Archives: Insurance

Subscribe to Insurance RSS Feed

Can an Insurer Pay Insured’s Contractor Directly, Even When There Is a Dispute Regarding the Contractor’s Work?

Always double check the insured’s contract with a contractor doing repair work for a claim. The California Court of Appeal recently ruled, in Jozefowicz v. Allstate Insurance Company,1 that an insurer can directly pay a contractor when the contract provided that the contractor was appointed as the insured’s representative in fact to endorse and deposit … Continue Reading

When Can My Property Insurance Claim Be Denied Due to War or Other Undefined Terms?

I often receive calls from policyholders asking how an insurance company can deny their claim based on an exclusion that isn’t defined in the policy. One of these terms is “surface water,” a common exclusion found in most policies. Recently, I had a client whose home’s gutter system malfunctioned during a rainstorm. Rather than channeling … Continue Reading

Accord & Satisfaction: Will My Insurance Claim Be Dismissed If I Deposit A Payment?

After Hurricane Maria, many policyholders in Puerto Rico received payments for the damages caused by the hurricane, and due to the need for repairs to their property, they immediately deposited the checks. The problem with depositing these checks was many included the words “final” or “the endorsement of this check constitutes a total and definitive … Continue Reading

Has Your Agent Explained the Impact of a Property Coinsurance Provision?

In a recent deposition in an insurance producer malpractice case, the producer was asked about the purpose of co-insurance and how our insured would be impacted under the provision if the building was underinsured. Unfortunately, the producer was unable to explain how the co-insurance provision worked or how the insured could be penalized. This prompted … Continue Reading

Life Mimics Art or Is It the Other Way Around? Insurable Interest and Risk of Loss Are Always Part of Insurance Coverage

Recently, my fiancé and I watched the Season 3 premier of Divorce on HBO. It’s sort of a guilty pleasure. I admit, at first, I was hesitant when my fiancé recommended I watch. But, one episode in and I was hooked. It’s funny, witty, snarky, and overall relatable for many people. If you haven’t watched … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Unfair Insurance Practices Act

Every state has laws that prohibit unfair, discriminatory, or deceptive insurance practices. These regulations are normally encompassed as statutes or regulations enacted to protect insurance consumers. Pennsylvania has a statute enacted called the “Unfair Insurance Practices Act,”1 This law gives the consumer the right to file complaints against their insurance company to be investigated by … Continue Reading

Appraisal and the Impartiality of Appraisers

Recently, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Owners Ins. Co. v. Dakota Station II Condominium Association,1 on appraiser impartiality. Specifically, the court discussed the meaning and interpretation of impartiality under the insurance policy and whether a contingent-cap fee agreement between the appraiser and Dakota Station rendered the appraiser not impartial as a matter of … Continue Reading

Insurance Adjuster Makes You Scream in Frustration? Complain About Poor or Unethical Treatment From Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are supposed to have insurance adjusters that are empathetic, professional and ethical when dealing with policyholders and claimants. The first chapter in the insurance treatise, Claims Handling Principles and Practices, has multiple lessons about these obligations. Claims adjusters should not make policyholders scream out of frustration about the service you receive.… Continue Reading

Wind Versus Water Causing Insurance Payment Delays? The Sad Song Remains The Same For Michael Victims as In Other Storms

The Tampa Bay Times ran an excellent story, Hurricane Michael Destroyed Their Homes Then The Insurance Heartache Began, which tells a sad but familiar theme about insurance company denials and delayed payments following hurricane losses. I was quoted in the piece: Chip Merlin, a Tampa insurance lawyer, said the same conflict happened in the last … Continue Reading

Delayed Insurance Payment? Texas Does Not Allow Insurers To Profit From Nonpayment During Appraisal

Rene Sigman of Merlin Law Group’s Houston office was getting some pretty good results for clients this week when she sent me a Texas Supreme Court appraisal case which makes delaying insurers more accountable for inaccurate or plain wrongful estimates of the benefits owed to policyholders. All this Texas good news had me thinking “Yippee-Yi-Yo-Ki-Yay!”… Continue Reading

Are Suit Limitation Provisions in the Policy Enforceable . . . And is the Insurer required to Show Prejudice?

Not sure when to sue your insurer? Property insurance policies typically contain a contractual suit limitation provision that sets the time within which policyholders may file suit on the claim. Some states allow the insurer to require in the policy that the policyholder file suit in as little as one year from the date of … Continue Reading

Substantial Damage, Substantial Structural Damage, Wind Damage, Flood Damage…. Damage Anyway!

Hurricane Michael has left a familiar mark on the Florida Panhandle. Much like Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, Hurricane Michael brought devasting winds followed by wind and flooding and more wind. Battered homes and businesses are assessed in the aftermath in an attempt to determine the extent and cause of damage resulting from the multiple perils … Continue Reading

Contractors Beware Taking AOB Contracts For Restoration Work: New Policy Forms Restricting AOB Contacts Discussed By Recent Insurance Bulletin

Assignment of benefits contracts for property damage claims may be going the way of the dinosaur in Florida. A recent Florida Insurance Bulletin notes that the new statute allows insurance companies to issue policies preventing an assignment of benefits if insurers offer a premium discount.… Continue Reading

Best Insurance Lawyers in Chicago?

Mike Duffy, Ed Eshoo, and Christina Phillips head up Merlin Law Group’s Chicago office. As far as I am concerned, they are the best insurance lawyers in Chicago, and we are very lucky to have them hitching their stars to the Merlin Law Group wagon.… Continue Reading
LexBlog