One topic that has been written about multiple times on our blog involves the implications of selling the home or property during the course of an insurance claim. Notable posts include Things To Consider When Selling Property With An Open Insurance Claim, and Recovering Replacement Cost After Selling Unrepaired Property, by attorneys Kyle Bugden and Ashley Harris, respectively. Due to the real estate landscape in today’s market, it has again become a consistent topic of conversation.
Continue Reading Can you Recover the Cost of Repairs from the Insurance Company after Selling your Home?

There are countless circumstances immediately following a loss that necessitate emergency mitigation services. Common examples of what are known as “reasonable emergency measures” include tarping a roof to prevent further water intrusion, performing dry out services, or any number of temporary repairs aimed at preventing further loss or damage. While policyholders have a self-evident interest in ensuring these measures take place (they want to protect their home/property), it is also consistently required under homeowners insurance policies. This is due in large part to practically all policies containing one version or another of the following provision:
Continue Reading Exceeding Policy Limits for Reasonable Emergency Measures: Steps to Preserve Right to Receive Payment

Colorado, like most states, has imposed regulatory guidelines that govern insurance company claims handling procedures. Many of those regulations and statutes provide potential penalties that may be imposed when the adjustment process implemented by an insurer fails to comply with the standards enumerated. Title 3 of the Code of Colorado Regulations § 702-5-1-14 is a good example of the methods aimed at deterring such conduct. Due to the recent wildfires in Colorado leading to delayed payments and improper claims handling by numerous insurers, these regulations and the recourse they offer insureds are worth emphasizing.
Continue Reading Failure to Make Timely Decisions/Payments in Colorado will Lead to Penalties for Insurers Pursuant to Title 3 Colo. Code Regs. § 702-5-1-14

Defining what constitutes a “collapse” under modern policy provisions is a highly litigated issue in Florida. Insurers have repeatedly amended/revised the definition of collapse to more precisely constrict coverage, leading to constantly evolving judicial interpretations of those provisions. Many exceptional blogs have been written seeking to clarify this confounding coverage, including Court Defines “Collapse” by Merlin Law Group attorney Shane Smith, and What Constitutes an “Abrupt Collapse”? by Merlin Law Group attorney Edward Eshoo.
Continue Reading Partial Collapse – Collapse Coverage Does Not Require “Total Destruction”

In his August 10, 2021, blog, Chip Merlin discussed the recent FC&S Bulletin addressing the relationship between replacement cost coverage and the increase in construction costs. For background on this discussion and to better understand the significance of the FC&S bulletin, I suggest reading his blog post, Can You Get Paid More on Your Insurance Claim When Prices Rise After a Loss?
Continue Reading Replacement Cost Coverage: Why You Can Get Paid More on Your Insurance Claim When Prices Rise After a Loss

In part one of this series, located here, I discussed the inherent contradiction that arises when insurers deny claims citing conflicting policy provisions. This follow-up is aimed at reviewing how Florida courts have dealt with this persistent issue.
Continue Reading Denying Claims Based Off Conflicting Policy Provisions Violates Florida Law: Part II

It is no secret that insurance adjusters will not hesitate to cite multiple policy provisions justifying a claim denial. I refer to this method as the “kitchen sink” approach, as it accurately describes the attempt to utilize every conceivable exclusion/condition remotely applicable in various insurance claims. It is quite common for an insured to receive a denial letter citing a laundry list of excluded causes of loss.
Continue Reading Denying Claims Based Off Conflicting Policy Provisions Violates Florida Law

In my initial blog on the Assignment of Benefits (AOB) reform statute, I described the 20th Judicial Circuit Court’s decision finding that §627.7152 cannot retroactively change substantive rights.1 This holding found that the law in effect when the subject policy was entered into applied to the assignment of benefits contract at issue in subsequent litigation. While the holding in that case focused on both pre-suit requirements and attorney’s fees and costs as the substantive rights being considered, another Florida court has recently discussed a similar concept regarding the retroactive applicability of the statute.
Continue Reading Florida Assignment of Benefits Reform Statute Does Not Retroactively Apply: Part 2

Although intervention is a legal procedure that does not often arise in property insurance claims, one can easily imagine circumstances where a party might seek to intervene in a pending lawsuit for insurance proceeds. Whether a contractors seeking payment from the insurance company for work performed at the insured’s property or another interested party attempting to protect their interests, the law governing intervention in Florida is well established. The following represents a fairly comprehensive resource on the law of intervention in Florida.
Continue Reading Intervention in Florida – When Can a Nonparty Intervene in a Pending Lawsuit?

(NOTE: There will not be a Tuesday @ 2 With Chip today due to the Windstorm Conference. Tuesday @ 2 will return next week)

While there are many issues that consistently form the basis of a dispute between insurers and insureds in property insurance claims (coverage issues, causation, notice requirements, etc.), one universal principal is generally accepted on both sides: The insured, if capable of doing so, has the duty to reasonably mitigate damages to reduce their loss.
Continue Reading Can an Insurer Rely on an Insured’s Mitigation Efforts to Deny Coverage or Preclude a Business Interruption Claim?