In a follow-up to a post last spring, Appraisals Can Lead to Nasty Legal Battles—Should Appraisers and Umpires Get Insurance Protecting Them, a federal judge has allowed the insurance company to file a counterclaim against the policyholder church, its appraiser, and a unilaterally appointed umpire.1 The counterclaim is one that readers of this blog should study because it raises issues about the propriety of appointing an umpire in a separate petition from a pending lawsuit concerning the controversy, how a new appointment of a new umpire after the first one resigns is to be handled, and whether the umpire was indeed appointed unilaterally.
Continue Reading $56 Million Dollar Appraisal Award Leads to Fraud Counterclaim and Lawyer Hostility

Insurance companies often have clauses which shorten the time to file suit against them that are less than the statutory limitations for suit. Some states allow this, and some states do not. An important North Carolina decision filed yesterday indicates that North Carolina will not allow insurance companies to shorten statute of limitations under property insurance policies. The limitations period is three years from the date of the loss.1
Continue Reading Insurance Claim Statute of Limitations In North Carolina

Listening and learning from others is crucial to bettering oneself in any endeavor. This is especially true when handling property insurance claims where claims techniques are changing with technological change, new laws, and claims handling values varying greatly between property insurance companies. In preparation for my upcoming Windstorm Network Conference presentation, Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? Different Perceptions About The Modern Claims Process Between Policyholder and Insurance Industry Representatives, I spoke last week with three experienced claims managers about our panel presentation, which will take place on January 26, 2022, at the 2022 Windstorm Conference.
Continue Reading Want To Learn the View From Experienced Property Insurance Claims Managers?

Insurance company claims management hates to have outside critical analysis over its handling of property insurance claims. Whether by regulators through market conduct examinations or discovery in claims practices cases by their own customers, the modern trend is to object to turning over these internal documents on every conceivable ground, including “trade secrets.” This has been noted numerous times in this blog, including in Trade Secrets: Dynamite Discovery Decisions, Part 11, where we noted:
Continue Reading Insurance Company Internal Claims Management Documents Should Demonstrate Good Faith Claims Processes

The tragic tornadoes ripping through Kentucky and the Midwest this weekend will result in significant insurance claims. Policyholders are in need of immediate adjustment and payments of money to help soften the blow. Kentucky has a very strong public policy for good faith claims treatment which is found in its Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act (USCPA).1
Continue Reading Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act

Late notice of damage to roofs is a common issue. Most people do not report damage from a windstorm to a roof unless it leaks. Do insurers expect that after every windstorm that their customers report a potential loss to them for inspection? Do insurers expect all of their policyholders to climb up on their roofs to look for damage?
Continue Reading How Late Can Late Notice of Loss Be of Roof Damage in South Carolina?

Causation can be determined by an appraisal panel in Minnesota. The controversy involved a hailstorm where the insurance company denied that any damage was caused by the hailstorm. The insurance company refused to go to appraisal and filed a lawsuit seeking a declaration of no coverage. The policyholder countersued seeking the court to compel appraisal to determine the amount of damage caused by the hailstorm.
Continue Reading Causation Can Be Determined in Minnesota Appraisals

If you are a frequent reader of Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog, you know that many of our blog posts make a very important recommendation to all policyholders: read the full policy. If you happened to miss this lesson, otherwise championed by insurance professional Bill Wilson as one of the “10 Commandments of Policy Interpretation,” you can read more in When Words Collide: Policy Interpretation Doctrines and the 10 Commandments. Understand Your Insurance Policy Better—RTFP!
Continue Reading Unfair Claims Practices May Continue Through Disbursement of the Settlement Check: The Hidden Accord and Satisfaction Language

The answers are obviously “no.” I was reading a recent Colorado case1 where these questions popped into my head. A condominium hired a local roofer, DiRito Roofing & Claims, to handle the insurance hailstorm claim and fix the roof. The insurer won the case in part because the alleged expert roofing company was disqualified from testifying after claiming to offer insurance claims help in addition to fixing the roof.
Continue Reading Should You Hire an Attorney to Fix Your Roof? Should You Hire a Roofer to Argue Your Roof Insurance Claim in Court?