Over 150 years ago, fire insurance companies crafted myriad clauses and diverse property insurance forms filled with exemptions and limitations, which prevented full recovery for losses. This prompted most states to adopt a standard fire insurance policy and implement oversight by insurance regulators to shield consumers from these unjust underwriting practices. Today, insurance regulators continue to play a pivotal role in safeguarding consumers from similar stratagems once employed by insurance companies. A case in point is the 1% matching form that Kentucky’s insurance regulators have barred, yet Florida’s insurance regulators permit within insurance policies.

Continue Reading Insurance Regulators Play an Important Role Regarding Insurance Policy Standards—The 1% Matching Tragedy

If an insurance company is unfairly or unreasonably handling your claim, be aware that there are strict deadlines, known as statutes of limitations, by which you must take legal action. In my previous post, Why Time Matters Differently in Colorado for Homeowners, Business Owners, and HOAs, I discussed deadlines for filing a contractual breach of insurance policy lawsuit. In this post, I review the statutory framework establishing the Colorado statute of limitations related to filing a legal action for common law bad faith and unreasonable delay/denial of insurance benefits.

Continue Reading Statute of Limitations in Colorado Insurance Bad Faith and Delay/Denial Cases

In Colorado, a homeowner’s time limit for filing a breach of contract lawsuit against an insurance company for an unpaid or underpaid claim can differ from the time limits imposed on business owners and homeowners associations. 

Continue Reading Why Time Matters Differently in Colorado for Homeowners, Business Owners, and HOAs

David Kim noted an Illinois case1 when commenting to a recent post, Are Texas Bad Faith Cases Now More Difficult to Prove? The case discusses what a bona fide dispute is between an insurer and policyholder. It also noted that insurance companies must evaluate damages and timely provide the policyholder an estimate of damage as a matter of “common sense” and good faith:

Continue Reading Good Faith Requires Insurance Companies to Promptly Investigate Facts of Coverage and Prepare an Estimate of Damage to Be Provided to the Policyholder

Hail damage is a topic of discussion at the Rocky Mountain Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (RMAPIA) Fall Seminar. Mike Poli provided a speech, Traps For the Unwary, and highlighted an Arizona insurance decision,1 which has an excellent discussion about how wear and tear, inadequate maintenance, and concurrent cause exclusions operate in the context of a hail loss. 

Continue Reading Hail and Coverage Exclusions Which Do Not Apply

Policyholders should exercise caution regarding digital “case runners” who engage in the unethical—and potentially criminal—practice of soliciting clients for attorneys after large-scale disasters. While it’s perfectly lawful for attorneys to advertise their services, the act of compensating non-attorneys to procure and refer clients breaches ethical standards. In many jurisdictions, this can also carry criminal penalties.

Continue Reading Digital Case Runners and MMA

A ruling yesterday by a federal judge in Texas1 seems to indicate a trend where federal courts will prevent bad faith claims from going before a jury if the insurer has an expert opinion supporting the denial of a claim. The court dismissed the bad faith portion of the lawsuit with the following rationale:

Continue Reading Are Texas Bad Faith Cases Now More Difficult to Prove?

Can you imagine the scene in the Florida legislature where insurance industry lobbyists were presenting drafts of new laws to Republican lawmakers? It must have gone something like this:

‘These laws will allow us to not pay claims, or if we have to, we will have a lot more leverage to pay less because nobody will be able to afford a lawyer. And, if they do hire a lawyer and sue, it will cost them a lot more, and we will make them go through more hoops that exist nowhere else in the country. We will take away almost any chance of bad faith lawsuits so we can deny a lot more claims. We will not have to offer as much coverage. And the best, we will get these laws passed and not promise to lower any premiums. Indeed, the rates may go up!’

Continue Reading Florida Lawmaker Recognizes Anti-Consumer Laws Passed Make Insurance Companies a Great Investment

Can a federal judge appoint the umpire in an appraisal? Certainly, many have done so. But a United States Magistrate Judge made a request last week which may indicate that federal courts lack jurisdiction to appoint umpires to New York appraisals.1

Continue Reading New York Appraisal—Can a Federal Judge Choose the Umpire?

The First Session of the National Insurance Convention was held in New York City in 1871. The Convention led to what is now known as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The Convention President George W. Miller noted the sustainability issues of numerous insurance companies, including fire insurance companies. While calling for the Convention to first focus on the life insurance industry, he noted the root causes of failure by insurance companies:  

Continue Reading How the History of Insurance Repeats Itself and Is Full of Modern Lessons Which Need to Be Acted Upon