Insurance Update

October 15, 2019 | Robert Tugander | Greg E. Mann | Insurance Coverage

Our October Insurance Update is now available.

We discuss a case with an unfortunate, but familiar story.  A group of masked bandits, who notoriously carry out their misdeeds at night, ransacked a home looking for whatever valuables they could find.  Based on the trail of destruction left behind by these intruders, however, the homeowner could immediately identify the culprits: raccoons.  The homeowner sought coverage under its policy for damage resulting from “vandalism or malicious mischief.”  But does this coverage apply to damage caused by animals? The answer lies in a clever poem (penned by a New Mexico court) that succinctly describes this area of law.

Turning to the federal circuit courts, the Third Circuit addresses whether faulty workmanship can be the result of an “occurrence.”  The Fifth Circuit discusses what “damages” are for purposes of a liability policy.  And the Seventh Circuit considers whether a breach of contract exclusion in an E&O policy is too broad and should be reformed.

At the state level, a Texas appellate court grapples with the issue of whether a golf cart is an “auto.”  Also, a California appellate court decides whether a policy’s suit limitation applies.

With hockey season underway, we include an NHL trademark and counterfeiting suit.  The insured notified its insurer of the suit within 10 days.  So why was the insurer’s late notice defense upheld?

Our update touches upon a variety of topics this month.  But we think two lessons should be learned.

First, pay close attention to policy language.

Second, get a chimney cap.

We hope that you enjoy the update.

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