In order to succeed on a claim of negligence against an broker/agent for failing to procure insurance, a plaintiff must establish (1) a duty of care; (2) a breach of said duty of care; (3) injury caused by the breach; and (4) actual loss or damage resulting from the injury. Recently the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, in Emer’s Camper Corral, LLC v. Alderman, 391 Wis.2d 674 (2020), addressed the evidence a plaintiff must present under the third factor in order to establish causation.
Continue Reading Insurance Being “Commercially Available” is Not Enough in a Broker/Agent Negligence Action

The Minnesota Supreme Court issued an opinion in late July that significantly addresses Minnesota Statute § 604.18, commonly known as Minnesota’s “Bad Faith Law.” While arising in the context of an automobile accident, the case of Peterson v. Western National Mutual Insurance Company,1 is still applicable to property insurance claims as § 604.18 applies to both automobile and property insurance claims.
Continue Reading A Fair Investigation Means Considering and Weighing All Facts and Circumstances

As many people are just finding their way to a summer home or cabin for the summer, thinking about how you close-up or winterize your property is the furthest thing from your mind. But, the recent case of Manco v. Cumberland Mutual Fire Insurance Company, 2020 WL 2214479 (D. N.J. May 7, 2020), is a good reminder to all homeowners of the importance of protecting against frozen pipes when fall and winter come.
Continue Reading Is Setting Your Thermostat to Low Enough to Maintain Adequate Heat?

It is not uncommon that a homeowner may suffer hailstorm damage and receive an actual cash value payment, but not make all the repairs before the next hailstorm hits. This is the situation that arose in Selective Insurance Company of South Carolina v. Sela.1
Continue Reading Insurer Acted in Bad Faith Where it Could Identify No Specific Misrepresentations Made by the Insured

With all that is going on in the world, it is a logical extension to think that insurance companies or states might extend the period for filing suit. For example, most recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order suspending “any specific time limit” on the start or filing of any legal action, notice, motion or “other process or proceeding.” The wide-ranging executive order suspending the statute of limitations applies but is not limited to, criminal procedure law, civil practice law and the courts of claims act. The order pausing those rules goes through April 19, 2020. Likewise, the Supreme Court of Georgia has tolled the statute of limitations in civil cases through April 13, 2020. However, for most states right now, it appears as though it is business as usual when it comes to complying with the statute of limitations. Therefore, it is important that insureds, public adjusters, and attorneys all be aware of any impending suit limitations periods.
Continue Reading Limitations Period Requiring Suit within One Year of “Date of Loss” Does Not Mean the Date of Breach

If you have ever appraised a loss in Minnesota, chances are it was more akin to an arbitration than a traditional appraisal under an insurance policy. That might change given the recent opinion by the Minnesota Supreme Court in Oliver v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Company., 2020 WL 1041113 (Minn. March 4, 2020).
Continue Reading The Uniform Arbitration Act Does Not Apply to Appraisal

The Supreme Court of Iowa in three opinions1 this week affirmed various rulings which held that 33 Carpenters’ contractual assignment was unenforceable, as it was operating as an unlicensed public adjuster. I wrote about the lower appellate court decision in, Contractor Acted as an Unlicensed Public Adjuster, Notwithstanding Assignment of Claim and Benefits.
Continue Reading Court Affirms Contractor Acted as Unlicensed Public Adjuster