After Hurricane Maria caused catastrophic damage in Puerto Rico, many new laws and law amendments were made to benefit policyholders. As mentioned on my previous blog,1 one of these laws provided policyholders the option of microinsurance but it was not until recently (almost three years after the laws) that the first microinsurance company, Optima Insurance, is now available for policyholders. Continue Reading What is Microinsurance?

An Orlando Sentinel article, Florida Lawmakers Are Being Misled About Insurance Lawsuits, Expert Contends,1 makes one wonder whether Florida’s Insurance Commissioner has sold out Floridians to benefit Florida’s property insurance industry. One of the country’s most noted insurance experts, Birny Birnbaum, was quoted in the article concerning a letter Florida’s Insurance Commissioner wrote: Continue Reading Is Florida’s Insurance Commissioner a Stooge for the Insurance Industry?

About two months ago, Winter Storm Uri left millions of Texans stranded in the cold without water, electricity, or heat. This tragic and historic event arrived abruptly, but it left lingering effects for many. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared this event as a major disaster. Thousands of homeowners and renters incurred property damage or other storm-related costs. FEMA offered assistance to 126 of the 254 counties1 in Texas with an application deadline of April 20, 2021. However, the application deadline has now been extended to May 20, 2021. Continue Reading FEMA Extends Application Deadline for Texas February Winter Storm Assistance

John Pappas was the senior partner of Florida’s largest property insurance defense firm. He has written a “white paper” about the Florida legislation in HB 305, currently pending in the Florida House. His conclusion is as follows when it comes to frivolous lawsuits and stopping insurance litigation: Continue Reading Florida Insurance Company Attorney Calls Out Bad Insurance Legislation Harming Floridians–Join Me on Today’s Tuesday @2 With Chip Merlin

Last week the Supreme Court of Texas weighed in on a longstanding dispute regarding the decision by Farmers Group Inc. (“Farmers”) to replace their HO-B homeowner policies with less comprehensive HO-A policies, back in 2001.1 Following an influx of mold claims in Texas, Farmers and other insurers decided to replace their HO-B policies, a broad “all-risk” policy, with narrower HO-A policies, or “named peril” policies. Continue Reading The Insurance Coverage Gap Worsens—Farmers Policy Changes Approved

The Professional Public Adjusters Association of New Jersey is having its Spring Event on May 12, 2021, at the Hotel LBI in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. As per the usual structure of these events, attendees are eligible for up to four credit hours of Continuing Education recognized in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Continue Reading Register Now for the PPAANJ Spring Educational Meeting Being Held on May 12, 2021

Effective May 1st, 2021, Florida courts will begin utilizing a different standard in evaluating motions for summary judgment. The Florida Supreme Court, acting on its own motion, has amended the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure to adopt the federal summary judgment standard, which “is expected to make it easier for judges to grant summary judgment motions.”1 Summary Judgment is a pre-trial judgment brought by motion that dispositively determines the resolution of a case.2 Continue Reading Florida Motion for Summary Judgment Standard Update

The Florida Senate has crafted legislation to force those with delayed and underpaid property damage claims to seek resolutions outside of the halls of justice. Florida Senate Bill 76 slashes the time policyholders have to file a claim, reduces recoverable attorney fees from insurance companies (making it difficult for policyholders to find competent counsel when insurance companies underpay them), and enables the sales of weaker policies not fully covering homes. Continue Reading Florida Senate Bill 76 is Bad for Florida Policyholders

It is no secret that insurance adjusters will not hesitate to cite multiple policy provisions justifying a claim denial. I refer to this method as the “kitchen sink” approach, as it accurately describes the attempt to utilize every conceivable exclusion/condition remotely applicable in various insurance claims. It is quite common for an insured to receive a denial letter citing a laundry list of excluded causes of loss. Continue Reading Denying Claims Based Off Conflicting Policy Provisions Violates Florida Law

Recently the New York Statute of Limitations has become a heated topic of litigation. Governor Cuomo issued Executive Orders tolling the Statute of Limitations, but the question has become, what is the effect of those orders? The Statute of Limitations in New York is generally six years,1 however, this can be altered by contract. Many Insurance Policies shorten this six-year period to only twelve months. Continue Reading New York Statute of Limitations and the Effect of the COVID-19 Closures