Appraisers Agreeing Not To Include Issues of Loss May Render Policyholders with No Later Recovery

Appraisals can result in losing propositions for policyholders. I often teach that policyholders need to make certain that they do their best during appraisal and not expect a bad award to get overturned. Policyholders need very hardworking, honest, and knowledgeable persons selected as their appraisers. Continue Reading

Standard Fire Insurance Policies Still Provide Basic Protections—A Major Victory for Policyholders and Merlin Law Group

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal’s opinion this week in Streit v. Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company,1 is a major victory for policyholders in Illinois. There, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the lower court judgment entered in favor of my clients, Wesley and Barbara Streit, arising out of Metropolitan’s failure to cover a fire loss to their residence in Illinois. The Seventh Circuit’s ruling establishes that an insurance policy exclusion which precludes innocent co-insureds from recovering violates the minimum level of protection afforded by the Illinois Standard Fire Policy. Continue Reading

Is Unauthorized Construction/Demolition Performed by a Tenant Covered Damage Under a First-Party Property Policy?

If a homeowner agrees to sell a home, and as part of the sale agreement allows the prospective buyer to: (1) lease the property before escrow is closed, and (2) make certain improvements to the property with the owner’s permission, but then, after taking possession during the lease, the prospective buyer tears the property down but never rebuilds it or improves it, should the homeowner’s insurance claim for the damage be covered? Continue Reading

Two different approaches to the Assignment of Benefits Issue

Assignment of Benefits (“AOBs”) has been an issue in the property insurance realm for several years. In fact, the Florida Legislature made a hard push to address the issue during the 2017 Session but was unable to do so. The two main AOB bills that gained traction last Session dealt with the issue in slightly different ways. SB 1218 was sponsored by Senator Gary Farmer. I have set forth the summary staff analysis below: Continue Reading

Court Upholds Policy Suit Limitations Provision and Holds Appraisal Award Unenforceable for Failure to File a Timely Lawsuit

This blog has often discussed the importance of carefully reading your insurance policy. It is imperative to know of your rights should your insurance claim become problematic. It is crucial to know the policy’s suit limitation clause as well as your state’s statute of limitations, so you don’t miss the filing deadline. Once this period of time lapses, your right to sue and recover your unpaid or underpaid loss is waived. Continue Reading

Cracks Caused by Construction Operations May Be Covered

Judges often make erroneous decisions based on the information presented and argued to them by the attorneys selected by the parties. I was thinking about this while writing my post, Experts Regarding Causation Can Be More Important Than Witnesses — or, Don’t Believe Your Lying Eyes When Your Insurance Company Hires an Expert. Continue Reading

What Would You Like to See During the 2018 Legislative Session?

First, sorry it has been so long since my last post! It was a blast seeing a lot of you during the FAPIA conference in Duck Key. The fishing, comradery, and education were all amazing. (Unless you were in my fishing boat…and if you were I apologize). During the FAPIA conference I was honored to be named the Legislator of the Year – a recognition that I am extremely humbled by. During the 2017 Florida Legislative Session we were able to pass HB 911 and get it signed by the Governor (see Insurance Consultants and People Not Licensed as Public Adjusters Cannot Work on Property Insurance Claims). Continue Reading

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