A must read for any practicing trial attorney – Rules of the Road: a Plaintiff Lawyer’s Guide to Proving Liability, takes the reader on a journey from the initial filing of the complaint to discovery, to the use of experts and of documents in preparation for trial, and then into the crucial techniques necessary to win any trial, all while using the Rules of the Road.
Continue Reading Rules Of The Road, by Rick Friedman

Recent trends of insurers revising the appraisal provisions in insurance policies have clouded the original effect of the appraisal process as an alternative dispute resolution process in lieu of litigation. For many years the insurers reaped a benefit of an appraisal award as a bar to the insured’s breach of contract case after payment of the award pursuant to the policy’s appraisal provision.
Continue Reading Clear Waters of Texas Appraisals – Prompt Payment Claim After Appraisal

The vast majority of property owners have never read the dozens (sometimes hundreds) of pages that comprise their property insurance policy. For most, the contents of the policy read like a foreign language, and how the conditions, exclusions, and other provisions could potentially apply to a future loss is not easily understandable.
Continue Reading Read Your Policy Renewal Closely – Important Changes May Be Buried in the Fine Print

Insurance coverage gaps, miswritten policies, and non-reviewed insurance policies are routinely found after hurricanes do catastrophic coverage. It is still not too late for business owners in hurricane country to review their insurance policies, meet with their insurance agents, and get a plan in place.
Continue Reading What Should Business Owners Do Now to Prepare For Hurricane Season—Tuesdays at 2 With Chip Merlin

After Hurricane Georges hit Puerto Rico in September of 1998, many policyholders considered that their claims were unfairly denied due to the ambiguous language in their policies. The main issue was that the policies did not have a specific deductible language for hurricane damage. If the policy did not have specific deductible language for hurricane, the insurance companies would apply the wind damage deductible but, in some claims, they applied the deductible classified under “basic damages.” Many of the policyholders filed complaints in the Insurance Commissioner’s Office against the insurance companies for the ambiguity in the language related to hurricane damage deductible. Some of those cases were then appealed. Below is what the Court of Appeals of Puerto Rico held in United Surety & Indemnity Company v. Insurance Commissioner of Puerto Rico,1 regarding this issue.
Continue Reading Is it Correct for Your Insurance Company to Consider Windstorm Damage Synonymous with Hurricane Damage?

In Northgate Country Club Management, LLC v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company,1 the Honorable Sim Lake, Senior Judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, reaffirmed this past week the critical rule that in a FEMA flood case, the requirement for a policyholder to file a proof of loss cannot be waived even by a carrier that participates in a claim. With the hurricane and tropical season upon us along the Gulf Coast, a reminder of this mandatory rule is relevant.
Continue Reading Can the Proof of Loss Requirement Be Waived in a Flood Case?

Public adjusters play a critical role in claims adjudication process and can often serve as the policyholder’s ally in getting claims disputes resolved prior to litigation. The Arizona Revised Statutes define “Adjuster” as any person who for compensation, fee or commission either:
Continue Reading Defining the Role and Requirements of Public Adjusters in Arizona

In litigation, this type of question can come up more than one might imagine. For example, in response to a Complaint, an insurance carrier may allege that an insured failed to attend an Examination Under Oath (“EUO”) or submit a sworn proof of loss, only to later discover that no such request had ever been made. Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal addressed this very issue in First Home Insurance Company v. Fleurimond.1
Continue Reading When is an Insured Required to Attend an EUO or Submit a Sworn Proof of Loss?