NOTE: This guest blog post is by Holly Soffer, Esq., a policyholder attorney and General Counsel to the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

Much has changed in the world since my blog on March 24th. Not only are there new phrases in our lexicon such as “Zoom happy hour,” but also the legislative response to COVID-19 Business Interruption claims has taken a new tone. At first, a few states1 offered bill similar to the New Jersey2 one, but then, as Chip has commented, the insurance industry has made its views known—as we knew they would. Continue Reading Through the Rabbit Hole—Update on proposed COVID-19 Business Interruption Legislation

My New York colleague, Jonathan Wilkofsky, not long ago wrote a third edition to his book about appraisal, The Law and Procedure of Insurance Appraisal. If the appraisal cases in Florida and Colorado keep up at their frantic pace of publication, he is certainly going to have a fourth edition in the near future. A recent Florida case concerned the common issue of whether appraisal is appropriate to determine whether a roof can be repaired with matching shingles.1 Continue Reading Is Appraisal Appropriate to Determine If the Policyholder Is Entitled to Matching Shingles or a New Roof Replacement?

Pennsylvania has followed five other states to propose legislation eradicating the “virus” exclusion for small businesses having commercial business income policies. Insurance company lobbyists are fighting this legislation in numerous ways. One is the argument that such legislation, if passed, would be unconstitutional. Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update April 8—Pennsylvania Files Proposed Legislation, An Official “Trickle” of Lawsuits is Filed and Is There A Test That Finds Covid-19 on Property?

Insurance companies historically rarely invoked their right to repair a structure. They often did so with jewelry losses because damaged or lost jewelry could much more easily be copied or repaired. Few structural repairs are ever done correctly or to the satisfaction of a property owner. Indeed, the annals of construction history are full of litigation between contractors and upset property owners. So, why are modern insurance carriers invoking the right to repair?

Answer—Leverage to reduce the claim amount. Continue Reading Invoking the Right to Repair and So-Called Managed Repair

This past weekend I was asked the question above. This is what I found in Louisiana. On March 26, 2020, by Proclamation No. JBE 2020-37, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards transferred certain insurance matters to Commissioner of Insurance James J. Donelon. Commissioner Donelon quickly instituted reasonable emergency measures to address the growing concerns of Louisiana’s residents through Emergency Rule 40 – Moratorium on Policy Cancellations and Non-Renewals for Policyholders in Louisiana during the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) (“Rule 40”).1 Continue Reading Louisiana–COVID-19 Pandemic Relief: My Mortgage is Deferred, What about My Insurance Premiums?

Merlin Law Group attorney Ed Eshoo wrote another stellar post yesterday, The Impact of Coronavirus on the Replacement Condition, which incorporated a discussion of the Standard Fire Policy. Eshoo is a guru when it comes to standard fire policy law and all of us at Merlin Law Group are lucky to have him as a colleague. Continue Reading The Standard Fire Policy—Do We Need A Standard All Risk Insurance Policy?

The impact of the coronavirus virus on business interruption insurance coverage is a hotly debated topic. But other property insurance coverages may be impacted by this global pandemic as well. Many property insurance policies require actual repair/replacement of damaged/destroyed property to be completed within a certain time period in order to receive replacement cost benefits. Given the “stay-at-home” orders issued in many states, including here in Illinois, it may not be possible to meet the replacement condition within the requisite timeframe. Continue Reading The Impact of Coronavirus on the Replacement Condition

Why sue one at a time when you can sue by the bushel full? Billy Goat Taverns are ganging up against their mutual insurance company, Society National, in a federal class action lawsuit. This lawsuit is seeking damages and a declaration of coverage due to their closure from the coronavirus. This class action lawsuit was filed by a personal injury attorney. Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Update April 3—A Class of Billy Goats Joins the Fray Along With Advertising Attorneys While The ISO Says No, No, No

On March 31, 2020, six Northern California Bay Area counties significantly limited construction activity. These orders will result in thousands of construction projects shutting down until at least May 3, 2020. What impact does this have on existing property insurance claims? The answer: a lot, and they will probably result in significant legal disputes. Continue Reading California Bay Area Shuts Down Construction – How Does This Affect an Ongoing Business Claim?