After filing a claim, insurance companies will at times request a substantial amount of information, leaving many Coloradans feeling overwhelmed. However, a failure to respond to the requests (aka “failure to cooperate”), could cost an insured their owed insurance claim benefits. Recently the United States District Court, District of Colorado, discussed this issue in its review of a Motion for Summary Judgment in Cribari v. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Company.1
Continue Reading Insurance Company Hassles? What Policyholders Need to Know About Insurer Requests For Documents and Information

With hurricane season fast approaching and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) the largest insurer of coastal property in Texas, now is the time to address one of the most common questions I receive from clients and public adjusters. This blog has previously addressed how the TWIA statute works in Texas and the dual paths of a claim that an insured must take. If TWIA accepts the claim, an insureds only remedy is appraisal, and if TWIA denies the claim, then the insured can file suit. Conceptually this sounds easy but in reality, can be difficult if TWIA accepts damage but doesn’t pay everything owed.
Continue Reading What Do I Do If My Claim is “Accepted in Full”

When I wrote my first blog on this site in 2009, I discussed proofs of loss at length. Since Hurricane Michael, these blogs have received a lot of traffic and discussion from people trying to navigate their way through the claims process. An issue that keeps coming up is whether a policyholder must comply with a proof of loss request after the insurer has admitted coverage and made payment.
Continue Reading A Follow-Up on Proofs of Loss

In my experience, one of the most misinterpreted property insurance policy provisions is the 180-day notice requirement to receive replacement cost benefits. Many in the property insurance industry interpret the provision to require actual repair/replacement within 180 days of the loss. Others interpret the provision to simply require notice within 180 days of the loss of the intent to repair/replace. And, there are those who interpret the requisite 180-day notice to be given only if the insured initially makes claim on an actual cash value basis.
Continue Reading Replacement Cost Coverage and the 180-Day Notice Requirement

Appraisal provisions in property insurance policies are intended to provide an alternative dispute resolution process for resolving property insurance claim disputes involving the amount of loss. The amount awarded by the appraisal panel is, with limited exceptions, binding on both parties under the terms of the policy. While the appraisal process is intended to bring finality to a dispute, what happens when the appraisal panel fails to consider certain items due to limitations or restrictions on the scope of the appraisal or unanticipated factual issues not considered by the panel? Such a situation poses the question of whether Colorado appraisal awards preclude any further breach of contract claims for unanticipated circumstances.
Continue Reading Subsequent Claims for Items Not Considered by Appraisal Panel

My son, Chase, father, Bill, and I went to the Peach Bowl in Atlanta this past weekend to cheer on the mighty Florida Gators as they defeated the Michigan Wolverines. Afterwards, I was curious how alligators would fare in litigated property insurance cases and the results of my legal research were not so good for policyholders.
Continue Reading Gators Win Peach Bowl but Alligatoring Loses Property Insurance Claim Battles

In March of 2017, I wrote a blog post about the crumbling foundations in Connecticut due to a concrete company, J.J. Mottes & Company, using concrete that contained pyrrhotite, that cause the concrete to lose integrity and collapse. Many insurance companies have been denying these claims for various reasons. One insured, Lawrence and Karen Cockill, sought to have their claim against Nationwide covered by arguing that the structural integrity of the concrete was diminished due to a “chemical reaction.”1
Continue Reading Trial Court Sides with Insurers Over Cracked Concrete Foundation

Scott Johnson

Insurance lobbyist Scott Johnson is a bulldog advocate for the insurance industry. He usually is trying to make policyholders, their attorneys or anybody other than the insurance claims executives and adjusters look bad to support the insurance industry’s legislative efforts. I fell out of my chair when he described his own personal claim and why the insurance industry needs strong oversight and civil penalties to keep it in line.
Continue Reading Insurance Lobbyist Describes His Personal Story of Insurance Company Bad Faith