In light of the increasing number of incidents involving the theft of copper wiring, piping, and other property, one of the hottest topics in insurance circles today concerns vacant property exposures and how to cover them. What is especially ruthless about the thieves is their total disregard for the damage or destruction of property they cause while extracting copper or other valuable property. In many cases, the damage or destruction costs more than the property that was stolen. In light of this fact, one might not expect an insurer that provided coverage on a vacant property to deny a claim for damage that occurred when the property was occupied. Consider the case of Desiree Debartolo v Underwriters at Lloyd's of London. The owner of a restaurant closed the business and let her insurance policy lapse. The mortgage holder, however, demanded that the owner obtain property insurance in a sufficient amount to pay the $92,000 outstanding debt. The court observed that the coverage could not have been obtained on more reasonable terms from admitted insurers.
058-059_058-059 7/21/11 1:33 PM Page 58 No matter how reputable a
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