About two months ago, Winter Storm Uri left millions of Texans stranded in the cold without water, electricity, or heat. This tragic and historic event arrived abruptly, but it left lingering effects for many. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared this event as a major disaster. Thousands of homeowners and renters incurred property damage or other storm-related costs. FEMA offered assistance to 126 of the 254 counties1 in Texas with an application deadline of April 20, 2021. However, the application deadline has now been extended to May 20, 2021.
Continue Reading FEMA Extends Application Deadline for Texas February Winter Storm Assistance

Last week the Supreme Court of Texas weighed in on a longstanding dispute regarding the decision by Farmers Group Inc. (“Farmers”) to replace their HO-B homeowner policies with less comprehensive HO-A policies, back in 2001.1 Following an influx of mold claims in Texas, Farmers and other insurers decided to replace their HO-B policies, a broad “all-risk” policy, with narrower HO-A policies, or “named peril” policies.
Continue Reading The Insurance Coverage Gap Worsens—Farmers Policy Changes Approved

The Professional Public Adjusters Association of New Jersey is having its Spring Event on May 12, 2021, at the Hotel LBI in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. As per the usual structure of these events, attendees are eligible for up to four credit hours of Continuing Education recognized in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Continue Reading Register Now for the PPAANJ Spring Educational Meeting Being Held on May 12, 2021

It is no secret that insurance adjusters will not hesitate to cite multiple policy provisions justifying a claim denial. I refer to this method as the “kitchen sink” approach, as it accurately describes the attempt to utilize every conceivable exclusion/condition remotely applicable in various insurance claims. It is quite common for an insured to receive a denial letter citing a laundry list of excluded causes of loss.
Continue Reading Denying Claims Based Off Conflicting Policy Provisions Violates Florida Law

Recently the New York Statute of Limitations has become a heated topic of litigation. Governor Cuomo issued Executive Orders tolling the Statute of Limitations, but the question has become, what is the effect of those orders? The Statute of Limitations in New York is generally six years,1 however, this can be altered by contract. Many Insurance Policies shorten this six-year period to only twelve months.
Continue Reading New York Statute of Limitations and the Effect of the COVID-19 Closures

Appraisal is generally thought of as a quicker and more cost-efficient method of resolving property insurance controversies than litigation. That is not the case when an appraisal is followed up with litigation. Further, while infrequent, there are instances when appraisers and umpires can be drawn into the litigation controversy, as evidenced by recent filings in a Texas federal case involving a Baptist Church and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company.1
Continue Reading Appraisals Can Lead to Nasty Legal Battles—Should Appraisers and Umpires Get Insurance Protecting Them?

In a press release Monday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter and Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready announced Farmers Insurance agreed to pay Oklahoma policyholders $25 Million they denied or improperly failed to pay policyholders out of coverage for earthquake damage.1
Continue Reading Hot off the Press: Farmers to Pay Oklahoma Policyholders $25 Million for Earthquake Claims

Remember how the Florida insurance industry and its lobbyists promised that if AOB reform were passed, insurance rates would drop because AOB litigation was the cause of increased premiums? Since that law passed, rates have not dropped. Floridians were duped by insurance industry propaganda, and the same insurance industry is promoting more anti-policyholder laws that literally prevent Citizens Property Insurance from asking for a rate decrease—and some Florida legislators voted yesterday to make it against the law for Citizens Property to ask for a rate decrease!
Continue Reading Do Not Believe Florida’s Insurance Industry That Laws Will Reduce Rates When Rates Often Depend Upon Mother Nature and Reinsurance Rates