Basics: The ABC’s of Coverage

Property insurance, by definition, is a guarantee of compensation for a specific loss or damage to physical property or equipment. Within that broad and simplified explanation there is room for multiple interpretations—and more than enough confusion to go around. An

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Filing Insurance Claims: Choosing Wisely Can Save Money

Boards and associations, just like individuals, carry insurance coverage to protect them from liability, loss and other financial and legal problems, although the issues may be a little different than the typical auto or single-family homeowners’ insurance.    Read the

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California Court Considers Reimbursement of Legal Fees Under D&O Policy

In its recent decision in Clark v. Travelers Cas. Ins. Co. of America, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114877 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 28, 2015), the United States District Court for the Central District of California had occasion to consider when an

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What You Don’t Know Can’t Hurt You, But What You Do Know Most Certainly Can

In almost every walk of life, knowledge is something people seek to obtain. Francis Bacon famously, and succinctly, coined the phrase “knowledge is power.” But in the topsy-turvy world of insurance, another famously succinct phrase may be more applicable, “ignorance

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Insurance Decisions: How Much Coverage is Enough?

Earthquake insurance is very common in California, for obvious reasons—but what about in New England? Tremors may be rare here, but nonetheless, they do happen. And they can cause damage to condominiums and other structures.   Read the article………..

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Homesharing and Insurance: What Your Board Should Know

Long before Airbnb became a household word, attorney Frank Flynn was dealing with condominium owners who thought that turning their units into a bed and breakfast was a great idea. “It’s a terrible idea. You get all these people coming

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Insurance: A Must-Have or Couldn’t Hurt? Making Smart Yet Affordable Coverage Decisions

From equipment failure and personal injuries to tornadoes and tropical storms, disasters happen, and any condominium association worth its salt knows that it needs to be prepared for a rainy day. And a great chunk of said preparation consists of

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