Archives: Residential Insurance Claims

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Sinkhole Proposed Law Only Pays Policyholder 25% of Available Coverage–Lessons of How the Insurance Lobby Spins a Message

The poor policyholders whose homes cracked, popped, and dipped as a result of sinkholes induced by citrus farmers spraying their crops to prevent freezing damage should be happy it happened to them this year. Newly proposed anti-consumer sinkhole legislation would limit policyholders to 25% of their coverage limits for the most common sinkhole problems.… Continue Reading

What to Do When You have a Possible Insurance Claim

(Note: This Guest Blog is by Tina Nicholson, an attorney with Merlin Law Group in the Houston, Texas, office. This is part of a series she and fellow attorney Javier Delgado will be writing on Texas property insurance issues). Everyone knows what to do when disaster looms. When the disaster is a hurricane, you gas … Continue Reading

Texas Coastal Areas are Still Reeling From Hurricanes Ike and Gustav: Insurance Claim Denials and Delays are Prevalent

I just finished a two day settlement conference of a commercial insurance claim dispute held on the 51st floor of Fulbright & Jaworski in Houston. The view from the conference room was beautiful and in juxtaposition to the manner my client felt the insurance claim was handled. As is becoming customary for many of my cases, … Continue Reading

Former Restoration Insider Comes Out Swinging Against Florida’s Limitation of Public Adjuster Solicitation

The Florida legislature passed a law prohibiting Public Insurance Adjusters from soliciting business within 48 hours of a loss. Obviously, the lobbyists for the insurance industry were overjoyed with this law’s passage because it effectively allows the insurance companies and the insurance restoration industry to set the tone of the adjustment, without the typical policyholder having … Continue Reading

Sinkhole Coverage and Losses are Extraordinarily Complex

A former insurance defense attorney called me yesterday, asking if I would represent him and his wife in their sinkhole insurance dispute. While he oversaw many sinkhole matters from the insurance company’s position, I guess he knows that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. His call to me is part … Continue Reading

When Calculating Insurance Payments, Take the Deductible From the Repair Value and Not the Policy Limits

One wrongful adjustment method that occurs from time to time is the practice of taking the deductible from the policy limit. For insurers, this is a way to never pay the policy limit. When this occurs, the underwriter essentially charges unearned premium for the amount of the deductible, and the policyholder never has a chance … Continue Reading

Do Not Undervalue the Actual Cash Value of Used Household Property in Texas

Texas insurance law has its quirks which are different than the majority. My experience is that every state has its nuances of insurance coverage law. Not necessarily wrong, just different. Sometimes, incorrect judicial decisions are made and then remain the law for generations. Often, adjusters in the field simply ignore statutes or common law rules … Continue Reading

Katrina Policyholders that Hired Attorneys Came Out Far Ahead

I was honored to be given the Policyholder Attorney Honorable Mention Award from the Insurance Law Center. It was meaningful because I am a policyholder attorney in every case. However, some who read the comment posted by the Insurance Law Center with the award might have the wrong impression about the success that our firm, … Continue Reading

The Day Insurance Claims and Claims Handling Practices Became Interesting

(Note:  This Guest Blog is by Frank Chimento, Director of Business Development and Client Services at Merlin Law Group). I would feel confident making a wager that if Americans were polled on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least, their level of understanding or interest in insurance matters would be somewhere … Continue Reading

Protecting the Blown-Away Hurricane Dolly and Ike Policyholders: Discussions of Texas Hurricane Insurance Claims Practices

If you want to find a bunch of irate policyholders with plenty of stories to tell, hang out with Tina Nicholson and Javier Delgado in our Houston office. Commercial and residential policyholders have had enough frustration trying to do it themselves and are seeking legal counsel to fight the delays and denials from their insurance carriers. … Continue Reading

Surplus Lines Insurers, Sinkholes, and the Law of Mars

Surplus lines insurance companies are a different breed of insurance cat. They are not admitted carriers in the state in which they do business. Thus, most states have consumer protection laws specifically regarding how surplus lines insurance carriers can do business. Surplus lines carriers are very important to the insurance marketplace. They will often insure … Continue Reading

Vandalism, Theft And Arson Insurance Claims Rise

The deteriorating economy appears to be having an impact on our business. We are being referred more insurance disputes involving losses that are directly the result of the souring economy. For the first time in a decade, we have been referred several fire claims that are allegedly of an incendiary (intentionally set) cause. There are … Continue Reading
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