Home Owner's Insurance

On August 18, 2010, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner issued a press release encouraging California homeowners to review their homeowners’ policies and to consider their options regarding vacancy protection. His reasoning: As the U.S. housing market struggles to rebound, many homeowners are stuck with hard-to-sell properties. Frustrated home owners who must relocate for a new job opportunity, want to downsize, or simply want to buy a new place, have left homes empty. Vacant or unoccupied homes can leave the homeowner exposed to loss and liability that may not be covered by their insurance.

Continue Reading Homeowners Policy – If You Don’t “Live” There, Are You Covered?

People across the country are becoming increasingly educated regarding the health risks associated with mold exposure. The insurance industry implemented many wording changes in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s after an increase of mold damage submissions in conjunction with covered water damage claims.

Continue Reading California Insurance Code Section 530 May Protect Policyholders Who Suffer a Covered Peril that Causes Mold

The most frequent questions asked by clients when they initially consult with my offices is, "Does my policy cover this loss? or Does my policy provide for__?" The answer almost exclusively is, "let’s look at your policy." It’s usually at this point that an insured may tell me that the insured has never read the policy, or attempted to read the policy after its initial receipt but gave up because it was so confusing. Although I have been reading and deciphering policies for quite a while, I cannot disagree with any insured when they tell me the language of the policy is muddled or nonsensical. However, despite being a poor read, looking at the policy is absolutely necessary to see if a loss is covered.

Continue Reading Deciphering the Homeowner’s Insurance Policy in California

Professor Daniel Schwarcz has called for regulatory reform of the homeowners insurance market as noted in yesterday’s post, "Insurance Regulators and Lawmakers, Judges and Insurance Consumer Advocates Should Study Professor Daniel Schwarcz’s Work." Unlike many who point out problems with no suggested solutions, Professor Schwarcz offered simple solutions that would dramatically improve consumer protections in personal lines property and casualty insurance.

Continue Reading A Call for Homeowners Insurance Reform

On April 4, Doctors Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray, of Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorlogy Project, released their Extended Range Forecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity and Landfall Strike Probability for 2012. In summary, they predict:

Continue Reading Meteorologists Predict 2012 Will Be A Relatively Mild Hurricane Season for the Atlantic Basin

Among the new proposed legislation making its way through the Colorado legislature this year is Colorado Senate Bill No. 38, “Concerning Measures To Protect Consumers Who Engage A Roofing Contractor To Perform Roofing Services On Residential Property.” The bill is sponsored by Democratic Senator Lois Tochtrop and Republican House Representative Glenn Vaad.

Continue Reading Senate Bill 12-038 May Have Unintended Consequences for Colorado Homeowners and Public Adjusters

The issue of whether the 2005 Florida Statute sections 627.7065, 627 .7072, and 627.7073 (2005), which affected sinkhole database information, testing standards, and reporting requirements, created a presumption that shifted the burden of proof to the homeowner in litigation to disprove an insurer’s expert’s opinion that damage was not caused by a sinkhole has been in question for several years. Last month, the Florida Supreme Court definitively held the statutes do not create a presumption in litigation.

Continue Reading Florida Supreme Court Holds that the Presumption Favoring Insurers Created in Florida Statute 627.7073(1)(c) (2005) Does Not Apply in Litigation

It was 1992, the average price for a new home was approximately $122,500.00, Nirvana was topping the charts, and Jay Leno was taking over for Johnny Carson. The pop culture buzz surrounded the separation of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Hurricane Andrew would hit the coast of Florida in August and cause a recording breaking amount of damage and destruction for our state. But there was another property damage issue in Florida that was not making national news.

Continue Reading Even Two Decades Ago Sinkhole Investigations Were a Hot Topic in Florida

Senate Bill 408 proposes new Florida insurance laws that harm all policyholders. Florida businesses and homeowners will receive fewer benefits, and insurers will be encouraged to delay, deny and defend claims if this bill becomes law. It takes away a lot of financial peace of mind that insurance currently provides.

Continue Reading Draconian Property Insurance Bill Filed in Florida Senate