Essential Property Insurance Coverage Information Withheld from Consumers

An April 2017 report by United Policyholders reveals the state rankings of homeowner insurance protections that impact buying insurance. The research revealed that many major insurance companies and many states withhold coverage and policy provisions from consumers during the purchase. These same companies and states also withhold payment information. Continue Reading

Does a Residence Restriction Violate the Standard Fire Insurance Policy?

Homeowner property insurance policies usually cover the dwelling located at the “residence premises,” which is typically defined as the one, two, three, or four-family dwelling used principally as a private residence and where the insured resides. What happens if the insured is not residing in the dwelling at the time of a fire loss? Is the fire loss covered? The answer may depend on whether the jurisdiction has enacted a standard form of fire insurance. Continue Reading

Special Requirements and the Basics of Flood Insurance

Many homeowners don’t realize that a standard homeowner policy does not cover flood damage. That is why it is so important to purchase additional insurance for floods. Federally subsidized flood insurance is available, providing limited coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program: up to $250,000 for single family dwellings plus $100,000 for personal property, including furniture, and up to $500,000 for business and church properties, plus $500,000 for the contents.1 Continue Reading

Personal Property Depreciation by the Insurance Company After a Loss Should be Scrutinized by Policyholders

I often hear the same complaint from clients: They feel the insurance company has undervalued their personal property after a loss and are frustrated by the insurance company’s valuation and rate of depreciation. The reality is that even when an insured has a “replacement cost” policy, the insurance company can depreciate personal property values because the majority of insurance policies contain language allowing insurers to depreciate the value and first pay out the “actual cost value,” which includes depreciation. Continue Reading

State Legislation Regarding Property Insurance is Filed All Over the Country

Merlin Law Group has recently entered into a custom service with our online legal research vendor to provide updates on proposed property insurance legislation, regulations, and insurance commissioner bulletins. The reason is we have done this is because of the increased number of proposed bills and changes in administrative law from the departments of insurance. I have been in this field for over thirty-five years and never have so many states been so busy with what used to be a sleepy part of insurance. Continue Reading

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