Residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria now have through January 8, 2018, to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).1 Registration is required if survivors intend to apply for federal disaster benefits, such as low-interest Small Business Administration disaster loans and/or FEMA grants for rental assistance, home repairs, personal property losses, and other disaster-related needs.
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Homeowner property insurance policies usually cover the dwelling located at the “residence premises,” which is typically defined as the one, two, three, or four-family dwelling used principally as a private residence and where the insured resides. What happens if the insured is not residing in the dwelling at the time of a fire loss? Is the fire loss covered? The answer may depend on whether the jurisdiction has enacted a standard form of fire insurance.
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Last week I wrote a post: That Check from Your Insurer Might Just be the Insurance Company’s First Offer. I was unnerved at the language I heard at the Roundtable meeting about the insurance company’s sending over “first offers” and not hearing any rebuttal from their insured regarding the Matthew claims. I am most upset because the policy of insurance doesn’t say ‘after a loss we will pay you our first offer and let you negotiate with us.’ But that is what happens all too often.
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Steve Badger and Chip Merlin

The Windstorm Insurance Conference in Orlando will feature a debate re-match between yours truly representing the policyholder view and Steve Badger who represents insurance companies. Many of my policyholder friends often ask how I can have such a good professional relationship with Badger whom they view as somebody akin to Darth Vader. I am certain some insurance claims executives wonder why Steve would hang out or discuss the current issues addressing insurance claims with somebody their world may view as on the insurance industry’s most wanted to destroy list.
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