Wishing you a Happy Labor Day!
Merlin Law Group
Ambiguities in Florida Policies: Comprehending Coverage Should Not Require the Proverbial Philadelphia Lawyer
Conflicting policy provisions seem to be an increasing byproduct of the ever-growing number of coverage exclusions and limitations that insurance carriers are sneaking into policies. With the news of an upcoming special legislative session to address insurance premium hikes and rumors of potential changes, the best practice is for homeowners to read their policies and understand what is covered in the event of a loss. The truth is, however, reading a homeowner insurance policy these days seems like a game of “musical policy provisions.”…
Continue Reading Ambiguities in Florida Policies: Comprehending Coverage Should Not Require the Proverbial Philadelphia Lawyer
Limited Water Damage Endorsement Will Not Limit the Liability for the “Tear Out” Costs
Cast iron pipe systems are actively corroding across the country. Florida commercial and residential properties are even more susceptible to corrosion due to Florida’s salt and moisture-rich environment. Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to deny pipe damage claims based on carefully worded exclusions such as “wear and tear” or claiming the pipes have reached the natural end of their lifespan. Even in accepted claims, insurance companies will often lowball a policyholder, leaving them with costly excess repair fees that they are unprepared to take.
Continue Reading Limited Water Damage Endorsement Will Not Limit the Liability for the “Tear Out” Costs
Right to Repair: Florida Court Confirms Homeowners’ Right to Pursue a Breach of Contract Action After an Insurer Elects to Repair
In addition to raising the cost of insurance premiums, insurers appear to be issuing more policies which include “right to repair” provisions. Considering the rising cost of insurance premiums, a policy with a right to repair provision or endorsement might initially seem appealing to homeowners as such policies often come with a “premium discount.” The unfortunate fact is that right to repair provisions and endorsements significantly alter policyholders’ rights under the policy. I wrote recently about how insurance carriers use this “premium discount” against policyholders in my recent post, Right to Repair: How People’s Trust Insurance Company’s Preferred Contractor Endorsement Leaves Policyholders Over a Barrel. My colleague, Anthony Orlando, has also written recently about the unfortunate and oftentimes, unforeseen, effects of right to repair provisions. In his recent post, Right to Repair: The Intersection of the Managed Repair Program and the Faulty Workmanship Exclusion, Anthony discusses how an insurer can use its own preferred contractor’s shoddy work to deny future claims.
Continue Reading Right to Repair: Florida Court Confirms Homeowners’ Right to Pursue a Breach of Contract Action After an Insurer Elects to Repair
How are Optional Coverages Applied?
Policies may include many different optional coverages, such as, but not limited to, “Agreed Value,” “Actual Cash Value,” and “Replacement Cost” coverages. These coverages can be applied depending on the type or amount of damages. To understand better these types of optional coverages, one must read and verify the policy.
Continue Reading How are Optional Coverages Applied?
Putting Insurance at the Heart of Valentine’s Day
I bet the word ‘insurance’ is not the first word that comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day. However, did you know that jewelry losses are among the most frequent home insurance content-related claims?
Continue Reading Putting Insurance at the Heart of Valentine’s Day
Insurance Claim Notifications Prior to Filing Complaint
As mentioned in my earlier blog post, How to File a Complaint with the Insurance Commissioner Office About Your Delaying, Denying, and Bad Treating Insurance Company, Article 27.164 of the Puerto Rico Insurance Code requires an insured to notify the Insurance Commissioner of any incompliance, delay, unpaid, under paid or unjust claim management by the insurer prior to filing suit in court. This law applies to Hurricane Maria claims and all insureds that did not file suit prior to the effective date of Article 27.164 must to comply with this new requirement.
Continue Reading Insurance Claim Notifications Prior to Filing Complaint
Is Eleven Months Too Long a Delay in Filing a Claim with an Insurer After a Loss?
With cold temperatures gripping my home State of New Jersey, my mind (and research) brings me to warmer locations. In a recent case,1 a federal court in Georgia held that an insured’s 11-month delay in filing a claim after a loss was not justified and provided the insurer with a reasonable ground to deny the claim.
Continue Reading Is Eleven Months Too Long a Delay in Filing a Claim with an Insurer After a Loss?
Insurance Settlement Releases: What You Should Know
First things first – A “release” is a legally binding document that releases your insurance company from liability contingent on you accepting their settlement offer.
Continue Reading Insurance Settlement Releases: What You Should Know
Right to Repair: How People’s Trust Insurance Company’s Preferred Contractor Endorsement Leaves Policyholders Over a Barrel
For a crash course in right to repair issues, one need only perform a brief search of cases involving People’s Trust Insurance Company (“People’s Trust”). When it comes to policies issued by People’s Trust, there seems to be only one thing that people can trust—a Preferred Contractor Endorsement will be included in exchange for a “premium discount.” For various reasons, the Preferred Contractor Endorsement issued by People’s Trust has been labeled a “trap for many homeowners” (see Beaujeaux de Lapouyade’s blog post, Declaratory Judgment Action May Be Forthcoming If An Insurer Invokes Its Right To Repair). In fact, I challenge Florida homeowners to ask their insurance agent to procure a People’s Trust policy that does not have the Preferred Contractor Endorsement—do not be surprised if your agent cannot find such a policy.
Continue Reading Right to Repair: How People’s Trust Insurance Company’s Preferred Contractor Endorsement Leaves Policyholders Over a Barrel