Are Property Insurance Appraisers Regulated? – A Reminder of Recently Enacted HB 911 for Those Heading to Florida to Assist with Hurricane Michael

Rep. Sean Shaw

Rep. Sean Shaw

House Bill 911, effective January 1, 2018, was filed by Representative Sean Shaw and enacted by the Florida Legislature to amend Fla. Stat. § 626.854, which protects policyholders through the regulation of public adjusters. Chip Merlin discussed this new law in detail in his post on July 2, 2017. In requiring public adjusters to be licensed by the State of Florida and defining the scope of their services, the Florida Legislature also excluded the growing practice of unlicensed public adjusting and the unauthorized practice of law. By defining what a licensed public adjuster can do for policyholders, the amended law notifies contractors, vendors, accountants, and others known after a catastrophe to unlawfully solicit business to act in the scope of a public adjuster. One service to policyholders that was recently questioned was whether an appraiser is required to be licensed in Florida. In the answer to this question, many others will find the answer to other services related to public adjusters, which do require a license. Continue Reading

Claim Handling Requirements by State – Alaska

Hurricane Season will soon come to its end and our attention will shift to other potential risks from nature. For many policyholders in our northern states, heavy snowstorms could be the next threat. That’s why I dedicate this blog to Alaska, known for its heavy snows or blizzards, and for earthquakes, tsunamis, forest fires, avalanches, flooding, volcanic eruptions, and landslides. These are some of the reasons why Alaska homeowner insurance policies should at least include coverage for damages done to their dwelling by fire, earthquakes and frozen pipes. Continue Reading

Rene Sigman is a Rebel with a Cause—Stopping Laws and Regulations That Harm Policyholders

Attorney Rene Sigman speaking at the TAPIA 2018 Fall Conference

Attorney Rene Sigman speaking at the TAPIA 2018 Fall Conference

Last week at the Texas Association of Public Insurance Adjuster (TAPIA) Fall Conference, Rene Sigman made the most dramatic speech ever at a public adjuster conference—and did it twice in one day. She stood up to a Texas politician railing about his constituents being harmed by bad laws and bad faith insurance companies. She called him out for voting against policyholders. Continue Reading

What Constitutes a Dwelling or Building Under Construction or Renovation For Purposes of a Vacancy Exclusion?

The typical vacancy provision in a homeowners property insurance policy is patterned after the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Homeowners 3-Special Form (HO-3 form)1 and excludes coverage for damage caused by vandalism if the dwelling has been vacant for more than 60 consecutive days before the damage occurs.2 Continue Reading

Collecting For Immediate Remediation Costs

Insurance policies ordinarily contain terms that provide that an insured must exhibit the damaged property for the insurance company’s inspection after a loss. The same policies also provide that an insured has a duty to mitigate damages to the property to prevent further damages. Does an insured breach the insurance policy by preventing the insurance company from assessing the full extent of damages if remediation work is performed at the property prior to the insurance company’s inspection? Continue Reading

Boo! FAPIA’s 2018 Fall Conference Is Almost Here! October 27-29

Being that FAPIA falls on the cusp of Halloween this year, there will be lots of fun themed events to look forward to. On Saturday night, October 27, Venture Construction Group will be hosting a Scary Insurance Claims Cocktail Party. Venture will also be sponsoring brunch on Sunday October 28. Be sure to throw some hairspray in your bag because on Sunday evening, October 28, FAPIA is putting on a Public Adjusters Rock Concert featuring Titans of Rock, a Journey and Bon Jovi Tribute Band. Continue Reading

Will Insurance Agents Be Replaced By Computerized Artificial Intelligence?

Chase Merlin and One-Year-Old Grandson Rowan Mason

I was studying a McKinsey & Company article, Agents of the Future: The Evolution of Property and Casualty Insurance Distribution, which included a section headed as “The End of an Era for the Local Insurance Agent.” The article highlighted this comment:

There are signs that the economics of the traditional agent model are beginning to unravel. Carriers are interacting more directly with customers, at lower cost and often with more consistent service levels. Many carriers are asking themselves what role agents should play in the system.

Continue Reading

Rutgers Law Professor Debunks Notion of Increased Premiums With New Jersey Fair Conduct Act

In a recent op-ed article published in the Star Ledger, Rutgers Law Professor Jay Feinman debunked the myth that insurance companies have been using for decades to prevent good faith claims handling bills from passing through the legislature. As Feinman noted, insurance companies argue that the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) is unnecessary and would be harmful, suggesting the bill would dramatically raise insurance premiums. Continue Reading

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