I was publicly debating at an appraisal conference in Denver with insurance defense lawyer Steve Badger about various matters regarding appraisals. I answered a question posed that if new evidence came up to the insured’s selected appraiser which indicated that the prior payment by the insurance company was more than enough and the insurance carrier clearly overpaid, did the insured’s appraiser have to agree to an value even lower than what was previously paid? Continue Reading Do Insurance Companies Select Appraisers Based on Lowered Awards to Their Customers?

Larry Bache, who will talk about Hurricane Sally claims in Florida, was debating with Derek Chaiken in our Los Angeles office about smoke residue claims versus char claims from the California Wildfires when I came up with the brilliant idea of holding an impromptu seminar with Merlin Law Group attorneys about all the ongoing catastrophes, on my Tuesdays at 2 With Chip. Deborah Trotter is licensed in Louisiana and will join us about Hurricane Laura claims. Ashley Harris is licensed in Alabama and will join us in about Hurricane Sally claims there. I am licensed just about everywhere but will concentrate on Texas claims from Beta. Continue Reading Beta in Texas, Laura in Louisiana, Sally in Alabama and Florida, and Wildfires in California—Do Not Miss Learning From Attorneys in All These Jurisdictions Today at Tuesdays With Chip at 2

The First Party Claims Conference is going virtual this year. While trying to think of a pithy and timely topic to teach, I noticed that insurance defense attorney Shannon O’Malley of Zelle LLP, had just written an article, Commercial Property Insurance Coverage and Coronavirus.1 Since the article did not indicate that businesses being shut down by COVID-19 would have an easy time collecting under their business interruption coverages, including civil authority coverage, Shannon received much criticism from policyholder attorneys for her views. Continue Reading Do Not Miss Analysis of Civil Authority Coverage at the First Party Claims Conference

The physical damage requirement to property at an insured premise has become the raging debate in many of the Covid-19 business interruption disputes. I noted a Florida case1 in a blog about “physical damage,” which I wrote about in 2009 while working on Hurricane Ike roof damage claims: “Physical Direct Loss” Caselaw and TWIA’s Roofing Memo. Given that the Azalea, Ltd. v. American States Insurance Company decision is now being cited frequently in briefs regarding businesses being shut down, it seems appropriate to have a more in-depth discussion. Continue Reading “Physical Damage” Can Occur From An Unknown Substance That Shuts Down a Business or Conditions That Make a Structure Useless

This blog follows on the previous post, Insurance Bad Faith South Carolina: Part 3.

South Carolina allows “Bad Faith” lawsuits involving first party insurance claims. “Bad faith” claims handling is really a misnomer. Lawsuits involving insurance companies paying late and not enough money should be called Lack Of Good Faith lawsuits. “Bad faith” only heightens the standard and seems to imply an immoral or fraudulent standard:

In law, there are inconsistent definitions of bad faith, with one definition much more broad than used in other fields of study discussed in the above sections. Black’s Law Dictionary equates fraud with bad faith. But one goes to jail for fraud, and not necessarily for bad faith. The Duhaime online law dictionary similarly defines bad faith broadly as ‘intent to deceive’, and ‘a person who intentionally tries to deceive or mislead another in order to gain some advantage’.1 Continue Reading Insurance Bad Faith in South Carolina: Part 4 – Beware the Statute of Limitations

In active hurricane seasons, coastal communities may face more than one named storm in a season. Named storm and hurricane deductibles are very high, sometimes as high as 5% of the insured value of the property, which amounts to thousands of dollars in a time of diminished resources. Some states have passed laws to prohibit insurers from applying these high deductibles more than once during the calendar year. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita impacted Louisiana’s coastal communities within two weeks of each other in 2005, Louisiana passed its Annual Deductible Law. Continue Reading Louisiana’s Annual Named Storm / Hurricane Deductible Law

Hurricane Sally appears headed to the Mississippi Sound and Louisiana. Adjusters already working Hurricane Laura claims will be shifting efforts to Hurricane Sally. While there is legal authority suggesting that causation can be determined in Louisiana appraisals,1 Mississippi has long held that causation issues will not be allowed in appraisal and that a lawsuit will have to determine those issues.2 Continue Reading Mississippi Does Not Allow Causation to Be Determined In Appraisal

Most people in the internet age will copy portions of what I am about to write about. Beware of what you read, rely on, and what is said by “people in the know.” I have learned from the hurricane school of hard knocks experience since Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and “the song remains the same” for many hurricane loss scammers. Continue Reading What to Do After Hurricane Laura—Dealing with My Independent or Catastrophe Adjuster

Insurance Bulletins are often overlooked gems protecting policyholders. Various departments of insurance regularly issue bulletins to Insurance companies regarding claims handling. The Arkansas Department of Insurance issued a bulletin last week indicating insurers should stop denying windstorm and hail damage claims when there is a valid reason by the policyholder not to have timely reported the loss. Continue Reading Should Late Notice of Windstorm and Hail Claims Be a Valid Defense When the Insurer Is Not Prejudiced?