Incentive Pay to Lower Insurance Claims to Policyholders Still Exists

The recent Wells Fargo calamity of opening customer accounts without permission underscores how financial incentives can promote unethical behavior by employees on the front line of servicing customers. I was asked by a reporter involved with stories of the recent Tennessee wildfire whether insurance companies offer incentive pay to their claims managers.

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What Constitutes Enforcement of a Building Ordinance or Law?

“Ordinance or law” property insurance coverage is typically triggered when, following a covered loss to a covered building, an insured incurs certain costs due to the enforcement of an ordinance or law1 requiring or regulating the demolition, construction, or repair of buildings.2 What does enforcement mean for purposes of triggering building ordinance or law coverage? Does enforcement require affirmative action of some sort by a building official, such as issuing or refusing to issue a building permit or issuing a citation for violating a building ordinance or law? Or, is enforcement simply voluntarily complying with building ordinances or laws?

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Did You Miss the Hurricane Matthew Meeting with Florida CFO Jeff Atwater?

We almost did too, because of the lack of notice and advertisement. But Lynn McCartney from the Florida Justice Association emailed the information to us just in time.

Here is the Nov. 30th press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 30, 2016

Contact: Ashley Carr, CFO Atwater
(850) 413 – 2842
Contact: Amy Bogner, Commissioner Altmaier
(850) 413 - 2515

CFO Jeff Atwater and Commissioner David Altmaier to Host Insurance Roundtable Marking the End of Hurricane Season

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – On Friday, December 2, 2016, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier will host a roundtable discussion focused on the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which ends today, November 30. Insurance company executives will join local leaders to discuss Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew, two storms that ended Florida’s decade-long hurricane-free streak.

Experts in their respective fields will present on topics including: the financial impact of the 2016 hurricane season, the federal flood insurance program, helping consumers through the insurance claims-filing process, and more.

Recent data reports show more than 100,000 insurance claims totaling $606 million in losses as a result of Hurricane Matthew and 18,000 insurance claims totaling $95 million as a result of Hurricane Hermine.

WHAT: 2016 Hurricane Season Roundtable
WHERE: Flagler College
Ringhaver Student Center, 2nd Floor Virginia Room
50 Sevilla Drive, St. Augustine, Fla.
WHEN: Friday, December 2
10:00am – 11:30am EST

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Proof of Loss Deadline Considerations for South Carolina Hurricane Mathew Non-Flood Claims

When making a non-flood claim for Hurricane Matthew related damage to your insurer you must comply with the insurance policy’s post loss conditions. This includes the timely filing of a Sworn Proof of Loss form. Generally, Proof of Loss provisions are worded in one of two ways. The first only requires that the proof be filed within sixty days of the insurers written request. The second and much more critical wording provides that the insured must submit the Sworn Proof of Loss, to the insurer, within sixty (60) days from the date of loss. This wording does not require a request from the insurer to trigger compliance with this mandatory post loss policy Condition.

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The Florida Supreme Court Clarifies What Rule to Apply When There Are Multiple Causes of Loss Under an All-Risk Policy

On December 1, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court decided Sebo v. American Home Assurance Company, Inc.,1 resolving whether coverage existed under an all-risk policy when there were multiple causes of loss and at least one of the causes was excluded, in favor of the insured.

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Calculating Depreciation: Are Generic Tables Reliable or Based on Any Scientific Study?

Depreciation tables were first introduced to me when studying accounting at the University of Florida. The tables were based on tax schedules and other accounting methods which usually had nothing to do with the actual depreciation of an item. Indeed, if you used tax depreciation tables, some items could be written off immediately despite little use, change in value, or change in condition.

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Overhead and Profit - Regulatory Criteria for When a Contractor is Required

Overhead and profit was recently mentioned by a colleague, Brandon McWherter, in, When Is Overhead and Profit Due in Tennessee? He noted that the general rule for when contractor overhead and profit is to be paid is when it is:

reasonably likely that the insured would be expected to hire a contractor to repair the property.

 

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National Conference for Public Adjusters Coming Very Soon: December 8-10

The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters will host their Mid-Year Conference in beautiful Palm Beach, Florida. The conference will begin on Thursday, December 8th and conclude mid-day on Saturday, December 10th. Having the National Association host this conference in South Florida is a wonderful opportunity and public insurance adjusters should join NAPIA and network with the leading professionals assisting policyholders across the county.

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Insurable Interests Defined: A Blog Series - Episode Eight, South Carolina

In this episode of my blog series we’re headed to South Carolina, the Palmetto State, to define insurable interests.

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North Carolina Disaster Assistance Deadline for Survivors of Hurricane Matthew Extended to January 9, 2017

FEMA has approved a 31-day extension for Hurricane Matthew survivors to apply for federal disaster assistance. Survivors now have until January 9, 2017, to register with FEMA. The new deadline also applies to homeowners, renters and businesses submitting applications for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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Examinations Under Oath - What You Need to Know

Most property and business policies contain a provision requiring the insured to submit to an examination under oath (known as an “EUO”) by the insurance company in connection with an insurance claim. It is similar to a deposition, with the policyholder providing sworn testimony under penalty of perjury. However, it is under a contractual policy requirement not the litigation process.

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Flood Proof of Loss Extension Granted for Hurricane Matthew Victims

FEMA recognizes that the 60-day proof of loss deadline for flood damages relating to Hurricane Matthew was causing an undue burden on policyholders and has provided an extension.

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FEMA Extends Hurricane Hermine Proof of Loss Deadline Again!!

Property owners with Hurricane Hermine flood claims are now feeling extra thankful this week. FEMA has just further extended the deadline for Hurricane Hermine claimants to file flood proofs of loss to another 30 days. Now the deadline is 120 days from the date of loss.

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Determining Depreciation: The Definition of Actual Cash Value Varies Widely Between States

In yesterday's post, Determining Depreciation--Are Policyholders Getting Ripped Off, I promised to discuss issues of actual cash value and depreciation. The article I am critiquing giving rise to this discussion cited California law regarding actual cash value and then made this statement:

In states in which condition is not included in the definition of actual cash value, actual cash value is generally defined as replacement cost less depreciation.

Is this true?

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Determining Depreciation--Are Policyholders Getting Ripped Off?

Many property insurance company adjusters are required by their companies to determine the amount of depreciation to be taken when arriving at amounts of actual cash value. Many are told to determine this amount by determining the replacement cost and then subtracting depreciation. The question is: How are property insurance adjusters trained to determine depreciation so the insurance customer is not “ripped off” by taking too much depreciation?

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