Wildfires are ravaging California again. Climate change coupled with a prolonged heat wave and a rare summer lightening storm have lit up multiple parts of the State. The fires are hitting numerous populated areas. Homes and business are being destroyed. Unfortunately, this appears to be the new norm. Due to the increase in fire disasters, California has acted to amend the law to increase property insurance protection.
Continue Reading California Wildfires Strike Again – A Summary of Changes in the Law to Help Policyholders

Back in June 2018, I blogged about the New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act passing the Senate and heading to the Assembly. Unfortunately, many roadblocks (insurance company lobbyists) prevented the Bill from going forward by using propaganda to spread lies about the detrimental effect of passing it. For the foreseeable future, New Jersey will continue to be one of the most difficult states in the country to prove bad faith given their court’s “fairly debatable” standard.1
Continue Reading New York’s Bad Faith Bill Advances Through Assembly Insurance Committee

Due to the extensive loss and damage that wildfires have caused to California insureds in the last several years, the legislature has continued to pass changes to the law that benefit policyholders. We are only a little more than a quarter through 2020 and the legislature continues to focus on expanding policyholders’ rights.
Continue Reading California Legislature Introduces Even More Policyholder Friendly Legislation and Regulations

NOTE: This guest blog post is by Holly Soffer, Esq., a policyholder attorney and General Counsel to the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

Much has changed in the world since my blog on March 24th. Not only are there new phrases in our lexicon such as “Zoom happy hour,” but also the legislative response to COVID-19 Business Interruption claims has taken a new tone. At first, a few states1 offered bill similar to the New Jersey2 one, but then, as Chip has commented, the insurance industry has made its views known—as we knew they would.
Continue Reading Through the Rabbit Hole—Update on proposed COVID-19 Business Interruption Legislation

Pennsylvania has followed five other states to propose legislation eradicating the “virus” exclusion for small businesses having commercial business income policies. Insurance company lobbyists are fighting this legislation in numerous ways. One is the argument that such legislation, if passed, would be unconstitutional.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update April 8—Pennsylvania Files Proposed Legislation, An Official “Trickle” of Lawsuits is Filed and Is There A Test That Finds Covid-19 on Property?

Louisiana is the newest state to introduce legislation which would mandate coronavirus business income coverage. No state legislature has taken a final vote on these bills. One has to wonder if these are made for political pressure or could simply be political opportunism.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update April 1—Louisiana Introduces Legislation and An Optimistic Article Supporting Coverage

New Jersey started the coronavirus business insurance legislation, but just like a virus, it is spreading to other jurisdictions. Ohio and Massachusetts filed very similar bills to what was filed in the New Jersey Assembly.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Law Update March 26—Ohio and Massachusetts File Proposed Legislation Requiring Retroactive Removal of Virus Exclusion To Coronavirus Business Income and Civil Authority Claims

Holly Soffer wrote a guest blog yesterday, COVID-19 and The New Jersey Assembly Bill 3844, which concerned a bill that would retroactively void the “virus” exclusion and potentially open up the business income loss, extra expense, and civil authority coverages under commercial policies to those businesses with less than 100 employees. I summarily dismissed this bill in, Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update—Politicians Becoming Involved. But this involves New Jersey, and as one great sports commentator reminds us about our opinions, “not so fast, my friend.”
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Law Update March 25—New Jersey Anti-Virus Bill and Civil Ex Post Facto Laws

NOTE: This guest blog post is by Holly Soffer, Esq., a policyholder attorney and General Counsel to the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

While many of us are working at home, we have more time to spend analyzing and contemplating the roles of the government and the insurance industry in responding to the coronavirus crisis. This blog post is an extension of that opportunity.
Continue Reading COVID-19 and The New Jersey Assembly Bill 3844