In Doyle v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. (No. G054197, filed 3/7/18), a California appeals court held that financial loss from purchasing counterfeit vintage wine was not direct and accidental loss or damage to covered property within the coverage of a valuable possessions property policy.
In Doyle, the insured was a collector of rare, vintage wine that was housed in a wine storage facility. He had purchased nearly $18 million of purportedly rare, vintage wine from a dealer, and insured the collection under a valuable possessions policy. But a law enforcement investigation revealed that the dealer had been filling empty wine bottles with his own wine blend and affixing counterfeit labels. The dealer was convicted of fraud and was sent to prison for 10 years.
Reprinted courtesy of Christopher Kendrick, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Valerie Moore, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP