Insurance Tips for Wildfire Season

Washington is predicted to have a particularly severe wildfire season in 2019. Wildfires are increasing as development pushes further into wilderness areas and wildfire risk pushes into parts of Washington previously assumed to be too wet to be at risk. Here are some tips to make sure your insurance coverage is ready for wildfire season: …

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Five Common Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Provisions and Why They Matter

Most folks have homeowner's insurance (or its cousin renter's insurance).  Homeowner's insurance protects you from damage to your home (e.g., your house burns down) or from claims arising from someone's injury on your property. (e.g., someone slips and falls in your backyard). Homeowner's insurance policies typically contain about 20 pages of fine print.  Depending on …

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Insurer’s Misreading of Policy Terms Results In Win For Policyholder

A cardinal principle of insurance law is that the fine print in an insurance policy must be interpreted consistent with the reasonable expectations of an ordinary person purchasing insurance. The Washington Court of Appeals recently emphasized that rule in its April 8, 2019 decision in Feenix Parkside LLC v. Berkley Nort Pacific.  In the Feenix the Court …

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Court Ruling Emphasizes Common Sense Reading of Insurance Policy in Win for Policyholder

The Washington Court of Appeals recently decided Poole v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, a case about fine print in a homeowner's policy.  After the Pooles' home burned down, State Farm denied coverage under a technical reading of the words "similar construction."  Washington's Court of Appeals disagreed with State Farm and emphasized the traditional …

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Insured California Wildfire Losses May Exceed $6 Billion

California's increasingly-destructive wildfires are estimated to trigger billions of dollars in insurance claims.  As of November 2018, estimates show 15 wildfires in California destroying nearly 7,000 homes and business; 31 people have been killed and nearly 300,000 evacuated.  Beyond the loss of life and property damage implications for typical homeowner's insurance coverage, the fires and …

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