Insurance coverage law can be complex and convoluted. Whatever your coverage question may be, the Insurance Coverage Practice Group at Arthur Chapman is ready to help.
We represent insurance companies, self-insureds, and policy holders at the local and national levels and have done so for over 30 years. In that time, we have developed unmatched experience with the coverage issues facing the insurance industry, the scope and range of coverage instruments, handling first-party and third-party liability disputes, as well as policy drafting, analysis, and interpretation. This experience and knowledge allows our attorneys to excel at working with clients in the handling of coverage issues ranging from the straightforward to the complex.
We function as strategic partners for our clients. We endeavor to help avoid unnecessary litigation, but we’re ready and able to go to court and fight for our clients.
Grinnell Mut. Reinsurance Co. v. Schwieger, 685 F.3d 697 (8th Cir. 2012). On appeal, the Eighth Circuit held in favor of the insurer and reversed the Federal District of Minnesota's grant of summary judgment to insured. The Eighth Circuit held that a custom-farming endorsement that restored coverage excluded by the custom-farming exclusion – but stated that all other terms and provisions in the policy applied – did not provide coverage for property damage to respondent's cattle because such damage was excluded by a separate exclusion for property in the care, custody, or control of the insured.
Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Earthsoils, Inc., 812 N.W.2d 873, 875 (Minn. App. 2012), review denied (Minn. 2012). On appeal, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held in favor of the insurer and reversed district court's grant of summary judgment to insured. In the case, the Ptaceks alleged that Earthsoils’ fertilizer failed to provide sufficient nitrogen to their corn crop, causing it to produce less than the anticipated yield. But the Ptaceks did not allege that the fertilizer damaged or otherwise rendered unmarketable the corn cobs actually produced. Nor did they allege that Earthsoils’ fertilizer physically damaged the corn plants by causing them to produce less than they would have without any fertilizer. The only injury alleged was failure to achieve anticipated crop yield. The Court of Appeals held that loss of anticipated crop yield is not covered by Farm Bureau’s policy because it is not property damage. “[F]ailure to achieve anticipated crop yield is not itself physical injury to tangible property; it is merely injury to an intangible economic interest.”
Grinnell Mut. Reinsurance Co. v. Moon, 845 F. Supp. 2d 989, 991 (D. Minn. 2012). The Federal District of Minnesota granted the insurer’s motion for summary judgment, finding liability coverage was excluded by the “business” exclusion in a personal automobile policy. The court held the insured’s hauling of crushed cars was “business” because he “entered into a formal arrangement to perform a specific task, within a specific time frame, with an expectation of payment upon completion.” It did not matter that the insured ultimately did not receive payment or that hauling crushed cars was not his primary occupation.
Scherber v. Nor-Son, Inc., A11-962, 2012 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 275 (Minn. App. April 2, 2012), review denied (Minn. 2012). On appeal, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held in favor of the insurer and reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to insured. The court held that – even though the plaintiff’s complaint did not name the subcontractor as a defendant –a subcontractor’s insurer had the duty to defend a general contractor named as an additional insured. First, this duty to defend was created by allegations contained in the general contractor’s third-party complaint against the subcontractor. Second, this duty existed even though the Workers’ Compensation Act prevented the plaintiff from suing the subcontractor, his employer. The complaint still alleged sufficient facts upon which the general contractor could be liable for the subcontractor’s negligence.
Gaza Beef v. Grinnell Mut. Reinsurance Co., No. A11-444, 2011 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 794 (Minn. App. Aug. 22, 2011). On appeal, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held in favor of the insurer and reversed district court's grant of summary judgment to insured. The Court of Appeals held that a custom-farming endorsement that restored coverage excluded by the custom-farming exclusion – but stated that all other terms and provisions in the policy applied – did not provide coverage for property damage to respondent's cattle because such damage was excluded by a separate exclusion for property in the care, custody, or control of the insured.
Vogel v. Burton Insurance Agency, Inc., Dakota County District Court (2010). Obtained summary judgment. In an agent errors and omissions case, the court held, as a matter of law, that an insurance agent who was requested to procure "full replacement coverage" for an insured did not have a duty to value the insured’s buildings when obtaining coverage. Such duty to value the property only arose if the agent affirmatively agreed to appraise the property.
As proven litigators, educators, and advocates, we serve as a comprehensive resource for our clients. We encourage you to reach out to us to learn more.