Property Insurance

Practice Contacts

Property insurance is one of the industry’s most established and stable lines of business. However, the convergence of technology, the economy, and an increasingly sophisticated policyholders’ bar has fostered an increasingly fast-paced and complex claims environment. Our attorneys provide sophisticated and cutting-edge legal counsel on a national basis coverage the full range of property insurance issues including:

  • Policy formation and drafting (insurable interest, misrepresentation/fraud, rescission)
  • Scope of coverage (exclusions/limitations)
  • Cause of loss (fortuity)
  • Compliance with conditions, protective safeguards, and other policy requirements
  • Claim valuation (quantum and number of occurrences)
  • Claims handling (appraisal, “bad faith,” EUO’s, regulatory responses, CAT losses)
  • Business interruption and contingent business interruption claims
  • Issues regarding Bankruptcy, Liquidation, and Mortgagees

Representative Property Insurance matters include:

  • Gordon & Rees attorneys provided coverage analysis and acted as litigation counsel for a property insurer in a $160 million property claim in Louisiana arising from Hurricane Katrina. The coverage issues included flood versus wind causation, business interruption, extra expense, ensuing loss, civil authority, and number of occurrences. The case resulted in a favorable settlement shortly before trial while dispositive motions filed on behalf of the insurer client were pending.
  • On appeal in the New York Appellate Division, Gordon & Rees obtained an order reversing the trial court and entering summary judgment in favor of a primary insurer on $23 million- property damage and business interruption claim by the owner of a Wall Street apartment building located three blocks from the WTC. Gordon & Rees successfully argued that the “period of restoration” for the building ended after seven days, once the apartment building had restored functionally equivalent operations.
  • Gordon & Rees obtained summary judgment on behalf of a primary insurer on a claim involving lost electronic data and damage to computer servers and related hardware. Our attorneys succeeded in enforcing an exclusion for loss or damage caused by changes in or extremes in temperature, an issue of first impression in the forum, despite a vigorous policyholder challenge that the exclusion was ambiguous.
  • Gordon & Rees obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a primary insurer in a dispute with a supermarket chain owner/operator over the interpretation and application of a policy exclusion for loss or damage caused by off-premises power outages.
  • Gordon & Rees successfully represented a domestic insurer in connection with a $20 million claim involving Chinese drywall at a Florida condominium complex on issues including direct physical loss/damage; faulty material, workmanship and design; latent defect; corrosion; pollution exclusion and mold exclusion.
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