Articles Posted in Property Damage

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An unexpected or catastrophic loss can force any company out of business, even if it is insured.  You must understand your company’s risks and how your insurance policies cover those risks in order to manage them and maintain stability.

Having the correct insurance in place is only the first step. Property and business interruption insurance policies are often complex, and your suppliers, customers and other business partners’ insurance situation may have a direct impact on you as well.  Even if your business doesn’t suffer any direct physical damage to its facilities following a natural disaster or other loss, your customers or suppliers may have, and that could result in what is known as a “supply chain” or “contingent business interruption” loss of revenue and sales.  If you are unprepared when a disaster strikes, you may miss out on substantial amounts of insurance coverage to which you may be entitled.  The time to prepare is before a disaster occurs.  Take the time now to understand your insurance coverage and other risk transfer methods and opportunities.  Know your rights.  And put a plan in place to protect yourself, your employees, and your property before the loss occurs.  Then, if disaster strikes, you’ll be in a better position to make it through and to access your insurance coverage to help restore operations.

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As the powerful storm that is Hurricane Harvey looms in the Gulf of Mexico, Houston attorneys Vince Morgan and Tamara Bruno discuss what businesses and other organizations in the affected area should do immediately in order to maximize insurance recovery.

Key Takeaways:

  • Category 3 Hurricane Harvey is projected to have sustained winds of 120 m.p.h. and disastrous amounts of rain, with a possible storm surge.
  • Business interruptions are already happening in advance of Harvey’s landfall.
  • Policyholders should take key steps to maintain and maximize insurance coverage for Harvey-related losses.
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Is damage resulting from faulty workmanship covered under your CGL policy? In the past, insurers have had success in certain jurisdictions arguing that construction defect cases did not constitute iStock-117230091-300x236a covered “occurrence” because the damage was purportedly not unintended or unexpected. In recent years, however, courts have shifted course; the majority of courts have found that property damage arising out of faulty workmanship constitutes an “occurrence” under standard-form CGL policies. Additionally, some states enacted legislation requiring CGL policies to define occurrence to include property damage or bodily injury resulting from faulty workmanship, or have made it easier for insureds to obtain coverage for damages as a result of work the insureds performed.

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In 1173, builders broke ground in Pisa, Italy, on the Torre de Pisa (that is, the Tower of Pisa). At over 183 feet, it was to be a grand statement—remember, this was 1173, not 2016.

Torre Inclinada de Pisa

But the story is not all roses. The tower began immediately to tilt—by the time they started laying just the second floor of the tower, it was leaning. Thus, it earned the name we all now know (and love?), “Torre pendent di Pisa”—the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Wikipedia explains, “[t]he tower’s tilt began during construction, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure’s weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed, and gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.” The tower now leans over 12 feet from the vertical axis.

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After tearing through the Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew’s path brought it north to the southeastern coast of the United States, bringing evacuations, business closures and damages to the region. In the storm’s aftermath, colleagues Tamara Bruno, Colin Kemp, Peter Gillon, Vince Morgan and Joe Jean discuss important steps to take to maximize insurance recovery following such an event.

 

 

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Business Interruption insurance provides the policyholder with important peace of mind—it covers lost business arising from unexpected damage to the policyholder’s property. But what if the damage isn’t to the policyholder’s own property—what if the losses arise because of damage a supplier or customer suffers? When a link in your supply chain breaks, Contingent Business Interruption or “CBI” coverage can step in to replace it.Weak Link

CBI coverage, like Business Interruption coverage, is a property insurance extension that addresses lost income suffered due to an interruption of business. Instead of focusing on loss or damage suffered by the insured on its own property, however, CBI coverage addresses “contingent” losses, or losses that involve suppliers or customers. A CBI loss is a loss that results from damage to a supplier or customer that prevents the supplier from providing its goods or services to a policyholder or prevents a customer from receiving the policyholder’s goods or services. This coverage is crucial for policyholders whose business depends upon supply chains, customers or other “streams of commerce” for commercial success. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a spike in the number of CBI claims made by policyholders. During the same timeframe, however, we’ve also seen an increase in the number of coverage disputes related to CBI coverage. Although the concept is fairly straightforward, recovering for CBI losses often isn’t.

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Spring brings warmer weather and a welcome return to green after winter gray. But spring can sometimes go too far, with rain that escalates into destructive floods. As floodwaters recede and cleanup begins, small-floodobtaining insurance proceeds and FEMA assistance are critical and immediate steps to recovery. The following practices can help maximize your recovery. Continue reading →

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In Texas and other states, the mineral owner can freely use the surface estate to the extent reasonably necessary for the exploration, development and production of oil and gas. That includes activities such as building roads, drilling wells and transporting equipment and personnel. But frustrated property owners are incrIllustration of three oil rigs in the deserteasingly bringing nuisance claims based on bright lights, loud noises, traffic, dust, odors, wastewater and other effects of these activities.  A question facing the oil and gas industry is whether the costs of such nuisance claims are covered by insurance.

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