Florida used to have a statute of limitations for insurance lawsuits that was five years from the date of the breach of contract. As a result, some cases would be filed nearly a decade after the loss. Not anymore, as one condominium and its lawyers learned in a federal court decision last week.1  

Continue Reading New Florida Statute of Limitations Law Costs Condominium $13 Million

The Louisiana Department of Insurance has taken the extraordinary step of filing an administrative action against a Texas-based law firm. I have been working in the first-party insurance claims business for over forty years. I have never seen anything like this.  

Continue Reading Louisiana Department of Insurance Accuses Texas-Based Law Firm of Fraud and Unfair Trade Practices

The worst feeling is waiting for the end of your insurance claim…and then it is not the end. I think I would sometimes want a bullet to the head rather than to go back and back and back again. But karma will come around for those insurance defense attorneys charging by the hour and delaying claims payments. When appraisal panels make ambiguous findings, the insurance defense attorneys should send the appraisal panel a case of Cristal as a gift. When ambiguous awards are made, the only certain loser is the policyholder who signed up for the promise of good faith treatment, not for the delay. Those charging-by-the-hour insurance company attorneys are not giving the customer any good faith benefit of the doubt about the ambiguous award. It is all about getting the best deal they can for their client. And to be fair and balanced, that is their ethical obligation as attorneys, even if they personally feel otherwise.  

Continue Reading What Happens If The Appraisal Award Is Ambiguous?

The answer to this post is very complex. But I want to publish one redacted example which shows how the claims management of independent adjusters seem more concerned about pleasing the insurance company bottom line rather than properly adjusting the claim as required by law:

Continue Reading Why Are Property Insurance Claims Being Underpaid and Independent Catastrophe Adjusters Leaving the Field?

Insurance companies always seem to be at the ready with quite a few defenses up their sleeves, including – the technical defense of late notice. The traditional notice rule did not require the insurance company to show there was prejudice, it was simply enough for them to show the notice was untimely. Thankfully, many states now require the insurance company to show that the late notice was actually prejudicial to the investigation of the claim.

Continue Reading Late Notice in Mississippi

Property insurance coverage cases provide lessons for others to follow. A recent Oklahoma federal court decision1 following a fire loss reflects why my book, PayUP!, suggests that public adjusters should be considered for retention shortly after any significant loss. The language from the opinion that caught my attention was the following:
Continue Reading Court Implies That Policyholders Are Better Off With Professional Claims Help

The Florida Bar has taken a very proactive stance regarding wrongful solicitation of Hurricane Ian and Nicole policyholders. The Florida Bar filed an emergency Petition today for suspension of a Florida attorney working for an out of state law firm. The Petition alleges, among other items, deception in the solicitation of Hurricane Ian claimants:
Continue Reading Florida Bar Acts Against Wrongful Solicitation—Claimants Should Hire Reputable Attorneys With Credentials

This morning I was teaching over 200 adjusters about how to properly adjust claims with multiple causes of loss from wind and flood caused by a hurricane. This seminar, Slabbed: Making a Wind and Flood Claim on the Same Structure, was for members of the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA). I have personally handled thousands of these unique claims. Unfortunately, many adjusters do not do it right. As a result, policyholders will often suffer because they fail to receive all benefits available under the policies covering this type of loss.
Continue Reading How To Adjust Hurricane Claims with Wind and Flood Damage—Start with the Basics of National Flood Insurance Claims