Tennessee Insurance Litigation Blog

Tennessee Insurance Litigation Blog

Legal insights on insurance litigation in the State of Tennessee

The Policyholder’s Perspective from
Brandon McWherter
of Gilbert Russell McWherter Scott Bobbitt PLC
J. Brandon McWherter is a partner at Gilbert Russell McWherter Scott Bobbitt PLC, which has four Tennessee offices in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, and Chattanooga. Read More
The Insurance Company’s Perspective from
Parks T. Chastain
of Brewer, Krause, Brooks & Chastain, PLLC
Parks T. Chastain, a member in the Nashville, Tennessee law firm of Brewer, Krause, Brooks, Chastain & Burrow, PLLC, focuses on the representation of insurers. Read More

Tag Archives: Tennessee insurance lawyer

Wildfires and Soot Testing

Posted in Claim Tips
As many victims of the East Tennessee wildfires are working through the claim process, this seems to be a good time for a quick word about soot testing.  Smoke and soot from the wildfires likely affected hundreds of property owners whose properties were never touched by an actual flame.  Even with no actual fire damage, the infiltration… Continue Reading

When is Overhead and Profit Due in Tennessee?

Posted in Coverage Issues, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized, Valuation Issues
Several years ago I discussed a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case where the court determined that general contractor’s Overhead and Profit were recoverable if the insured would “reasonably be expected to hire a contractor to repair its property”  See Parkway Assoc., LLC v. Harleysville Mut. Ins. Co., 129 Fed. Appx. 955 (6th Cir. 2005).… Continue Reading

Water Damage from an Aquarium – Covered or Not?

Posted in Coverage Issues
Most water damage is covered in a typical homeowner’s policy. However, this coverage may only extend to the structure, and not the personal property, depending on the policy language. This is because many homeowner’s policies cover all forms of direct physical loss – subject to certain exclusions. Conversely, personal property may be covered by only… Continue Reading

What is an Examination Under Oath?

Posted in Examinations Under Oath
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you (or someone you represent) has been requested to submit to an examination under oath by your insurance company’s attorney.  This process can be intimidating and confusing.  I field a lot of questions from insureds, public insurance adjusters, and attorneys about examinations under oath (“EUOs”).  As a general… Continue Reading

Insurance Companies Bear the Burden of Proving Arson

Posted in Coverage Issues, Litigation Tactics, Miscellaneous
Back in November 2013, I had the great honor to represent Larry and Sue Banks in their case against Cincinnati Insurance Company.  My partner, Clint Scott, and I presented the case to a federal jury and after deliberations, the jury returned a verdict for more than $2.2 million.  The insurance company accused the Banks of… Continue Reading

When it Comes to Insurance Policies, There is No Difference in Cosmetic Damage and Functional Damage

Posted in Coverage Issues, Litigation Tactics, Miscellaneous
In the past, I’ve posted a few articles regarding the recent trend of insurers to attempt to deny hail damage claims on the basis that the damage is “cosmetic” rather than “functional.”  Most commonly, the issue arises when there are hail dents to a metal roof and the insurance company denies the claim on the… Continue Reading

Another Court Allows Punitive Damages Claim to Proceed

Posted in Bad Faith
In June of this year, Judge Tom Anderson joined the ranks of other judges in Tennessee that have held that punitive damages can be awarded against an insurance company for breach of an insurance contract, if the breach was intentional, malicious, reckless, or malicious.  The case was Carroll v. Nationwide Property & Casualty Company, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73674… Continue Reading

Farm Bureau’s “Take It or Leave It Offer” Determined to be Unfair Claims Practice

Posted in Bad Faith, Consumer Protection Act
In Brooks v. Tenn. Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 776 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 26, 2014), an insured’s home was damaged by a tornado and an independent adjuster hired by the insurance company offered the homeowner $56,788 to resolve the claim. The homeowner disagreed with the estimate and refused to settle the claim… Continue Reading

The Law of Matching in Tennessee

Posted in Claim Tips, Coverage Issues
A hail storm hits a shingled roof, but only damages a handful of shingles.  Unfortunately, the shingles on the roof are no longer manufactured, which would result in a mismatched checkerboard of colors on the roof if only the few damaged shingles were replaced.  In those circumstances, is the insurance company obligated to replace the… Continue Reading

Cosmetic Damage – Honest Disagreement or Reckless Misbehavior?

Posted in Bad Faith, Coverage Issues
Insurance companies are increasingly denying claims based on engineering reports that there is “no functional damage” (damage which impairs the functionality of the roof) and that the damage is “cosmetic only.”  For example, if a hail storm comes through and wreaks havoc on a metal roof to a home, it might still be functional even… Continue Reading

The Law of California Applies to an Insurance Policy Insuring Tennessee Property?

Posted in Coverage Issues
Practitioners should be aware that Tennessee courts generally apply the law of the state where an insurance policy was issued and delivered if there is no enforceable choice of law clause in the policy.  Gov’t. Employees Ins. Co. v. Bloodworth, 2007 Tenn. App. LEXIS 404 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2007).  So, for example, if a policy on… Continue Reading