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

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

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. We have also written recently about the unfortunate and oftentimes, unforeseen, effects of right to repair provisions. In our recent post, Right to Repair: The Intersection of the Managed Repair Program and the Faulty Workmanship Exclusion, we discuss 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

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

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?