The desire to compensate shareholders creates a direct conflict of interest between insurance carriers and their policyholders. As a result, most jurisdictions, including Colorado, have enacted laws to protect their consumers and hold insurance carriers accountable to their promise to timely pay and to fully indemnify policyholders. States have also enacted laws allowing licensed adjusters to work directly for consumers to assist in ensuring recovery of all benefits that may be owed under a first-party property insurance policy. These adjusters are called “public adjusters.” These public adjusters are licensed and regulated by the State of Colorado. In Colorado, the leading public adjusting organization is the Rocky Mountain Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.
Continue Reading Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway Continues Efforts to Help and Assist Policyholders Impacted by the Marshall Fire

In Florida, many insureds are still litigating over Hurricane Irma claims. One of the issues that insurance adjusters often fail to pay for is stucco damage to the structure caused by wind. Many policies, including Commercial, Businessowners, and even the Homeowners HO2 policy, include a version of the following exclusion:
Continue Reading Insurance Carriers Often Misapply Their Policies: The Exterior Paint Or Waterproofing Exclusion Does Not Apply To Stucco Surfaces

Colorado protects its policyholders as well as any other jurisdiction in the United States.1 Most policyholder advocates are familiar with Colorado’s statutory bad faith claims that give policyholders a fighting chance against insurance carrier’s malfeasance. Whether it is incompetence or intentional, claim results are often unreasonable and policyholders are harmed with few remedies to make them whole.
Continue Reading Colorado Insurance Companies Do Not Have a “Get Out of Jail Free Card” For Delayed and Underpayments Following Appraisal

Colorado’s statutory bad faith cause of action can be brought in addition to a claim against the insurer to recover an owed contractual benefit. More importantly, as Jonathan Bukowski discussed in a previous blog post, a cause of action under Colorado’s bad faith statute is not limited to a wronged policyholder, but can be made by vendors of the policyholder, such as roofers or restoration contractors.
Continue Reading Calculating Damages Under Colorado’s Bad Faith Statute

Insurance companies hate producing its claims guidelines, loss ratios, and other relevant documents in bad faith litigation. Recently, a Nebraska federal trial court denied Owners Insurance Company’s request to bifurcate my client’s bad faith claim from its breach of contract claim. This ruling prevents unnecessary costs and delay and will allow the insured its day in court much faster.
Continue Reading Court Finds Policyholders are Entitled to Bad Faith Discovery

While I often argue that depreciating labor simply does not make sense, insurers continue to push the question of whether the depreciation of labor costs in Actual Cash Value policies is acceptable. Though several jurisdictions have rejected the depreciation of labor, surprisingly, the recent trend of jurisdictions touching upon the subject has been to allow for the depreciation of labor.
Continue Reading Colorado Joins a Growing List of Jurisdictions Allowing Depreciation of Labor Costs When Determining Actual Cash Value

On September 29, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court reaffirmed Florida’s protection for policyholders. In Johnson v. Omega Insurance Company,1 the Florida Supreme Court shredded insurance companies’ attempts to require malice before a policyholder is entitled to attorneys’ fees and costs under Florida Statute 627.428.

Continue Reading Florida Supreme Court holds Insurance Companies Accountable for their Claim Investigation

In Georgia, an insurance company does not have to prove fraud in order to prevent recovery under a policy; the standard is actually much lower for insurance companies. A carrier can prevent recovery by showing a policyholder has misrepresented, omitted, concealed, or made an incorrect statement about a material fact when buying insurance.1

Continue Reading Insurance Agent had Imputed Knowledge – Allegations of Misrepresentation Fail

It’s that time of year when family traditions of decking the halls and the adding the perfect decorations to the Christmas trees can bring joy to the entire family. There is a sense of magic when the lights glow and the evergreen aroma fills the air. Add fresh baked cookies and you have the ingredients for a wonderful holiday.

Continue Reading Christmas Tree Fires Cause Substantial Damage: Tips to Stay Safe