The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is facing a September 30th deadline. That is the date the temporary extension runs out on the Flood Program. Unless a bill that reauthorizes the program passes, the NFIP could expire. But this week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1309 (The Flood Insurance Reform Act) by an overwhelming majority.

Continue Reading National Flood Insurance Program Legislation Moves Forward

Contingent Business Interruption coverage is usually an extension of the business interruption coverage available in most commercial property policies. It provides the insured with benefits to cover lost profits and extra expenses resulting from damage to a third party’s property.  In today’s integrated business world, most businesses are highly dependant upon others for product, sales, and even customers.  As businesses globalize, they become vulnerable to disasters across the globe.  Even now, many businesses are waiting to realize the extent of the contingent business loss that will result from the tsunami and nuclear disasters in Japan.

Continue Reading The Japan Tsunami and Contingent Business Interruption Coverage

The CEO and President of Occupational Athletics, Inc., Mark Everest, has announced that public adjuster safety and wellness will be the topic for his new book and audio production. Everest, in conjunction with Occupational Athletes, Inc., is developing an interactive daily system that will help public adjusters gain the knowledge and tools necessary to lead happier, more productive, and safer lives. Occupational Athletes, Inc., has provided systems for other occupations to help individuals stay safe. Everest explained that the new system for public adjusters will be an integrated lifestyle management system that will center on the safety of insurance claims adjusting and help provide a plan for keeping mentally and physically well for the long run.

Continue Reading Mark Everest Addresses Public Adjuster Safety and Risk Management

In Major Bad Faith Legislation Filed in Tallahassee, I promised a further analysis of Florida Senate Bill 1592, explaining why this bill is bad for property insurance policyholders. Two striking parts of the bill is the elimination of accountability for good faith conduct and the prevention of common law remedies. This bill as written applies to more than just third-party claims practices — it applies to first-party claims conduct. Here is an analysis substantially made by Ruck DeMinico of our firm:

Continue Reading Proposed Florida Senate Bill Protects Wrongdoing Property Insurers

Jeremy Tyler’s post yesterday, More on the Collateral Source Rule, reminded me of a recent Florida federal court case with similar facts, Florida Farm Bureau General Insurance Company v. Jernigan, 2010 WL 3927816 (N.D. Fla. September 30, 2010).

In Florida Farm Bureau, the insurer, as a Write-Your-Own Program Carrier participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”), issued a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (“SFIP”) covering the defendant’s property. The insured’s home was destroyed during Hurricane Ivan, and Farm Bureau tendered policy limits for the dwelling and contents. Farm Bureau also issued the insured a separate homeowner’s policy for $138,500 in coverage for damage due to a covered peril, which included wind but excluded flood. After receiving the policy limits from the SFIP, the insured filed a claim under the homeowners policy. That claim went to trial, the jury found the property was a total loss as a result of wind damage, and the insured was awarded the policy limits.

Continue Reading Florida Federal Court Holds WYO Insurer Has No Cause of Action for Unjust Enrichment Under Federal Flood Insurance Law and Regulations

Blanchard v. Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Co., et al.
No. 09-352, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44748
(W.D. La. May 5, 2010)

The Blanchards owned a trailer and an apartment, located at 7529 Ling Road in Lake Charles. They lived in the trailer and rented the apartment. On April 11, 2006, Wesley Blanchard applied for a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) on the buildings with Fidelity, listing the mailing address for the trailer as 7529A Ling Road and the mailing address for the apartment as 7529B Ling Road. Even though the two structures had separate mailing addresses, there was only one mailbox at the property. Fidelity issued two separate SFIPs for the properties.

Continue Reading A Case Which Illustrates the Importance of Providing Accurate Information to the Insurance Company

Florida Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company v. Mathis
— So.3d —-, 35 Fla. L. Weekly D868a, 2010 WL 1542631
(Fla. 1st DCA April 20, 2010)

Florida Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company appealed a final judgment in favor of the Mathises, awarding them their homeowners policy limits. Hurricane Ivan caused substantial wind and flood damage to the Mathises’ home. The home was insured with a flood insurance policy with policy limits of $250,000, issued pursuant to the National Flood Insurance, and with a Florida Farm homeowners policy with policy limits of $295,600, which covered windstorm damage but excluded flood.

Continue Reading Florida’s First District Court of Appeal Issues an Opinion on Valued Policy Law