Most policyholders usually do not know what to expect when they submit a claim to their insurance company. Some simply expect to fill out a claim form, maybe answer a few questions, and then receive a claim check from the insurer compensating them for the loss. Most policyholders are usually taken back when the insurance company asks for copies of their income tax returns, bank statements, bills, and other financial records.
Continue Reading Do I Really Have To Provide My Insurance Company With My Financial Records After A Loss?

It is estimated that approximately 8% of Americans own some form of cryptocurrency.1 Although cryptocurrency first appeared in 2008, it is still in its early stages. In fact, what is meant by a cryptocurrency is still evolving. It was not until March of this year that Merriam-Webster Dictionary first codified a definition of cryptocurrency, which it defined as:

Any form of currency that only exists digitally, that usually has no central issuing or regulating authority but instead uses a decentralized system to record transactions and manage the issuance of new units, and that relies on cryptography to prevent counterfeiting and fraudulent transactions.2


Continue Reading Is Cryptocurrency covered by Insurance? It Depends, Is Cryptocurrency “Money” or “Property”?

Recently, it seems like I have been privy to a relatively high number of insureds asked by their carrier, following a loss, to submit to an examination under oath (commonly referred to as an EUO). The most common question I received was, “Can I just choose not to answer or attend?” Although the choice is ultimately the insureds and the ramifications of refusal vary by justification, when dealing with Arizona insureds, I generally advise against such blanket refusals.
Continue Reading Refusing to Answer Questions at an EUO is Usually Not A Good Idea

Most insurance policies contain a contractual provision that sets forth the time frame in which the insured must commence suit should a dispute arise concerning the policy. In many instances, these limitation provisions provide that the insured must file suit no later than one year after the date of the loss.
Continue Reading It took my carrier almost a year to make their coverage determination, and now I am being told that the one-year limitations period under the policy ends in a few days. Is that right?

The Arizona Court of Appeals in a recent opinion said, Yes to both. In Farmers Insurance Exchange v. Udall,1 four homeowners insured by Farmers Insurance Exchange (“Farmers”) sustained separate losses, which required water damage mitigation and restoration services. The homeowners hired a vendor to perform the mitigation and restoration services. In each case, the insureds assigned to the vendor their “rights, benefits, proceeds and causes of action” under their respective insurance policies.
Continue Reading Can Post-Loss Benefits be Assigned to a Mitigation/Restoration Vendor if the Policy Contains an Anti-Assignment Provision? Can the Vendor then Sue the Insurance Company?

When personal contents or business personal property are damaged or lost in a covered event, most policies require the policyholder to provide an inventory of the damaged or lost items to the carrier. But often, the carrier and the policyholder clash on the level of specificity required and whether the policyholder has submitted adequate proof of ownership or even the pre-loss existence of the listed items.
Continue Reading Post-Loss List Created Solely From Memory Can Satisfy the Insured’s Duty to Furnish an Inventory

Replacement cost insurance generally allows recovery for the actual value of property at the time of loss, without deduction for deterioration, obsolescence, and similar depreciation of the property’s value. Depending on the circumstances, the difference between the actual cash value and the replacement cost value of a loss can be significant.
Continue Reading Replacement is Not Always a Prerequisite for an Insured to Claim Replacement Cost Benefits

It has been five months since Hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked widespread havoc on the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Category 5 hurricanes damaged buildings of all shapes and types – residences, businesses, places of worship, warehouses and commercial buildings. Those with insurance coverage filed claims, presumably expecting prompt and fair responses from their insurance companies. Have these policyholders received a timely response?
Continue Reading Additional Review Required of All Virgin Island Hurricane-Related Claims Where Property Determined to be Underinsured

It has been four long months since Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated America’s Paradise; yet, many insureds have still not received a single payment (or even a meaningful response) from their insurance company. Regrettably, these are not isolated or one-off situations.
Continue Reading Updated Claims Handling Guidelines for Residential Hurricane Claims in the Virgin Islands