Professor Alan Manning

Insurance protection gaps can be caused by many different things. One is when insurance agents suggest that a policyholder can save money by purchasing insurance to less than full value. Professor Jay Feinman warns about this and calls this the “underinsurance gap.” He defines this as occurring when “the policyholder has coverage, but in an amount that is less than the extent of actual or potential losses.”
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Chip Merlin and FAPIA Executive Director Nancy Dominguez

The largest public adjuster conferences are with the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA). Nancy Dominguez is the Executive Director pictured with me at this past weekend’s conference. Two major themes resonated at the conference—insurance protection gaps and forgotten catastrophe-victim policyholders.
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A judge agreed with my view posted in, Did Florida Mistakenly Place an Insurer Into Insolvency, Try to Disqualify the Law Firm That Pointed Out the Mistake and Harm 91,000 Policyholders By Quick and Unnecessary Non-Renewals?

The Florida Department of Financial Services and the Office of Insurance simply made a mess of Florida Specialty Insurance Company’s financial problems and cancellation of policies.
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The First Party Claims Conference in Providence, Rhode Island was very much a success. I was late to the event and missed hearing a presentation where a sponsor said that meeting with legislators and insurance regulators is a waste of time. Ironically, I was late because I was in Tallahassee testifying as an invited panelist to represent the policyholder’s viewpoint before the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. Obviously, I could not disagree more with this sponsor and I believe their viewpoint is simply wrong and dangerous. The one person and organization that has been taking action, getting pro-policyholder laws passed, and stopping bad proposed legislation with more success than anybody is Amy Bach of United Policyholders.
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Insurance companies have never embraced people or professionals helping their own customers obtain what they are owed or laws that may expose insurance claim abuses by insurers. The obligation to treat the insurance customer with utmost good faith is one that is taught, but not one the insurance claim industry wants to be held accountable to follow. They especially do not want their own customers to have free-market accountability through private lawsuits enforcing this agreed to obligation. Instead, it appears to many that insurance executives want customers that are “sheep” and take what the insurance claims department determines is owed without question.
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This Friday, October 11 at 12:30 p.m. EST, Holly Soffer, who is the general counsel of the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (AAPIA), and I will co-host a free live webinar on the subject of coverage gaps and what can be done to stop this problem. Rutgers insurance law professor Jay Feinman, author of, Delay, Deny, Defend – Why Insurance Companies Don’t Pay Claims And What You Can Do About It, will have a guest video appearance on the topic.
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Etienne Font and Chip Merlin in Puerto Rico this week handling Hurricane Michael claims after the IAUA Conference

Insurance is an important product. It is hard for all insurers to get clams handling right after a major disaster and claims accuracy is much less certain. That is what is taught and that is a fact. I could explain that problem and give a pass to the insurance industry and even try to help educate my policyholder friends through this understandable delay and inaccuracy which is almost inevitable.
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Journalist Jennie McKeon

Reporter Jennie McKeon wrote an article (‘Blue Tarps’ Doc Shows The Aftermath of Hurricane Michael) about two filmmakers, Carrie Hunter and Austin Hermann, who recently released a significant documentary about Florida’s Panhandle following Hurricane Michael. I was struck by one quote from Carrie Hunter:

Literally every person we talked to said they felt forgotten . . . . This was one of the most powerful storms to hit and it hit some of the poorest and rural parts of Florida. Help and safety nets are not reaching everyone.


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