To Plea or Not to Plea? Insurer’s Denial of Coverage for Residential Fire Loss Upheld

I recently came across an interesting opinion, Fuller v. Mercury Insurance Company of Georgia,1 where the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals discussed the effect of a guilty plea on a policyholder’s civil action against their insurance carrier. The opinion stemmed from a residential fire loss and the insured’s subsequent claim for benefits under her homeowner’s insurance policy. Continue Reading

Are TWIA Appraisals Ever Fair or Impartial?

TWIA (short for Texas Windstorm Insurance Association), frequently referred to as the Texas windstorm insurance carrier of last resort, just can’t seem to get this insurance claims handling thing right. A conclusion quite alarming considering that insurance claims handling is one of the primary functions of its business. At this point many are left wondering if TWIA will ever get it right. Continue Reading

Policyholder Deposits Check and Loses Rights!

Accord and satisfaction are legal terms frequently used in insurance contract dispute and often included in any insurance carrier’s Answer and Affirmative Defenses to any complaint filed. An agreement (accord) between two contracting parties to accept alternate performance to discharge a preexisting duty between them and the subsequent performance (satisfaction) of that agreement. Continue Reading

Changes in the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure Will Impact Your Case

In 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court changed the scope and limits of discovery to “any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party’ claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case.”1 Starting in July 2018, Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 26.2, will take effect. Rule 26.2 has been significantly changed, adopting a “Three-Tiered” system of civil case management to make discovery occur in a manner consistent with Rule 26.1(b)(1)—proportional discovery. Continue Reading

Policy Exclusions Must Be Narrowly Applied to Assure Policyholders Receive All Benefits Available

In a recent post, Policyholders May Benefit From All Their Coverages, I discussed the importance of carefully evaluating all the insurance benefits potentially available to policyholders if a catastrophic loss occurs. That blog examined the decision in Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Hamilton,1 which allowed recovery of benefits for a total loss due to flood and due to wind damage under both a flood and a separate specified-peril wind insurance policy. Continue Reading

Post-Loss List Created Solely From Memory Can Satisfy the Insured’s Duty to Furnish an Inventory

When personal contents or business personal property are damaged or lost in a covered event, most policies require the policyholder to provide an inventory of the damaged or lost items to the carrier. But often, the carrier and the policyholder clash on the level of specificity required and whether the policyholder has submitted adequate proof of ownership or even the pre-loss existence of the listed items. Continue Reading

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