The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), created in 1902, regulates the state’s insurance industry to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.1 One way the SCC does this is by investigating consumer complaints against insurance companies, agents, and adjusters. If you think that your insurance claim or policy has been delayed, wrongly denied, deliberately underpaid, or improperly managed, you can file a complaint with SCC and request an investigation into the matter. Continue Reading How to File a Complaint with the Virginia State Corporation Commission

The Louisiana legislature heard a lot of testimony and complaints about property insurance carriers that were not only slow-paying but also far too low-paying on hurricane claims following Hurricane Ida. The stories were similar to the post earlier this week where a federal judge found an insurance company guilty of bad faith for slow payment in Claim Delay Leads to Bad Faith Judgement. Continue Reading Slow and Lowball Paying Insurance Companies—Why Is It Happening?

The title to this post was my reaction after reading a Virginia trial court opinion sent to me from Karl Dennison of Goodman, Gable & Gould (aka The Three G’s.) Insurance companies always have disputes about what is damaged and not damaged from a hailstorm. They always cite exclusions of pre-existing damage, pre-existing wear and tear, and various other reasons for not paying all the damages claimed from a hailstorm. If the appraisers are not allowed to sort out these controversies, almost no hailstorm loss would ever resolve via an appraisal that is usually, but not always, faster and less expensive than litigation. Continue Reading Why Go To Appraisal If You Cannot Determine The Loss?

Policyholders do not study all the forms available for coverage, nor do they typically understand how policies can be tailored to provide better coverage through endorsements. In a recent blog about soft costs under a builders risk policy, Builders Risk Insurance and Soft Costs Claims, I noted the importance of selecting an experienced insurance agent that knows the builders risk area with great expertise: Continue Reading Pick A Great Insurance Agent When Deciding Upon Builders Risk Coverage

Insurance companies have an obligation to promptly investigate coverage and evaluate damages when adjusting a first party property insurance claim. When an insurer fails to do this, it has failed to act in good faith. A federal court in Washington recently found the same as a matter of law.1 Continue Reading Claim Delay Leads to Bad Faith Judgement

Federal common law interpreting the rules and regulations of the National Flood Program is usually not helpful to policyholders. It has truly become a situation where technical, literal rules are followed to the letter of the law rather than any intent or spirit for why the rule was written. In this “form over substance” common law, which federal judges feel compelled to follow, an important lesson is to follow those rules in an exacting manner or risk losing insurance benefits. One recent case held that an attorney at law, while acting with authority for the client, cannot sign the proof of loss form for the policyholder client.1 Continue Reading Policyholders and Not Their Attorneys Need to Sign Flood Proof of Loss Forms

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (“TDCI”) “regulates and licenses both individuals and corporations, assesses suspicions of fraud, and provides resources to . . . citizens of Tennessee.”1 One way the TDCI does this is by investigating consumer complaints against insurance companies, agents, and agencies. Continue Reading How to File a Complaint with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance

What are additional living expenses?

Additional living expenses are typically included as a coverage in homeowner property insurance policies under “Loss of Use.” In a recent blog post, Is Your Insurance Company Threatening to Prematurely Terminate Loss of Use Benefits, Merlin Law Group attorney Dan Veroff discussed Loss of Use benefits and what carriers are doing to curtail those benefits prematurely. As stated in that blog post, Loss of Use benefits are intended to cover the cost of temporary placement when the insured premises suffers a covered loss that renders it unusable until repaired. Continue Reading Additional Living Expenses: What Does Your Policy Cover and For How Long?

In the wake of Hurricane Ida, many adjusters and contractors are headed to the State of Louisiana to assist in the assessment of damages and clean up. While heading into Louisiana, it is important to closely read the insurance policies. Continue Reading A Reminder to Out of State Public Adjusters and Contractors Working in Louisiana