The emotional trauma of suffering a loss to your property and your way of life cannot be overstated. The human reaction to loss and financial uncertainty needs to be addressed and openly discussed as part of Hurricane Ian’s recovery. Political leaders and others concerned with their commercial messaging need to ensure that the very real emotional concerns are addressed and met first. Continue Reading Hurricane Relief and Hope Is What is Needed the Day After the Disaster

Where do you go in Florida when a hurricane is about to strike? Many will say to evacuate. But to where if you are not affluent and can take a short vacation to Jackson Hole? Certainly, leaving very early and going far north to New York or Chicago is best. My Aunt Justine did that last week when she left the state—smart woman. Continue Reading Staying Home With Hurricane Ian and Avoiding the Dreaded Storm Surge

Note: This guest blog post is by Holly Soffer, Esq., a policyholder attorney and General Counsel to the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

Unfortunately, as I write this, the Tampa Bay area seems to be directly on the path of Hurricane Ian. I have received a few texts today from friends and colleagues who have been asked to evacuate. I start by saying that my thoughts are with everyone affected by the storm. Continue Reading Advice for Non-resident Public Adjusters and Restoration Contractors Doing Work In Florida

I have been receiving several inquiries about whether it is legal or ethical for public adjusters to sell a portion of their contingent fee to a funding company. For example, I received the following solicitation from a public adjuster who was solicited by a “funding company” that is associated with a law firm: Continue Reading Can and Should Public Adjusters Be Allowed to Sell Their Fees to Funding Companies Affiliated With Lawyers Who Want to Represent the Public Adjuster’s Clients?

USAA lost a jury bad faith trial in Mississippi with a $10 million verdict against it. The plaintiff policyholders are Paul Minor and his deceased wife. Paul Minor was a premier Mississippi trial lawyer and member of the Inner Circle of Advocates. For several weeks we discussed his upcoming bad faith trial against USAA, which arose out of Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. This must be the last Hurricane Katrina case. Continue Reading USAA Slammed For $10 Million Bad Faith Award

United Policyholders recently issued an important press release, Whistleblower Sounds Alarm On Unfair Insurance Practices: Oregon Consumers Need Stronger Legal Protections. While the entirety of the press release is important, one particular sentence stood out:

As Oregon law stands today, it is not financially feasible for an average citizen or small business to retain a lawyer and undertake a lawsuit to challenge unfair treatment by an insurance company. Continue Reading Insurers Are Invited to Nitpick, Delay, and Underpay Claims If Consumers Have No Ability to Enforce Good Faith Obligations

AmGuard has been having trouble with delayed claims where it is not promptly responding to inquiries from its customers or making claims payments. A recent jury verdict in Missouri found AmGuard guilty of vexatious refusal to pay a fire, vandalism, and resulting freeze claim. I previously noted similar AmGuard conduct from a Washington case in Claim Delay Leads to Bad Faith Judgement. Continue Reading AmGuard Guilty of Bad Faith—Do Not Ghost The Claimant!

A recent topic of this blog has been the made-up insurance fraud statistics by the insurance industry, which has been discussed in Is the Insurance Industry’s Fraud Statistic Fraudulent? and Insurance Professor Jay Feinman Comments About Insurance Fraud Statistics. I have always wondered why we encounter such few allegations of policyholder fraud from insurers such as Amica, Chubb, and Lexington Preferred who charge higher premiums and compete on service rather than price. These companies do not nitpick their customers to death, and the focus is on fully paying the loss right away. Continue Reading Does Nitpicking On Claims Have An Adverse Effect on Policyholder Morals?

This weekend’s post, Is the Insurance Industry’s Fraud Statistic Fraudulent? resulted in several great comments. One was from Rutger’s insurance law professor, Jay Feinman, who wrote the book, Delay Deny Defend–Why Insurance Companies Don’t Pay Claims and What You Can Do About It. His book should be in everybody’s personal library. Continue Reading Insurance Professor Jay Feinman Comments About Insurance Fraud Statistics