The title to this post would almost certainly be answered “no” by any insurance regulator or consumer advocate. But Liberty Mutual Insurance Company argues this is exactly what it can do with no consequence because the fraudulent and deceptive statements in the declarations should have been found by the policyholder reading the fine print in the policy endorsement—which is anything other than an enhanced product. Continue Reading Can Insurance Companies Send Declaration Pages Which Indicate Enhanced Coverage Yet Deliver Diminished Coverage In The Fine Print In The Back of Endorsements?

Merlin Law Group attorney Jason Cieri and I were discussing recent cases in Connecticut. There will be a Connecticut Association of Public Insurance Adjusters meeting tomorrow. One case in particular piqued my interest because a policyholder was awarded a million dollars by a jury following a fire claim where the insurer wrongfully accused the policyholder of arson.1 Continue Reading Arson Denial Results In Policyholder Obtaining Emotional Distress Damages From Insurer’s Negligent Arson Investigation

The point of this blog is to implore policyholders to buy what is commonly called code upgrade coverage – formally known as law and ordinance coverage. I was thinking about this after reading two different articles discussing very different losses in very different parts of the world. Continue Reading The Importance of Revising Building Laws and Ordinances, Which Explains Why Law and Ordinance Coverage Law is So Important To Purchase

Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria claims are not close to being finished. Now, we have major earthquakes impacting Puerto Rico. The worst example of poor treatment to policyholders following a hurricane catastrophe is found in Puerto Rico. It is sad and now numerous earthquakes are causing more damage and loss. Continue Reading Puerto Rico Earthquakes—Could Anything Happen At a Worse Time For Puerto Rico? What Should Those Suffering From Earthquake Damage in Puerto Rico Do?

A younger attorney recently asked me who I considered was the first property insurance attorney representing policyholders on a regular basis in Florida. Maurice Rosen came to mind. I met Rosen while I was still working as a very young attorney insurance defense attorney with Paul B. Butler & Associates in 1983. Continue Reading The First Florida Property Insurance Lawyer—Maurice Rosen

Representing governmental entities regarding their insurance claims is very different than representing private individuals. At least this has been my experience after representing numerous governmental school districts, municipalities, ports, power authorities, and even judicial entities. The photo above is of me and Merlin Law Group attorney Javier Delgado. Javier and I have jointly been involved in governmental claims in Texas, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Experience means a lot in our business and Javier, who worked his way through law school as an insurance claims adjuster, has practical experience regarding how property insurance claims should be settled as well as legal experience about how governmental claims are often undervalued by insurance companies.

Most of these governmental entities have fantastic plans to help their constituents if a disaster strikes, but they usually have zero plans about what to do for their own insurance claim. Continue Reading Representing Governmental Entities For Their Insurance Claims When They Are Late To File Suit

Law360 published an excellent article, The Insurance Landscape For Phishing Claims Is Shifting,1 written by Jason Rubinstein and Jasmine Chalashtori. Their summary about the importance of coverage for these computer fraud claims and the need for brokers to discuss these risks with their business clients was highlighted at the end of their article: Continue Reading Computer Fraud, Phishing, and Cyber Insurance Claims Pose Significant Risks and Coverage Issues

Additional living expenses can create a number of questions about what items of expanse can be claimed following a loss. FC&S is a publication I encourage those in the claims business to subscribe. While reading the Question and Answer section of the FC&S Coverage Insider, the following additional living expense coverage question was posed:

Our insured has an ISO HO 3 policy, 1991 edition, and recently suffered a fire loss. Coverage for her home and contents is not at issue; however, she has had to relocate to a motel until restoration of her home is complete. Prior to the loss, she stored some of her personal property in half of her two-car garage. Because of the fire, she can no longer use this space until repairs have been completed.

The insurance company is questioning two items under additional living expense—the cost to rent a storage space, and the cost to dry clean the clothing she took with her.

We think this is additional living expense, and should be covered. What is your opinion?

Continue Reading Storage Space and Dry Cleaning—Can These Be Considered Additional Living Expenses Under A Homeowners Policy?

California is a beautiful state. When I was meeting with our California attorneys and staff at our holiday party, I mentioned that there are so many different and beautiful areas, it is no wonder California is our most populated state. Unfortunately, with wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, and floods, California has its share of insurance problems—especially a recurrent problem of homeowners finding they are underinsured and without sufficient policy limits after large scale catastrophes. Continue Reading Should Homeowners Policies Have No Policy Limits?

Happy New Year! Peace and Good Will to all! But, if you really want to have peace of mind, you should make a New Year’s resolution to review your insurance policies for the most common potential insurance coverage gaps and make an appointment with an insurance specialist—not just an insurance agent, but possibly a risk manager. Continue Reading Happy New Year!! A Great Time to Review Your Insurance Policies For a Worry-Free Year