(NOTE: This guest post is by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE.1 Barry Zelma is a prolific writer and scholar in the field of insurance. I have purchased numerous publications from Barry. I am currently reading a book on legal ethics he wrote, The Little Book on Ethics For The American Lawyer, which may be his finest work and that is saying a lot after reading his treatises on insurance law and adjustment. I encourage you to read this very thorough post and consider purchasing Zalma’s publications for your reference library. – Chip Merlin.)

A Policyholders Lawyer’s Take on the Obligation to Read

In its blog the Merlin Law Group cites a small portion of a lengthy Hastings Law Journal article written by Professor Chuck Knapp.2 Dr. Knapp did not like the use, by appellate courts, of the concept that there is a duty to read (DTR) an insurance policy.

The blog post by Chip Merlin proposed that Dr. Knapp’s proposals would allow the court to rewrite the terms and conditions of the policy. Dr. Knapp did not do that but spent many pages explaining why the word “duty” should not be used and the exceptions available to the courts when interpreting an insurance contract as well as other contracts. Continue Reading There is an Obligation for the Insured to Read an Insurance Policy

Business owners and owners of commercial property should not buy Farmers Insurance. Virtually every insurance company in the United States considers the entire cost of restoration right away when making payments, including at actual cash value—except Farmers Insurance. Farmers Insurance has declared war on its own customers and independent restoration contractors. Continue Reading Farmers Insurance Sells Substandard Commercial Policy and Business Owners Should Not Purchase Farmers Insurance

Como se mencionó anteriormente en mi publicación de blog, Accord and Satisfaction: Will My Insurance Claim Be dismissed If I Deposit A Payment? (publicado: 21 de julio de 2019), muchos asegurados en Puerto Rico que recibieron pagos los depositaron sin estar conscientes de las consecuencias del Pago En Finiquito. Esta ha sido una controversia común en muchas de las demandas presentadas en los tribunales y la razón por la que muchos casos se están desestimando. Afortunadamente, el Tribunal de Apelaciones (Panel V) el 24 de octubre de 2019, revocó la decisión en Samuel Valentín Negrón v. MAPFRE PRAICO Insurance Company y Otros, en relación con el Pago En Finiquito. Continue Reading Merlin Law Group (PR) LLC, Gana Caso De Pago En Finiquito En El Tribunal De Apelaciones De Puerto Rico

United Policyholders takes action and gets things done for policyholders regarding the insurance gap issue. United Policyholders is tackling the insurance gap coverage problem by providing staff and resources to collect rogue property insurance policy forms being issued by insurance companies, to show examples of how insurers are stepping over each other to silently gain a competitive advantage of lower price with cheap insurance. Continue Reading Crazy New Policy Language? Report It To United Policyholders!

Judges should stop with the fiction that policyholders have a duty to read their insurance policies before a loss. They do not read all the insurance contracts they purchase, and nobody does. Even if they read their policies, most people would not understand the policy and certainly not contemplate every circumstance which could arise in advance of how the policy would be deciphered for those hypothetical circumstances of loss and disaster. Continue Reading Nobody Should Be Expected To Read Every Insurance Contract They Purchase

South Carolina courts have not used the phrase “broad evidence rule” in addressing actual cash value, and the South Carolina Department of Insurance considers actual cash value to be the amount needed to repair or replace the damage minus a deduction for depreciation.1 Continue Reading Calculating Actual Cash Value in South Carolina

Last week, the Texas Second Court of Appeals issued Lambert v. State Farm Lloyds,1 which follows the Texas Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Barbara Technologies Corp. v. State Farm Lloyds.2

In a recent blog post, Payment of an Appraisal Award: Is There More, I reviewed Barbara Tech and its companion case, Ortiz v. State Farm Lloyds.3 These two landmark cases hold that an insurer’s full and timely payment of an appraisal award, bars an insured’s causes of action for breach of contract and any common law and statutory bad faith claims, to the extent the bad faith claims seek only actual damages that are considered lost policy benefits. Continue Reading Invoking Appraisal – Be Careful What You Ask For

Anthony Delmedico has built one heck of a successful contractor restoration conference. Contractors in the business of rebuilding and repairing structures following a catastrophe owe it to themselves to learn and network at Win The Storm, which will be held in Phoenix on February 20-22. Continue Reading Restoration Contractors Should Go To “Win The Storm”

A tool that every policyholder attorney should use is the 30(b)(6) deposition. This is when the policyholder attorney requests the Defendant Insurance Carrier to designate “one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or designate other persons who consent to testify on its behalf.”1 The testimony of the designee is binding upon the company, regardless of the designee’s personal knowledge of the subject matter. Continue Reading The Importance of a Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition

Homeowners insurance policies ordinarily exclude losses caused by water or sewage which backs up through sewers or drains. Does it follow that all water or sewage that infiltrates a home through sewers or drains constitutes excluded back up? Continue Reading Is All Damage Caused By Sewage or Water Infiltration Excluded By My Homeowners Insurance Policy?