Property Insurance

Featured Publication:

California High Court Holds That Notice-Prejudice Rule May Override Choice of Law Clause

Dina Richman discusses the Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Company decision and how it impacts enforcement of choice of law provisions when it comes to notice-prejudice and consent clause issues.

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For more than 40 years, major domestic and international insurers have relied on Cozen O’Connor’s Property Insurance team to assist them in navigating the increasingly complex field of property coverage. From hurricanes, earthquakes, and ice storms to man-made disasters such as terrorist attacks and oil spills, we have always been on the cutting edge of property insurance work. We were also pioneers in business interruption matters stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the rising threat of cyberattacks. Our deep experience helps us to not only handle the matters at hand but also identify emerging challenges on the horizon. 

Our team is distinguished by its dual core competencies: precise contractual analysis and powerful trial advocacy. These competencies have cemented our reputation as knowledgeable and effective first-party practitioners for the full range of first-party property insurance coverages, including: all risks, builders risk, commercial property, commercial combined, cyber and electronic commerce risk, high net worth personal, inland marine, machinery breakdown, on- and off-shore energy, and business interruption.

The firm handles trials in state and federal courts around the country, argues appeals on coverage issues critical to the industry before all levels of appellate courts, and represents clients in mediations and arbitrations. Our strong reputation for successfully representing our insurer clients in court also helps us achieve highly favorable outcomes in the many cases where negotiation among stakeholders can resolve matters without resorting to litigation.

Our team has an encyclopedic knowledge of the legal bases governing the good faith handling and resolution of any claim scenario, from weather events and natural catastrophes to structural incidents to suspected arson and fraud, and we have represented clients in numerous high-profile losses. These losses include the 2021 ice storms in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, Hurricanes Laura, Irma, and Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, the 9/11 attacks, the Tohoku earthquake, numerous California wildfires, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

With offices in 31 cities, Cozen O’Connor can respond quickly and effectively wherever losses occur. Our clients benefit from the firm’s local presence and the advantages that come from fielding a home team that understands the details of a particular locality and has built relationships with the community, the regulatory authorities, and the courts.

The extent of our industry involvement speaks to our credibility, as well as to our commitment to the insurance industry. Our dedication to the insurance industry includes being members and holding leadership positions in many industry organizations, including the highly selective Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC), the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), the American College of Coverage Counsel’s Board of Regents, Law360’s Insurance Authority Property Editorial Board, and DRI.

Our attorneys are sought-after speakers and writers on property insurance topics. We frequently participate in or chair seminars at nationally recognized industry conferences, host webinars, and provide in-house training programs for members of the insurance industry on topics such as claims handling, risk management issues, and updates regarding case law. Several of our attorneys have also authored treatises in the property insurance field, including the Property Insurance Litigator’s Handbook (3d Ed.), Insuring Real Property (Matthew Bender) and the Fire Litigation Handbook (National Fire Protection Association).

In addition to being recognized in Chambers USA, individual members of the Property Insurance team have been honored with some of the most prestigious awards in the profession, including the FDCC’s John Appleman Award and the CLM’s Professional of the Year.

 

 

Experience

Publications

Oklahoma Supreme Court Rejects “Loss of Use” Argument, Nixes COVID-19 Business Interruption Suit [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

September 19, 2022

There is a clear nationwide trend of federal courts disposing of COVID-19 business interruption suits.[1] Insureds are not clearing their initial burden to establish direct physical loss or damage to property, or they are running afoul of virus and contamination exclusions. Relatively few state...

WA Supreme Court: Deprivation of Intended Use Post-COVID-19 Not Physical Damage

September 01, 2022

The Washington Supreme Court added its voice to the developing strong, if not unanimous national consensus that COVID-19 and related government closures do not amount to direct physical loss of property within the meaning of property insurance policies.

Texas Court of Appeals Adds Confusion to Post-Appraisal Litigation Under the TPPCA [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

August 30, 2022

Ever since the Texas Supreme Court changed the landscape of Texas law regarding appraisal in Barbara Technologies Corp. v. State Farm Lloyds, 589 S.W.3d 806 (Tex. 2019) and Ortiz v. State Farm Lloyds, 589 S.W.3d 127 (Tex. 2019), practitioners and courts have been struggling to apply the Texas...

Florida Appeals Court Reverses Appraisal Ordered In Storm Suit [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

August 02, 2022

On July 20, 2022, Florida's Third District Court of Appeal reversed and remanded a trial court’s decision compelling the parties to proceed with appraisal and staying litigation until that appraisal was completed. Florida’s appellate court held that trial court erred in granting the motion to...

Intentional Loss Exclusion Could Apply Even to Unintended Damage, Says the Tenth Circuit [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

July 28, 2022

The Tenth Circuit recently held that, under Kansas law, an intentional loss exclusion precludes coverage for damage caused by an intentionally set fire even if the actual resulting damage is unintended. In Taylor et al. v. LM Insurance Corp., Case No. 20-3166 (10th Cir. Jul. 11, 2022), the named...

Missouri Takes A Stand On Depreciation [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

July 21, 2022

On June 28, the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision finding Lexington Insurance Company (“Lexington”) breached its policy with homeowner Cynthia Franklin. Franklin’s home has sustained damage in a May 2016 storm for which she submitted a claim with Lexington. Lexington...

New Jersey Appellate Division Rules Insurers Not Obligated to Cover Certain Business COVID-19 Related Losses [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

June 27, 2022

A recent New Jersey Appellate Division ruling follows the general trend nationally in which courts are, by and large, rejecting insureds’ claims for coverage for business income losses due to government orders related to preventing the spread of Covid-19. While there have been certain outliers,...

Florida Property Insurance Reform Round Three Brings Big Changes [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

June 01, 2022

For the third time since 2019, the Florida Legislature has enacted broad property insurance reforms with the goal of stabilizing the insurance market and curbing litigation filed by unscrupulous contractors. The bill, S.B. 2D, creates a reinsurance program, amends certain prohibited advertisement...

Intentional Act Without Intent to Harm May Not Be an Occurrence [Alert]

May 27, 2022

A California appellate court recently ruled that an intentional act may not be an "occurrence" even when there is no intent to cause harm.

Coverage Issues Regarding Riots, Civil Commotion, and Curfews

May 26, 2022

Alycen Moss and Elliot Kerzner co-authored the article “Coverage Issues Regarding Riots, Civil Commotion, and Curfews” for the Spring 2022 issue of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel’s Insights magazine.

New York Court Holds Coverage for Excavation Damage Precluded by Earth Movement Exclusion [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

May 04, 2022

According to a recent ruling by a New York appellate court, coverage for excavation damage is precluded by the policy’s earth movement exclusion. In 3502 Partners LLC v. Great American Insurance Co. of New York, Case No. 2021-03449 (N.Y. App. 1st Dep’t Apr. 21, 2022), an insured sued its insurer...

Ten from '21 — The Top Ten Property Insurance Decisions from 2021

April 21, 2022

Alycen Moss and Stephen Pate wrote the article, "Ten from '21 — The top ten property insurance decisions from 2021," published by Westlaw Today.

Accepting Coverage for Part of a Claim May Subject an Insurer to the Appraisal Process Under Tennessee Law [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

April 11, 2022

Accepting coverage for part of a claim may subject an insurer to a policy’s appraisal process when the extent of covered damage is in dispute, according to a recent ruling issued by the Eastern District of Tennessee. In Morrow v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., Case No. 1:21-CV-00133-DCLC-CHS, 2022...

Renewal of Property Policy Requires Living Insured [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

March 23, 2022

A policy renewal requires a living insured to form a valid insurance contract, the Sixth Circuit recently ruled. In Boby Davis, et al. v. Westfield Ins. Co., Case No. 21-2797 (6th Cir. Mar. 14, 2022), Della Shields received a yearly homeowner’s insurance policy covering her home in Muskegon,...

True, False, or Simply Wrong? Florida Courts Disagree About Whether ‘False Statements’ Must Be Intentional [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

February 14, 2022

A Florida appellate court recently interpreted a “Concealment or Fraud” provision that voids coverage where an insured makes “material false statements” as requiring intentional deception, extending the split amongst the Florida appellate courts. In Vargas v. SafePointe Ins. Co., No. 3D19-1656,...

COVID-19 and Event Cancellation Claims: Post-pandemic Developments [Practical Guidance]

February 03, 2022

Paul Ferland examines event cancellation coverage in general to identify the issues that will be at the forefront of legal disputes in the coming years.

Business Interruption Insurance: Post-Pandemic Litigation Developments [Practical Guide]

January 18, 2022

Donnie Apodaca contributed a practice note in LexisNexis Practical Guide.

First Appellate Ruling Holds COVID-19 Business Losses Are Not Physical Loss or Damage [Alert]

July 06, 2021

Alycen A. Moss and Elliot Kerzner discuss the Eighth Circuit's decision in Oral Surgeons, P.C. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company.

Protests, Riots Raise Questions of Civil Authority Coverage [Best's Review]

March 05, 2021

Alycen Moss and Elliot Kerzner published an article in Best's Review titled, "Protests, Riots Raise Questions of Civil Authority Coverage" discussing property damage from the riots following the death of George Floyd in May 2020.

Hurricane Laura: What Can Insurers Expect with Claims in Texas and Louisiana? [Alert]

September 02, 2020

Joseph A. Ziemianski, Melissa Brill, Alycen A. Moss, Stephen P. Pate, and Paul C. Ferland discuss what insurers can expect based on prior hurricanes.

Texas Supreme Court Reinforces the Eight Corners Rule, Or Does It? [Alert]

March 25, 2020

Alissa Christopher and Greg Hudson discuss Richards v. State Farm Lloyds and whether the absence of a clause requiring a carrier to defend claims that are “groundless, false or fraudulent” means that the “eight-corners” rule does not apply when determining the existence of a duty to defend.

Property Insurance Coverage Issues Associated with COVID-19 [Alert]

March 16, 2020

Joe Ziemianski, Melissa Brill, Alycen Moss, Stephen Pate, and Paul Ferland discuss how courts have analyzed and applied first-party property policies for these types of non-physical losses, potential coverage under a civil authority provision, and pollution/contamination exclusions.

Complicated Cats [Best's Review]

September 01, 2018

Alycen Moss, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance department, published an article titled, Complicated Cats, for Best's Review.

The Imperfect Storm: Harvey Litigation Will Be Fought Under Hailstorm Bill's Rules, While 'Menchaca' Looms in the Background [Texas Lawyer]

June 01, 2018

Stephen Pate, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance Department, authored an article on his predictions on the course of Hurricane Harvey litigation entitled, "The Imperfect Storm: Harvey Litigation Will Be Governed by Hailstorm Bill's Rules, While 'Menchaca' Looms in the Background."

New Jersey Court: Continuous Trigger Ends When Nature of Damage Is Known [Global Insurance Alert]

October 26, 2017

Melissa Brill and Laura Dowgin discuss the decision in Air Master & Cooling, Inc. v. Selective Ins. Co. of Am., and its impact on progressive property damage claims in New Jersey.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Top Property Cases of 2021

March 16, 2022 - Webinar

Wildfires and their Impact on Insurance Coverage Issues

February 02, 2022 - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Advanced Insurance Law 2021

October 01, 2021 - San Antonio, TX

20th Anniversary Windstorm Insurance Conference

January 31, 2019 - Orlando, Florida

2018 PLRB Large Loss Conference

November 26, 2018 - Nashville, TN

In The News

Alycen Moss Receives Prestigious Andrew C. Hecker Award from the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel

August 05, 2022

Alycen Moss received the prestigious Andrew C. Hecker Award, presented annually by the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) to the member who authors the year's most outstanding article in a federation publication.

Property Insurance Cases To Watch In The 2nd Half Of 2022

August 01, 2022

Alycen Moss, co-chair of the Property Insurance Group, was quoted in the article “Property Insurance Cases To Watch In The 2nd Half Of 2022” by Law360.

Between the Lines: CLM’s Annual Conference Rocked it Out in Palm Desert

July 15, 2022

Alycen A. Moss was quoted in this month’s Between the Lines Column for the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance.

Property Insurance Coverage Can Hinge On 'Riot' Or 'Protest'

June 30, 2022

Alycen A. Moss and Elliot Kerzner wrote an expert analysis column titled, “Property Insurance Coverage Can Hinge On 'Riot' Or 'Protest'” for Law360.

Alycen Moss Named the CLM’s Claim’s Management Professional of the Year

March 29, 2022

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Alycen Moss, co-chair of the firm’s Property Insurance Group and co-vice chair of the firm’s Global Insurance Department, has been named the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance’s Litigation Management Professional of the Year.

In A Hail Mary, Virus Coverage Suits Flood State Courts

March 24, 2022

Alycen Moss and Stephen Pate were quoted in a Law360 article discussing the new wave of COVID-19 coverage lawsuits that have hit state and federal courts.

Alycen Moss Named to Law360’s 2022 Insurance Authority Property Editorial Advisory Board

March 23, 2022

Alycen Moss, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance Department, has been named one of Law360’s 2022 Editorial Advisory Board members.

More Than 205 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 19, 2021

Best Lawyers selected 210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Alycen Moss Named the 2021 Recipient of the FDCC’s John Appleman Award

August 10, 2021

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Alycen Moss, member of the Global Insurance Department and co-chair of the firm’s Property Insurance Group, has been named the 2021 recipient of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel’s John Appleman Award.

Four Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Recognized as 2020 Texas Super Lawyers

September 24, 2020

Cozen O’Connor attorneys David L. Barron, Stephen P. Pate, A. Martin Wickliff, Jr., and Joseph A. Ziemianski were named 2020 Texas Super Lawyers.

The Biggest Property & Casualty Insurance Decisions Of 2018

December 14, 2018

Stephen Pate, a member in the firm Global Insurance Department, was quoted in Law360's feature "The Biggest Property & Casualty Insurance Decisions of 2018."

Post-Harvey Coverage Suits Fall, But Causation Rows Linger [Law360]

August 20, 2018

Stephen Pate, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance department, was quoted in an article for Law360 discussing coverage suits following Hurrican Harvey.

Marijuana Insurers in Holding Pattern After Sessions Memo [Business Insurance]

April 17, 2018

Stephen Pate, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance department, was quoted in the Business Insurance article, Marijuana Insurers in Holding Patter After Sessions Memo.

Attorney says 7th Circuit Ruling in Exploding Grain Bin Case Could Narrow Property Damage Coverage [Cook County Record]

March 01, 2018

Melissa Brill, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance department, was quoted in an article titled, "Attorney says 7th Circuit Ruling in Exploding Grain Bin Case Could Narrow Property Damage Coverage" which appeared in the Cook County Record.

Insurance Policies on Marijuana Grows in the Fire Zone [KCBS radio]

October 28, 2017

Stephen Pate, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance department, interviews with KCBS radio about insurance policies on marijuana grows in the fire zone.

Contacts

Alycen A. Moss

Co-Vice Chair, Global Insurance Department
Co-Chair, Property Insurance Group

amoss@cozen.com

(404) 572-2052

Stephen P. Pate

Co-Chair, Property Insurance Group

spate@cozen.com

(832) 214-3957

People

Awards

Alycen Moss Named the CLM’s Claim’s Management Professional of the Year

March 29, 2022

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Alycen Moss, co-chair of the firm’s Property Insurance Group and co-vice chair of the firm’s Global Insurance Department, has been named the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance’s Litigation Management Professional of the Year.

More Than 205 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 19, 2021

Best Lawyers selected 210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Related Practice Areas

Related Blogs

Property Insurance Law Observer

Covering first-party decisions and developments.

Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith

Covering state and federal bad faith decisions and practices impacting insurers.

Cyber Law Monitor

Following current trends in cyber, privacy, and data security law.

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