Property Insurance and Builder’s Risk Policy Claims Attorneys

Committed Property Insurance & Builder’s Risk Policy Claims Lawyer Serving California

Buildings can be subject to many different risks — fire, severe rainstorms, high winds, or vandalism. Property insurance and builder’s risk policies are a specialized kind of coverage designed for structures that are both completed and under construction. Typically these policies will cover materials and supplies necessary to repair and/or rebuild the property. They may also offer additional coverage for business interruption or loss of use of the property during the repairs.


Pillsbury & Coleman has been successful in representing owners and contractors of construction projects to pursue claims against builder’s risk insurers and recovering substantial amounts on those claims. Coverage is typically during construction period only, and is intended to terminate when the work has been completed and the property is ready for use or occupancy. Pillsbury & Coleman, LLP, routinely handles builder’s risk and property damage and other specialized business policy claims.

Our most recent success under a builder’s risk policy relates to a condominium complex that was built in Hawaii, which began suffering water losses due to corrosive soils that caused pinhole leaks in underground copper piping. These water losses were continuous and progressive and were covered by a Builder’s Risk policy with a Homebuilder’s Limited Warranty coverage. However, the insurer attempted to avoid coverage by claiming that multiple self-insured retentions (“SIRs”) must be satisfied before coverage applied. We successfully argued that only a single SIR needed to be exhausted before the insurer was responsible for covering the entirety of this continuous and progressive water loss.

In another recent case, a San Francisco Hotel that was under construction suffered severe water losses when an atmospheric river caused flooding to multiple levels of the hotel. The damages were extensive and resulted in substantial delay to the opening of the Hotel. The insurer claimed that the “critical path” delays were minor and refused to pay the full value of the business interruption portion of the claim. We were able to achieve a successful result by compelling the insurer to pay another $5,000,000 in damages.

In another case, we represented the owner of a large apartment complex that was under construction in early 2010. During construction, severe rains penetrated the upper parapet walls, damaging the interior and resulting in a claim of well over a million dollars. The general contractor hired our law firm to assist in making a claim under its Builder’s Risk policy and we were able to recover 100% of the damages for the claim.

We also represent property owners that have suffered damage from the recent wildfires in California. We recently represented a homeowner whose home was burned down in the Napa County wildfires. The insurer refused to pay the full cost to reconstruct the home. We filed suit and obtained over $1,500,000 in damages to help the insured rebuild the home.

In another case, we represented the owner of a mixed use commercial and residential apartment complex in San Francisco. The building suffered significant fire damage and the insurer denied coverage claiming that damages were capped at the policy limits. We filed suit against the insurer claiming that those limits were never intended to apply to this building, which was clearly underinsured, and that higher limits applied. We successfully resolve that case based on application of the higher policy limits.

This is just a small sampling of the types of property and builder’s risk insurance cases that we have successfully resolved for our clients. Each case requires meticulous review of the insurance policies, including their respective coverages, limitations and exclusions. Each case also requires a carefully planned out approach to litigation with the goal of obtaining the best possible result for our clients.

We will help you navigate through these policies to make sure your claim is presented in the most effective manner possible to ensure that you receive compensation for the property damage that your insurer has refused to pay.


To learn more about our work in property insurance and builder’s risk coverage, please call our office at (415) 433-8000 or contact us via email.