Hurricane season 2019 is officially underway, and so now is the time to take action and prepare before a possible hurricane threat. It’s imperative that policyholders understand the coverage and rights provided under their insurance policy. Therefore, one of the first things a policyholder should do is request a copy of their insurance policy now and confirm that they have the coverages provided are correct and appropriate for the type of property or interest being insured. Additionally, the policyholders should have a good understanding of the exclusions provided under their insurance policy, in other words, what is not covered under their policy if they suffer a hurricane loss.
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Ha iniciado la nueva temporada de Huracanes 2019, y son muchos los preparativos que debemos llevar acabo ante la posible amenaza de un huracán. Es imperativo que los asegurados entiendan la cobertura y los derechos bajo su Póliza de Seguros. En primer lugar, cada asegurado debe solicitar una copia de su póliza de seguros y confirmar que las coberturas sean las correctas según su propiedad o interés en asegurar. Además, el asegurado debe entender cuáles son las exclusiones bajo su póliza de seguros si sufre daños a causa de un huracán, en otras palabras, lo que no está cubierto bajo su póliza.
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When homeowners discover a plumbing issue in their home, there are usually several things running through their minds: investigating the source of the leak, stopping and fixing the problem, and drying as much of the water as possible. One thing that can be easily overlooked, especially by insureds who have never experienced a plumbing leak before, is to report the loss to your property insurance carrier. If you fail to do so, you might find yourself hearing two words dreaded in the insurance industry: late notice.
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I recently came across an interesting opinion, Fuller v. Mercury Insurance Company of Georgia,1 where the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals discussed the effect of a guilty plea on a policyholder’s civil action against their insurance carrier. The opinion stemmed from a residential fire loss and the insured’s subsequent claim for benefits under her homeowner’s insurance policy.
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It has been over 30 years since Florida lawmakers enacted section 624.155, which was designed to provide a civil remedy when an insurer fails to settle their policyholder’s claim in good faith or commits any one of the unfair claims handling practices identified in section 626.9541(1)(i). Yet, to this day, questions still arise on one basic question: When is an insured legally entitled to bring a civil action against their property insurance carrier for failing to meet its statutory obligations?
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We can all agree that the insurance claims process can be a difficult one to navigate. Now imagine if on top of understanding policy coverages and exclusions, responding to endless requests for documents, and ensuring that all benefits are timely paid, the entire process was in a foreign language. For many Spanish-speaking policyholders – including hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida – this frightening situation is their reality. Legitimate claims can quickly go awry simply because of the language barrier between the insured and insurer.
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Para los millones de asegurados en Puerto Rico que sufrieron daños a su propiedad por Huracán María, estos momentos han sido uno de los más difíciles que han pasado en tiempos recientes. Para muchos de ustedes con póliza de seguro de daños a sus hogares, desgraciadamente será un proceso de mucho estresante, arduo y largo. Ustedes tienen derecho a un ajuste honesto y justo de su reclamó con su compañía de seguro.
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If you happen to be at or near the Florida Senate Office Building at the State Capitol Building this morning, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR) is conducting a public hearing in Room 401 at 9:00 AM to discuss Citizens’ proposed 2016 rate changes. Whether the rate increases or decrease, the proposed changes would have a direct impact on premiums paid by those insured under a Citizens commercial property, homeowners, or mobile home policy. This is a unique opportunity to not only listen to what State officials and Citizens spokespeople have to say about the state-wide proposed rate changes, which would become effective on February 1, 2016, but also a chance for those who would be affected to share their own thoughts and any concerns.


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I was discussing a property insurance claim with a colleague a few weeks ago when he mentioned a letter that was sent to an insured from the insurance carrier shortly after their public adjuster submitted his letter of representation. The letter suggested that the insured review the public adjuster’s contract and fee structure to make sure it complies with Florida Statute 626.854. It also paraphrased several provisions of this statute dealing with the duties of a licensed public adjuster practicing in Florida, such as how a public adjuster cannot prevent an insurer from reasonable access to the insured or the insured property, and that the public adjuster cannot dissuade an insured from privately speaking with the insurer regarding the settlement of their claim.


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