A pamphlet, Are Our Schools Safe After the Marshall Fire, caught my attention. The bottom line is that smoke damage caused by urban wildfires is much more dangerous than conventional wildfires. The parents of school children in the vicinity of the Colorado Marshall Fire are correctly raising concerns about the safety of schools impacted by toxic smoke damage.    

Continue Reading After The Urban Wildfire and Safety Concerns

Mike Duffy and yours truly will be speaking at the First Party Claims Conference next week. Our presentation will analyze recent trends in property claims and will focus on the following topics:

  • Proof of Loss and Amount of Claim Issues
  • Appraisal
  • Assignment of Benefits
  • Inflation and Coinsurance
  • Fire and Smoke Claims
  • Depreciation of Labor
  • Surplus Lines Policy Form Changes

Continue Reading First Party Claims Conference West One Day Conference Next Wednesday in Marina Del Rey

Policyholders must be aware of arbitration clauses found in property insurance policies. Even if a state has an anti-arbitration law, most courts send the disputes to arbitration and possibly apply another state’s laws if the insurers are not based in the United States. For example, yesterday, a federal court ruled:1  

Continue Reading Missouri Court Upholds Arbitration Despite Anti-Arbitration Statute When Foreign Insurers Are Involved

A recent law review article, Policyholder Misrepresentation in Insurance Claims,1 written by insurance law professor Jay Feinman raised the issue of insurance companies wrongfully claiming fraud as a claims practice. Personally, I am sick and tired of the overuse of fraud allegations by insurance companies and their propagandists. Based on the significant amount of fraud claimed by insurance defense counsel and insurance company lobbyists, insurance seems to be a product more addictive than opioids because it turns a great deal of an otherwise innocent public into criminals.  

Continue Reading Do Insurance Companies Claim Fraud by the Policyholder for Opportunistic Reasons?

Insurance on vessels and cargo is one of the oldest forms of property insurance. One of the first questions when dealing with any type of policy involving boats, marinas, cargo, and even docks is whether state insurance or admiralty law applies to a given situation. It is not a well-settled area of the law, as demonstrated by language from a recent decision.1

Continue Reading Property Damage to Boats—Does Admiralty Law Apply or Not?

This blog follows my previous blog, Can Personnel Files Be Discovered? In my previous blog, I explained that some courts have held that when the information in personnel files is discoverable when it is “clearly relevant” and the information is “not otherwise readily available.”1 To further explore how courts have interpreted this, I’ll focus on what courts have considered being “clearly relevant” in this regard.

Continue Reading Can Insurance Company Claims Adjuster Personnel Files Be Discovered? Part 2

In a rare win for policyholders regarding arbitration clauses, a Louisiana federal court ruled that Louisiana policyholders do not have to go to arbitration so long as the insurers are American insurers.1 The judge stated the law in Louisiana regarding this issue: 

Continue Reading The Property Insurance Policy Has an Arbitration Clause—Louisiana Court Says Policyholder Does Not Have to Go to Arbitration