Patrick McGinnis

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Court Upholds Post-Loss Assignment of Claims

Larry Bache and I have many cases in Nebraska where we represent a contractor with assignments of insurance claims from homeowners. These assignments were made after a hail loss. The policyholder assigned his rights to the insurance claim to the roofing contractor working on his property. Most insurance policies contain what is called an anti-assignment … Continue Reading

Important Reminder for Texas Public Adjusters: Reopening File and Re-inspection of Loss Does Not Change Deadline to File Suit

All public adjusters would love to get retained as soon as possible after the date of loss. Unfortunately, often, the public adjuster gets hired months or even a year after the date of loss. In that case, if the first notice of claim filed with the carrier comes from the public adjuster then the carrier … Continue Reading

Court Finds Unreasonable Underpayment of Claim Sufficient Evidence of Bad Faith to Survive Motion to Dismiss

It is generally understood that a disagreement as to scope or cost of damages is not enough to rise to the level of bad faith in first-party property damage cases. However, a recent case out of the Western District of Oklahoma held that evidence of unreasonable underpayment of claim was sufficient to survive a 12(b)(6) … Continue Reading

Bad Faith Finding in NFIP Flood Case

It is the general understanding when one brings a lawsuit on a flood claim under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that the only recovery available to the policyholder is actual damages. The policyholder is not entitled to attorney fees or bad faith (extra-contractual) damages, which might be recoverable in other first-party property damage cases. … Continue Reading

When Are Older Claims Dead? A Recap of Texas Limitations Law in First-Party Claims

There are times when public insurance adjusters or lawyers representing policyholders get claims where the policyholder did not discover damage until some time after the actual date of loss. For example, property owners sometimes don’t discover their hail damage until they experience leaks and ask a public insurance adjuster or roofing contractor to inspect their … Continue Reading

Lloyds Delaying Payment on Many Claims

Lately I have had several public insurance adjusters call me about a specific problem with Lloyds.1 The public adjuster and the Lloyds (third-party) adjuster agree on the scope and amount of damages on a claim. Then Lloyds never pays. It’s not that Lloyds refuses to pay. They just don’t pay, like for a real long … Continue Reading

Office of Public Insurance Counsel Weighs in Against Proposed Mandatory Arbitration Endorsement

Alex Winslow of Texas Watch passed along to me that the Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC) has weighed in against the mandatory arbitration endorsement proposed by Texas Farm Bureau and now (semi-secretly) before the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) for approval. OPIC is the state office tasked with representing policyholders in rate and form … Continue Reading

Insurance Industry Pulling End Around on Texas Policyholders: Carrier Asking TDI to Approve Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clause in Policy Form

I am using this blog to get the word our to all persons in Texas who care about working Texans and Texas businesses who pay insurance premiums every day. Please read below from Alex Winslow of Texas Watch and please go on the Texas Watch website and oppose this type of policy. I emailed Alex … Continue Reading

Trial Court Finds Carrier Not Bound by Exclusions Cited in Claims Handling Process and Not Estopped From Raising New Exclusions in Litigation

When I get hired on property damage cases, part of the materials I receive from the policyholder, or the public insurance adjuster, is a full or partial denial letter in which the carrier fairly specifically sets out reasons and quotes policy provisions supporting the denial of coverage. If I am hired on a case and … Continue Reading

Prompt Notice and Hamilton Revisited: Herrera v. State Farm Lloyds

Carriers and their lawyer cite the Hamilton1 case for the proposition that a nineteen-month delay in reporting a loss is, as a matter of law, not prompt and therefore prejudices the carrier from investigating the claim. Interestingly, the main evidence presented by the policyholder in Hamilton was deposition testimony from the two insurance adjusters who … Continue Reading

“It’s Cheaper To Kill A Mare In Texas Than It Is To Cripple Her”: Texas Supreme Court Unifies Loss-Of-Use Damages in Property Damage Cases

Sometimes personal property is partially damaged and sometimes it is completely destroyed. For reasons not altogether clear, the rule in Texas had been that a claimant could only recover loss-of-use damages when his property was partially damaged (capable of repair). A Texas claimant could not recover loss-of-use damages if his property were a total loss. … Continue Reading
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