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Jason M. Cieri focuses his practice of law in the areas of first party property damage cases and insurance agent negligence. He is a former Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor working in the appellate, juvenile, pre-indictment court and a trial lawyer before the Honorable Judge Frederick Theemling. He uses the experience gained while working in the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office to defend those who were cheated by their insurance companies from the monies they deserve.
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Joseph J. Henderson & Sons, Inc. (Henderson), was hired to install panels on a roof designed to expand the Iowa City’s wastewater treatment facility. Henderson was also a named insured on the builder’s risk insurance policy issued by Travelers Property and Casualty Company of America. The panels were damaged during a windstorm event and Henderson filed a claim with Travelers. Travelers responded by denying the claim, stating they were not liable due to Henderson’s faulty workmanship. The case went to trial where Henderson won $581,235.65 in damages, and Travelers appealed.1
Continue Reading Appellate Court Rules Contractor’s Faulty Workmanship Did Not Bar Coverage

With Spring a week away, coming off a mild winter, fewer homeowners experienced the frozen pipe burst losses as did in years past. One of the main questions that dominate a frozen pipe case, especially if the property is left vacant for a period of time, is whether the insured used reasonable efforts to maintain adequate heat. I’ve deposed many corporate representatives of different insurance companies and it is very difficult to get anyone to go on record to give a definitive answer. So, what is the standard?
Continue Reading What Is a Reasonable Effort to Maintain Heat?

Back in November of 2019, Chip, Jesse Sipe, Brett Rosen and I met with New Jersey Commissioner Marlene Caride and her team in Trenton. The meeting was very informative and a good start to hopefully a long-standing relationship between the Professional Public Adjusters Association of New Jersey, the plaintiff’s Bar, and the Commissioner’s office.
Continue Reading New Jersey Insurer’s Propaganda Machine Alive and Well

We’ve all seen it before. The insured files a claim, the insurance company sends out an adjuster to adjust the loss, the loss is more complex, or a situation arises that the adjuster cannot handle so the insurance company forwards the claim to their legal department. At that point, an attorney becomes involved and the adjustment of the claim, as well as the communication between the parties is limited and calculated.
Continue Reading Court Holds Documents Created by Counsel During Claims Handling Were Not Privileged

Due to the insurance carriers delay, deny defend tactics, my homeowner clients are often put into the precarious position of selling their property during the pendency of the claim. The question I’m always asked at that point it, “how will the sale of my property affect my claim?” I usually go into an explanation about actual cash value versus replacement cost value and that generally your only entitled to actual cash value because you’re selling the home and won’t have an opportunity to repair and recover the depreciated amount. Then I explain that even your actual cash value is not guaranteed unless its expressly stated in the bill of sale that you are entitled to any and all insurance proceeds. If necessary, it’s also beneficial to note the price of the property has been reduced to account for the loss and the anticipated proceeds. Without these safeguards in place, you risk selling your property at a deflated value and losing your ability to sue for the proceeds.
Continue Reading I Sold My Property, How Does That Affect My Claim?

Feenix Parkside LLC owed a commercial building that incurred a partial collapse to their ceiling. When Feenix sought coverage for the collapse, the insurer—Berkley North Pacific—denied coverage for the loss. When Feenix reported the loss, they stated the collapse was due to decay, which was a gradual decline in strength and soundness.
Continue Reading Collapse Loss Ambiguity Determined With Dictionary Help

The mission of the Connecticut Insurance Department is consumer protection. The Department carries out its mission by enforcing state insurance laws to ensure policyholders are treated fairly, by providing assistance, outreach, and education to help consumers make sound choices, and by regulating the industry in a fair and consistent manner that fosters market competition for availability of insurance.
Continue Reading How to File a Complaint with the Connecticut Division Of Insurance About Your Delaying, Denying and Bad Treating Insurance Company

The Massachusetts Consumer Service Department responds to inquiries and assists consumers in resolving insurance complaints against insurers, producers and other licensees. Consumer Services also advises consumers of their options and rights under their policies, state laws and regulations. They maintain a database which has an inventory of all written complaints and inquiries received from the public.
Continue Reading How To File A Complaint With The Commonwealth Of Massachusetts, Division Of Insurance About Your Delaying, Denying And Bad Treating Insurance Company