In California, insurance consumers have a right to their claims file when dealing with a loss and encounter issues during the claims process after a loss. As an attorney, most insureds do not contact me until after something has gone wrong or there have been substantial delays in their claims process causing a lack of or minimal payment of policy premiums. However, when I speak to an insured, they are surprised to find out that under the California Insurance Code, they have a right to review everything within their claims file. Although an insurer will “notify every claimant that they may obtain, upon request, copies of claim-related documents…” insureds do not realize that the claims file is the insurance company’s record and documentation regarding how the file is progressing.

Continue Reading Revisiting California Insurance Code 2071–Your Rights to Your Claims File

As I sit in my living room writing this blog, my home is being bombarded by what I consider a freakishly violent windstorm. I contemplated videotaping the windstorm but as the night wears on, I find the howling winds and bent trees to be too disturbing to watch. It’s not very often that Southern California has winds of these magnitude. The weather report indicates sustained winds of 25-40 mph with gusts of 60 to 70 mph.

Continue Reading Windstorm Rocking Southern California Bound to bring Insurance Claims

In California, there’s not a lot of case law specific on what an insurer must do for an insured after a loss regarding contents/ personal property claims. If a fire occurs or water loss, an insured is often place in a position where there their worldly possessions are ruin, destroyed, or in need of cleaning or repair. Over the last few months, I’ve been dealing specifically with disgruntled insureds frustrated with how various insurers are dealing with their respective contents issues. For the average insured, a large water or fire loss is, thankfully, a once in a lifetime experience. At those times, an insured is the most vulnerable and looks to their own insurer for guidance. It’s only after an insurer has provided poor or little guidance that an insured comes to me for help through their difficult situation.

Continue Reading Issues Facing Personal Property/Contents Claims are More Common Than You Think

One of the biggest complaints I hear from homeowners after suffering a property insurance loss emerges out of the insurer’s “cancellation” or failure to renew the policy after the loss occurs. After suffering a loss, the thought of trying to get new insurance while the loss has not been completely resolved is a devastating and stressful blow to an insured. Purchasing new insurance while a loss has not been fully remediated and repaired is expensive and difficult.

Continue Reading Cancellation of Homeowner’s Insurance After a Loss

If you live in Southern California and watch the news, you’d find there are endless broadcasts highlighting the anticipated coming of what meteorologists believe to be the worst El Niño weather pattern that California has experienced in decades. Just this morning I watched a segment that highlighted the differences on the impact of El Niño storms depending on the topography of the land.

Continue Reading California News Highlights El Niño

On November 9, 2015 at 11am, CAPIA renews its fight against Senate Bill 488 after the bill turned into a two year bill earlier this year. CAPIA will hold an informative membership general meeting to discuss the bill and reach out to all public adjusters to invite and encourage input into the needs of the consumer from 11am to 2pm at Maggiano’s Little Italy, located at South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, California 92626.

Continue Reading CAPIA Calls Out to All Licensed Public Adjusters for November 9, 2015 Meeting at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Orange County, South Coast Plaza

California wildfires continue to rage through this unseasonably hot summer. The concern that plagues this drought stricken state lies in the fact that not only is water so precious and scarce, our official fire season has barely begun. On September 9, 2015, the Butte fire erupted and it has destroyed over 800 structures, including 475 homes. At one point, the evacuation order affected over 6,500 homes. The devastation of the fire has barely begun as residents are still barred from returning home, and for those in the fire zones, the impending prospect of El Nino storms this winter will undoubtedly create reconstruction delays and cause terrible mudslide issues in the fire ravaged terrain.

Continue Reading California Wildfires Give Rise to Claims that Must Be Reported Without Delay

After my last blog about insurable interests according to California case law, I received a request to research and present the same topic under Florida case law. Specifically I noted that home purchasers may not have proper insurance policies when they purchase homes with deeds held in trusts, corporations, or other business entities such as an LLC (limited liability company). Often, investors or buyers do this to protect their assets but a problem arises when the home held in the business is not the named insured under the policy. In Florida, the case law is very similar to that of California in that the proper named insured should match up with the owner of the deed of the property to have an active and proper policy where there is an insurable interest.

Continue Reading Insurable Interests – Making Sure You Really Have an Insurance Policy

In California, we see a lot of claims where investors or wealthy buyers purchase homes held in trusts, corporations or other business entities such as the LLC (limited liability company). Often, investors or buyers do this to protect their assets. However, the irony is that it is exactly in these scenarios that homeowners find they may run into issues if they are not clear with their insurance brokers or agents and do not purchase their insurance policy properly.

Continue Reading Insurable Interest – Making Sure You Really Have an Insurance Policy

Over the course of this ALE blog series, I’ve presented the predominate case law around the country that impacts the payment of ALE.  However, when it comes down to the actual payment of ALE, it’s not the case law that is the driving force for the actual payment of ALE to an insured after a loss.  ALE payments are dictated and paid out by the insurance company pending the approval of the adjuster on the file of the loss.  There are times when an insured is extremely frustrated when ALE remains unpaid and the insured is stuck paying both a mortgage and an unexpected rental property while the insurance company maintains that ALE.  I wanted to take this opportunity to point out a few trends that I am observing when it comes to the payout or withholding of ALE benefits by the insurer.

Continue Reading The Road to ALE, from loss to being incurred, Part 8– “ALE- the Red Flags and Ensuing Trends”