The standard fire policy, which is the pre-cursor of modern property insurance, has been around for more than one hundred years, and yet we are still litigating many of the same issues. The same holds true in this survey period. Although we are more than seven-years past Superstorm Sandy, related cases are still being decided in the appellate courts. These cases will have an impact on the upcoming Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria cases now in litigation. Other issues experiencing renewed popularity include matching and whether labor can be depreciated when calculating actual cash value.
HURRICANES AND FLOODS
In Migliaro v. Fidelity. National Indemnity Insurance Co., the court held that an insurer’s rejection of a proof of loss under a Standard Flood Insurance Recent Developments in Property Insurance Coverage Litigation 445 Program (“SFIP”) policy is not a per se denial of the claim, but it is a denial if the policyholder treats it as such and files suit against the insurer. Migliaro’s property was damaged in Sandy. After receiving payment for his initial claim, Migliaro submitted a proof of loss for additional damages. Fidelity sent a letter titled “Rejection of Proof of Loss.” The SFIP has a one-year statute of limitations, and insureds may not file suit under the SFIP until a claim has been denied in writing. The court held that, “[b]ecause a policyholder cannot bring suit until his claim has been denied in writing, Migliaro must have accepted that this had occurred when he brought suit” and “by bringing suit, Migliaro acknowledged that the letter constituted a written denial of his claim.”
ABOUT JAY LEVIN
Jay M. Levin is an insurance recovery attorney and serves as the chair of the firm’s Insurance Recovery practice group in the Philadelphia office. He focuses his practice on representing policyholders in disputes with insurance companies involving all types of insurance coverage. Jay has extensive litigation experience in multi-million dollar property insurance coverage cases, including suits involving policy construction and application, cause and origin, valuation, and business interruption issues. He has assisted clients in successfully resolving eight and nine-figure Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy cases without litigation, and successfully representing other policyholders in litigating Katrina and Sandy cases. Jay represents financial institutions and other commercial policyholders in claims arising under fidelity and crime policies, including claims arising out of defaulted mortgages and employee embezzlement.
ABOUT MEGAN SHANNON
Megan Shannon is an attorney in the firm’s insurance recovery group. She represents policyholders in disputes with insurance companies involving a wide range of insurance policies. She advises clients on the insurance coverage available to them when they suffer a loss or are named as a defendant in litigation. Ms. Shannon helps clients present claims to their insurance company to efficiently claim all benefits.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing full-service law firms in the United States. With 14 offices in seven states, and the District of Columbia, and growing by 50% in two years through expansions in New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina, Offit Kurman is well-positioned to meet the legal needs of dynamic businesses and the individuals who own and operate them. For over 30 years, we’ve represented privately held companies and families of wealth throughout their business life cycles.
Whatever and wherever your industry, Offit Kurman is the better way to protect your business, preserve your family’s wealth, and resolve your most challenging legal conflicts. At Offit Kurman, we distinguish ourselves by the quality and breadth of our legal services—as well as our unique operational structure, which encourages a culture of collaboration and entrepreneurialism. The same approach that makes our firm attractive to legal practitioners also gives clients access to experienced counsel in every area of the law.
Find out why Offit Kurman is The Better Way to protect your business, your assets and your family by connecting via our Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages. You can also sign up to receive LawMatters, Offit Kurman’s monthly newsletter covering a diverse selection of legal and corporate thought leadership content.
DELAWARE | MARYLAND | NEW JERSEY | NEW YORK | NORTH CAROLINA | PENNSYLVANIA | VIRGINIA | WASHINGTON, DC