A decision by the Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal held that an insured may electronically record an insurer’s appraiser during an inspection of the insured’s property.1 In the current case, a Florida policyholder appealed an order denying her motion for summary judgement, ruling that unless all participants consent, no one may record an insurer’s appraiser inspection in their home. The trial court reasoned that under Florida law, “the only way to record by way of video or by audio is with the full consent of all parties participating.”2 The appellate court disagreed.
Continue Reading Policyholders Can Record Appraisal Inspection

A recent Florida case1 has a lengthy discussion about cases where changing valuations by the insured are then used by clever insurance company attorneys to argue that a post-loss fraud has occurred. This is now a common practice in litigation throughout the country as policyholders, public adjusters, and contractors make differing estimates of loss and have different opinions about what the measure of the loss should be.
Continue Reading Insurance Company Attorneys Often Wrongfully Argue That a Fraud Occurs When Parties Only Have a Difference of Opinion

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria caused catastrophes through its passing by Puerto Rico. As mentioned in past blogs,1 many policyholders filed their insurance claims and as soon as they received their response from the carrier along with a check, they proceeded to deposit the check unaware that even if they did not agree with the amounts, these were considered “total and final” payments and therefore, a waiver to their right to claim. Since then, as I have discussed on other blog posts, many policyholders have battled in court as to the application of accord & satisfaction doctrine to their claims.2
Continue Reading Accord & Satisfaction: Puerto Rico Supreme Court Rules for Policyholder in Hurricane Maria Claim

Insurance companies in Florida are increasingly invoking a right to make repairs. It creates a hornet’s nest because the policyholder may get left with a delayed and insufficient repair. Then, what happens?
Continue Reading Has Your Insurer Elected to Repair Your Damage? It Needs to Do the Work In a Reasonable Time and Correctly

Courts across the country have split on the key COVID-19 coverage question of whether a policyholder’s inability to fully operate its business caused by COVID-19 restrictions would satisfy the policy’s business interruption coverage requirement that the “loss” had to be a result from a “suspension of operations” caused by “direct physical loss of or damage to covered property.”
Continue Reading Multi-District Litigation Policyholders Win a Business Interruption Coverage Battle Over “Direct Physical Loss”

Insurance companies in Florida can cause foreseeable harm to their policyholders and not be held accountable pursuant to a recent opinion by the Florida Supreme Court.1
Continue Reading Florida Supreme Court Issues Anti-Consumer Opinion and Holds Insurance Companies Are Immune From Foreseeable and Consequential Damages When They Breach Contracts

The California Supreme Court emphasized that the notice-prejudice rule in first-party insurance contract is a fundamental public policy that can override a choice-of law provision in certain circumstances.
Continue Reading Is the California Notice-Prejudice Rule a Fundamental Public Policy For Purposes of Choice of Law Analysis?

Have you ever asked somebody if they can see “the handwriting on the wall?”1 You do not need to be a legal eagle to anticipate the probable outcome of this blog’s title question while reading the lower Florida appellate court’s ruling2 and how it phrased the certified question to the Florida Supreme Court:
Continue Reading Can the Public Adjuster on a Contingent Fee Act As the Appraiser?

My New York colleague, Jonathan Wilkofsky, not long ago wrote a third edition to his book about appraisal, The Law and Procedure of Insurance Appraisal. If the appraisal cases in Florida and Colorado keep up at their frantic pace of publication, he is certainly going to have a fourth edition in the near future. A recent Florida case concerned the common issue of whether appraisal is appropriate to determine whether a roof can be repaired with matching shingles.1
Continue Reading Is Appraisal Appropriate to Determine If the Policyholder Is Entitled to Matching Shingles or a New Roof Replacement?