Tag Archives: Vandalism

Can a Raccoon Engage In Vandalism Under an Insurance Policy?

The Western District of Pennsylvania recently had to answer the question of whether a raccoon’s actions in destroying a property can be considered vandalism or malicious mischief under an insurance policy. The trial court found that “raccoons and their companions in the animal kingdom cannot formulate the intent needed to engage in vandalism, malicious mischief, … Continue Reading

Arson of Vacant House: Covered Fire Loss or Excluded Vandalism?

In a recent case,1 a federal appeals court addressed the issue of whether fire damage to a vacant dwelling from an arsonist was considered distinct from vandalism, so as to not implicate an exclusion within a homeowners insurance policy. In that case, Wells Fargo Bank owned an insurance policy on an abandoned house that an … Continue Reading

Does an Insurer Have the Right to Raise a Defense in Litigation If Not a Basis For Its Denial?

The Appellate Court in New York recently reversed the trial court’s finding in favor of the insured which had concluded the vandalism exclusion did not apply to the loss.1 The insured owned certain real property which it was renovating and using as rental property. It was admitted the property had been vacant and unoccupied for … Continue Reading

Building Damage Caused by Copper Theft Is Not Excluded

Theft of copper wiring or piping is a loss that impacts many in urban areas, but whether there is coverage for the loss is usually dependent upon the specific language of the insurance policy. This issue was recently addressed by the Tennessee Court of Appeals in Dillon v. Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company.1… Continue Reading

Fire Claim Was Not Mischief but Other Courts Disagree

Going way back to the roots of insurance, fire was the peril that insurance was designed to protect. Fire damage and smoke are incredibly damaging and cause many injuries and fatalities. While our suppression efforts have a come a long way, there is still a long way for us to go with fire insurance claims … Continue Reading

What Is and Is Not Vandalism and Theft Loss in a Property Insurance Policy

Ever wonder what is in thieves and criminals minds when they are rummaging through stuff to either steal or destroy property? One recent Connecticut case, Mercedes Zee Corp. v. Seneca Insurance Company,1 involving the distinction between theft and vandalism would leave jurors to decipher the criminal mind and determine whether the motive of criminals was … Continue Reading

New York’s Highest Court Supports an Expansive View of Vandalism Coverage Under Property Insurance Policy

New York’s highest appellate court holds an expansive view of property insurance coverage for vandalism losses. Back in January, 2013, I wrote a post: So There Is An Excavation Company As Your Next Door Neighbor; Could It Trigger Vandalism Coverage To Your Property, about a question the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit … Continue Reading

New York’s Highest Court Holds Act Could Be Considered “Vandalism” Even Though Not Directed Specifically at the Damaged Property

The title of this article seems to explain an interesting yet strange concept if you think about it in the abstract; that an act can be considered vandalism even if it is not directed at the damaged property that is insured. When you think about it in the context of vandalism claims in property insurance … Continue Reading

Efficient Proximate Cause: There May Be Coverage For An Excluded Cause of Loss

Recently, a small restaurant was vandalized. The damage caused by the vandals caused a water leak, which damaged the restaurant’s top floor bathroom and the bottom floor of the property. The damage was extensive, and the restaurant retained a water remediation company that same day. The restaurant’s owner retained a public adjuster who he used … Continue Reading

So There Is An Excavation Company As Your Next Door Neighbor; Could It Trigger Vandalism Coverage To Your Property?

In New York State, at least for the time being, it may be possible to trigger vandalism coverage even when the actions causing damage to your property occur at your neighbor’s property. Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit certified a question a question on that issue to New York State’s … Continue Reading

Vandalism Claims require Attention to Detail

Stephen Hadhazi has a website devoted to sharing his knowledge regarding vandalism losses with policyholders who have suffered losses. A licensed public adjuster in Texas, Florida, Hawaii, and Oklahoma, Stephen got his start working in the construction industry. Stephen explains, Like so many public adjusters, I began as a general contractor and an roofing contractor who … Continue Reading

Can Theft and Vandalism Occur at the Same Time in Texas?

Texas courts have ruled that insurance policies which provide coverage for vandalism, but exclude coverage for theft, also exclude any damage that is “in furtherance of theft.” Practically speaking, if a thief breaks through your interior sheetrock walls to steal the copper wires behind them, a typical insurance policy will exclude coverage completely, even for … Continue Reading

Vandalism, Theft And Arson Insurance Claims Rise

The deteriorating economy appears to be having an impact on our business. We are being referred more insurance disputes involving losses that are directly the result of the souring economy. For the first time in a decade, we have been referred several fire claims that are allegedly of an incendiary (intentionally set) cause. There are … Continue Reading