Whenever you think that an insurance policy may cover a claim or cause of action, the first step is to get complete copies of any potentially applicable policies. Never attempt to analyze coverage without a copy of the entire policy; an incomplete copy may lead you to reach an improper conclusion on coverage. Use this checklist to be sure that you have the entire policy.
When a client’s home has been destroyed by a fire or other disaster, the loss can be overwhelming. Although there will be much to replace, they may not think of the important documents and records. Here’s a handy checklist to help those affected by disaster remember what they lost and get the replacements they need.
Given the increasingly digital landscape
of today’s economy, the most valuable asset for many businesses is their computer data. According to a 2015 study, the average cost of a data breach for small businesses is about $38,000 in hard costs and can total upwards of $55,000. Yet many businesses opt only for traditional property insurance policies. This could be a big problem for your client’s small business.
Estate planning attorneys regularly advise their clients about the tax and other advantages of transferring real property to revocable trusts or similar estate planning vehicles. But they may not consider the potentially disastrous title insurance implications of such transfers. The original property owners may have had coverage under their policy, but—depending on the type of policy—once the property is transferred to the estate planning entity, the entity (i.e. trustee of the trust) isn’t the “insured” anymore and coverage could be lost.
If nothing else, recent natural disasters have shown us the importance of carefully reading insurance policies before we buy them. But many people won’t do that, so that leaves it to attorneys to figure out coverage after disaster strikes. Attorneys faced with this task need an organized approach to determining whether coverage exists.
Sure, title insurance is not the most exciting topic. But it is one that is rife with misconceptions, some of which can really mess with a real property transaction. It’s the attorney’s job to dispel the misconceptions by understanding the nature of title insurance and explaining to the client how it works.
I am very excited about my first YouTube video — an interview with Tim Sullivan, the contributing editor of CEB’s new book California Property Insurance: Law and Litigation.
This book is a great guide for attorneys who
- Handle real property and advise clients on how to insure that property;
- Manage, or assist others who manage, estate property; and
- Sue or defend insurers.
Just as insurance is a big part of all our lives, this book is important for attorneys practicing in a variety of areas. Think flood, earthquake, toxic drywall from China. Property insurance issues are pervasive and always growing and changing as our world and technology does.
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