As we near the end of this Additional Living Expenses (ALE) blog series, we can reflect back at past case law and point out there are not only negative exceptions that impact an insured. Sometimes exceptions reflect positively that aid the insured on recovery where ALE is owed to the insured due to an uninhabitable residence after a loss.

Continue Reading The Road to ALE, From Loss to Being Incurred, Part 7 — The Exceptions that Support Recovery”

Don’t miss out on an update of Senate Bill 488 and having your voice heard!

As the California Association of Public Insurance Adjuster’s (CAPIA) general counsel, I am proud to say that the current board is making positive changes to help the general membership and public adjusters throughout California. This year a new Executive Director, Robb Greenspan has been appointed by the Board. And in an effort to unify Northern and Southern California, a new Vice President of Northern California for CAPIA, Gordon Scott was appointed to both CAPIA’s Board and the newly formed executive committee to deal with Senate Bill 488.

Continue Reading CAPIA General Meeting this Friday, June 26, 2015, at Maggiano’s in Costa Mesa 11am-2pm

Over the past few weeks I’ve blogged on Additional Living Expenses (ALE) and how case law has influenced the recovery of ALE in many states. There are exceptions to every rule, and over the next few weeks I will continue the ALE blog series and discuss the times where case law has indicated that ALE is not recoverable. Some of these cases are exceptions, but when adjusting a case, knowing where the exceptions are can be the difference between coverage for an insured or leaving the insured with out-of-pocket expenses.

Continue Reading The Road to ALE, from loss to being incurred, Part 6: ALE – The Limitations on Recovery

CALLING ALL PUBLIC ADJUSTERS! The California Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (CAPIA) is having a general meeting on Friday, June 26, 2015, from 11am to 2pm at Maggiano’s Little Italy located at South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, California 92626. This general meeting should not be missed as it addresses the current issues affecting all public adjusters. If you are not a member, this is your time to join and be heard! All new and existing members are welcome.

Continue Reading CAPIA Calls Out to All Public Adjusters!

I’ve previously blogged about mudslides and mudflow and how that impacts homeowners in the mountain and coastal regions of California. Our unique topography literally flows from ocean sands up into the mountains and down into deserts in a short span of distance. Often, homes are perched on the mountain/hillsides for phenomenal views but these areas can be easily ravaged by fire and then rain, depending on the season. Such a cycle allows for mudslides and mudflows during our rainy season, and those who did not have separate earthquake insurance (for mudslides) or flood insurance (for mudflows) were devastated by such occurrences with little to no recourse on a regular HO3 insurance policy.

Continue Reading Arizona Mudslide Case gives hope to California Residents

Recently, I had an insurer ask for so much evidence of ALE expenditure I thought the request to be extreme. My client’s home (which was a rental) suffered damage from a fire. The client’s landlord graciously forgave the rent for the time of reconstruction and the client who wanted to stay in his neighborhood was able to find a short term rental by paying rent for a room at a nearby building which cost above and beyond his normal rents. My humble opinion is that my client is owed monies for rents expended above and beyond what would be his normal rents at the very least. Although I do not think the insurer disagrees, the insurer’s request for documents to prove up the additional rents seem beyond the ordinary.

Continue Reading The Road to ALE, from Loss to Being Incurred, Part 5 – Evidence of Incurred

In this series of ALE blogs, I’ve come to realize that the incurring of Additional Living Expenses (ALE) is probably the most disputed part of ALE and the definitive factor of whether ALE is paid by the insurance company. It’s probably the most controversial part, as the whole concept of ALE “incurred” is based upon the definition and interpretation of “incurred” and this interpretation differs by state. Overall, there is little case law on ALE as compared to other areas of property insurance law. Generally, most states interpret “incurred” to be some sort of liability to pay, such as entering into a lease above and beyond normal rent or mortgage may trigger the payment of ALE. Remember, we must still look at the whole picture of when an ALE payment may be due from the insurance company. Before ALE payments are triggered, there must be:

  1. a covered loss;
  2. uninhabitable home; and
  3. incurred ALE expense.

Continue Reading The Road to ALE, from Loss to Being Incurred, Part 4 – ALE: the Definition of Incurred

In Part 2 of this series I talked about what constitutes "Uninhabitable conditions" that trigger the possibility of ALE payments to the insured. This week, before we hit the ever controversial prong of ALE "incurred expense," I wanted to revisit a sub-issue of ALE that insurers are a stickler on: "normal living conditions."

Continue Reading The Road to ALE, from Loss to Being Incurred, Part 3 – “ALE pays for Normal Living Conditions”

During the 15 to 30 seconds that my home rolled and shook on Sunday from the 3.5 earthquake centered in Baldwin Hills, California, I was prompted to think about the habitability or rather “uninhabitable conditions” I may encounter if the shaking got any worse or continued. Earthquakes are rather commonplace in California and thankfully this earthquake, which was centered within 10 miles of my home, ceased and I was able to continue on without damage or loss.

Continue Reading The Road to ALE, from Loss to Being Incurred, Part 2 – “Uninhabitable Conditions”

On Thursday, March 26, 2015, The First Party Claim’s Conference West was held in Marina del Rey, California. At the conference, I was delighted to speak and present two topics for CE credits. My presentations were titled, “Additional Living Expenses – Getting ALE Covered – Does It Really Need To Be Incurred?” and “Documenting a File, Tips for Communicating with the Insurance Company.” Since the conference, I’ve heard from many conference attendees who requested copies of my presentation and were interested in learning more on the topics.

Continue Reading The Road to ALE, from Loss to Being Incurred, Part 1