In a matter of days, the Florida legislature is poised to consider another sweeping round of legal changes to Florida’s property insurance market. In large part at the behest of CFO Jimmy Partronis, whose campaigns are largely funded by the insurance companies he is supposed to regulate, the legislature will consider a slate of “reforms” taken directly from the insurance industry’s Christmas list.
Continue Reading Insurance Company Denials and Underpayment Drive Florida Insurance Litigation

When I wrote my first blog on this site in 2009, I discussed proofs of loss at length. Since Hurricane Michael, these blogs have received a lot of traffic and discussion from people trying to navigate their way through the claims process. An issue that keeps coming up is whether a policyholder must comply with a proof of loss request after the insurer has admitted coverage and made payment.
Continue Reading A Follow-Up on Proofs of Loss

As I noted in my previous blog, Business Interruption Will Play Big Role in Rebuilding the U.S. Virgin Islands After Irma, the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma in the U.S. Virgin Islands is staggering. To make matters worse, the powerful northeast eyewall of Hurricane Maria is now bearing down on the islands with what are expected to be Category 4 strength winds. The government is urging non-essential personnel to get out while there is still time. With safe structures being almost non-existent, we pray those in St. Thomas and St. John will heed these warnings.
Continue Reading Time Limitations in Virgin Islands Insurance Claims After Hurricane Irma

The U.S. Virgin Islands holds a special place in my family’s heart. Nothing makes my wife Ashley and I happier than a sail full of trade winds carrying us to the next secluded cove or rowdy beach bar. While most of the national media focused on Hurricane Irma’s trek toward Florida, it is now clear that St. Thomas and St. John took the brunt of the storm while still a Category 5.
Continue Reading Business Interruption Will Play Big Role in Rebuilding the U.S. Virgin Islands After Irma

Insurance litigation can take on a life of its own. While pointed exchanges between attorneys is not altogether uncommon, judges typically stay above the fray, even when they believe a claim or defense has little chance of prevailing. This is not always the case, however, as noted in a recent appellate court ruling.1

Continue Reading Judge Recused for Telling Insurer to “Fork Over the Money”

Disputed insurance claims are often resolved in the appraisal process. The process is generally less time consuming and less expensive than full blown litigation and, if done properly, can resolve the majority of discrepancies between the policyholder’s estimate and the position of the insurance carrier.

Continue Reading Limitations on Discovery: Going Behind the Face of an Appraisal Award

The debate over what evidence should be admitted in a breach of contract case has raged on for many years. Policyholders typically argue that evidence of an improper investigation should be admitted as impeachment evidence, while insurance companies insist that the way a claim was handled has no bearing on the ultimate issue: was the insurance contract breached. Depending on the circumstances of the case, evidence of an improper investigation could, in and of itself, be the only evidence necessary to prove a breach of contract.

Continue Reading Ignoring Statutory Obligations May Breach an Insurance Contract

One common problem that has been arising is when overhead and profit should be paid in response to a property insurance claim. For those not aware, overhead and profit (generally estimated at 20% of the total amount of the estimate) is intended to cover the overhead/operating costs of a general contractor as well as the amount of profit that the general contractor typically receives. The two typical questions that arise are:

  1. Whether overhead and profit is owed at all on a claim, and
  2. Whether initial payments of actual cash value amounts should include these amounts.

Continue Reading Payment of Overhead and Profit