Landowner sues insurer over eminent domain lawsuit

Must insurer defend against city's seizure of property?

Janet R. Block owned two vacant lots within a city redevelopment area. In 1999, the city redevelopment agency offered her $46,000 for each lot. The price offered was the redevelopment agency appraiser's value of $159,000 for both lots, minus $67,250 estimated costs to remove the environmental contamination of the lots. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Eventually, Block and the redevelopment agency resolved their dispute for a settlement of $475,000 total for both lots. Block then filed claims with her current and previous homeowner's insurance carriers whose policies include coverage for the vacant lots. The insurers replied there was no policy coverage for eminent domain condemnation so there was no duty to defend Block in the condemnation lawsuit against her. If you were the judge would you rule Block's insurers had a duty to defend her against the city's condemnation lawsuit? The judge said no! Block's homeowner insurance policies include many coverages, the judge began. B...