Corey Harris and I will present a final discussion about proofs of loss, analyze a case about forfeiture of insurance benefits, and discuss claim implications from impending Tropical Storm Cristobal. This discussion will be held at 2 pm EST today. Continue Reading Proofs of Loss, Avoiding Forfeiture of Coverage Benefits, and Tropical Storm Cristobal — Check In with Chip Merlin and Corey Harris at 2PM
Want to learn a lot about how to handle and what to do with business income loss claims arising from the shut down of American business from Covid-19? Come listen to Amy Bach and I starting today at 12:30. So many attorneys and public adjusters are signing up claims and then asking me—“Chip, what do I do next with these claims? How do I determine if there is coverage? Should I file a lawsuit? What do I need to do before filing a lawsuit? Are there going to be class actions?” Continue Reading Insurance Industry Responses to Covid-19 and Proofs of Loss
Corey Harris and I will be hosting the second discussion about Proofs Of Loss this Friday afternoon at 2 PM EST. Those viewers tuning in to the Livestream will also be invited to get our new Merlin Law Group educational ebook about Proofs of Loss. Continue Reading Does A Proof of Loss Have to Be Notarized? Join the Livestream Proof of Loss Discussion on Friday at 2PM EST
Insurance policies always have time deadlines to do something after a loss happens. The failure to follow these may prevent recovery. I will be discussing and answering questions about these policy time requirements over the next several weeks during our Tuesdays at 2 With Chip Merlin. Continue Reading Time Deadlines To Be Wary Of When Filing Property Insurance and Business Income Loss Claims—Do Not Miss Tuesday At 2 With Chip Merlin
When I wrote my first blog on this site in 2009, I discussed proofs of loss at length. Since Hurricane Michael, these blogs have received a lot of traffic and discussion from people trying to navigate their way through the claims process. An issue that keeps coming up is whether a policyholder must comply with a proof of loss request after the insurer has admitted coverage and made payment. Continue Reading A Follow-Up on Proofs of Loss
Normally, the first post-loss obligation that a policyholder encounters is the duty to provide an insurer with notice that a loss has occurred. While policies and the statutes of the particular jurisdiction vary, both tend to spell out the procedure by which notice should be delivered. Both are important sources of information and it is necessary to read and understand them.
Over the last twelve weeks I have covered many of the issues regarding Proofs of Loss, and I wanted to end the series by covering some of the common mistakes and thoughts for avoiding them.
Recently, I was handling a case where I felt the insurer had waived its right to a Proof of Loss. In this particular case, the insurer initially demanded a Proof but when the policyholder contacted the adjuster to inquire about the specific requirements, the adjuster specifically told the client the obligation was being waived. Furthermore, the insurer had made a partial payment before the Proof was requested (which can be considered waiver under Florida law), and continued to negotiate the claim after the timeframe for filing the Proof expired.
As discussed briefly in my previous blog, (What Happens if a Proof of Loss is not Submitted, is Incomplete, or is Inadequate?), when an insurer receives a Proof of Loss it must either accept or reject the Proof. Initially, the insurer has the right to review a submitted Proof of Loss and make its own determination as to the submission’s sufficiency under the policy. However if the sufficiency is disputed, the final determination will be a question for the court to decide. It is important to note, however, that the insurer should only reject a Proof of Loss for technical reasons and not simply because it disagrees with the amounts being claimed. These technical errors usually include failing to sign or notarize the Proof and/or failing to provide proper supporting documentation.
I have spent the last few weeks writing about everything from what a Proof of Loss is to when one must be filed. As I was deciding on a topic for this week, I realized that while I had spent weeks talking about Proofs, I had yet to post an example. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, this week I am posting an example of a common Proof of Loss form.