SCOW: How to Apply an “Ensuing Loss” Clause and the “Efficient Proximate Clause” Rule

A while back (well, not too long ago, but it was May 17th, which seems like eons ago in internet news cycle time) the Supreme Court issued a useful opinion on the meaning and interpretation of “resulting loss” or “ensuing loss” clauses in all-risk insurance policies and the application of the “efficient proximate cause rule.” The case was Vision One, LLC v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company (Wash., May 17, 2012) (en banc). Continue reading

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Daily Decisions: Tenants Are Presumed Coinsureds with Landlords

In Trinity Universal Insurance Co. v. Corrine Cook (Division 3, May 17, 2012), the Court of Appeals made clear that general rule, and the rule in Washington, is that a “tenant is a coinsured with her landlord under the landlord’s fire insurance policy, absent a specific provision in the rental agreement or lease to the contrary.” Accordingly, because the tenant is a coinsured, the landlord’s insurance company cannot recover from the tenant on a subrogation claim. Continue reading

Daily Decisions: Personal Guaranty Is Personal, Not Official Act of Company Executive

Carol Sauter v. Houston Casualty Company (Division 1, May 14, 2012), is quite a simple case, but it is important for any executive out there who is thinking about signing a guaranty in connection with a company transaction. Perhaps such an executive signs the guaranty thinking “Who cares! No risk to me! My D&O policy will cover me if anyone ever tries to enforce this guaranty!” Well, think again, buddy. Continue reading

Daily Decisions: How to Value a Totaled Car

In keeping with my earlier postLloyd vs. Allstate Insurance Company (Division 1, February 21, 2012) (published April 23, 2012), is a previously unpublished decision that was published on the insurance company’s motion. There really is no new or interesting law here — the plaintiff really seems to have offered no evidence whatsoever — but I suspect that Allstate liked some of the language in the Court’s opinion, and thought it might be useful in future more contentious cases. So they moved to publish the opinion.

Plaintiff Jerry Lloyd totaled his car in 2008; it was a 2005 Chevy Malibu with about 114K miles on it. At the time, Lloyd had a car insurance policy with Deerbrook Insurance Company, for which his claim was handled by Allstate Insurance Company (together, “Allstate”). Continue reading