The Western Heritage Ins. Co. v. Frances Todd, Inc. (2019 Cal.App. LEXIS 299 / 2019 WL 1450731) case has potential implications for insurance carriers, policyholders, condominium associations, unit owners, landlords and tenants.
The case involves a fire at a commercial condominium complex (the “Association”). The Association’s CC&Rs required the Association to purchase a master fire insurance policy for the benefit of the Association and owners, with a waiver of subrogation endorsement that stated the insurance company could not seek reimbursement from the Association, its officers, owners or occupants of the units in the event of a covered fire. The CC&Rs also prohibited individual owners from obtaining their own fire insurance. The Association purchased the required fire insurance policy from Western Heritage Insurance Company (“Western Heritage”).
One of the owner’s tenants, Frances Todd, Inc. (“Frances Todd”), allegedly caused a fire that damaged several units. Although the unit owner was covered as an additional named insured under the Western Heritage fire policy, the tenant, Frances Todd, was not. Western Heritage paid for the common area fire damage caused by Francis Todd, and then sued Frances Todd in a subrogation action to recover the amounts paid.