Whether from a hurricane, a broken dam, or a rising river, floods are one of the most common and most costly causes of loss. Because flood insurance is so difficult to obtain, floods are also one of the most feared causes of loss.
Zurich Financial Services Group and the Business Continuity Institute conducted a survey among 559 organizations in more than 62 countries, covering 14 different industries, to look at the impact of this year’s natural and manmade occurrences that have caused supply chain disruptions worldwide. Overall, 85% of the companies reported at least one supply chain disruption. Twenty percent of the occurrences were attributed to the earthquakes or tsunamis in Japan and New Zealand; fifty-one percent were attributed to adverse weather; and forty-one percent were attributed to IT or telecommunications outages.
The Spring 2020 riots lead to a number of insurance claims. I was interviewed on Fox News about these, as noted in
Business Income and Property Damage Claims Payable After Riots and Civil Commotion. We are now starting to get some coverage opinions on unresolved riot claims. Continue Reading Riots Cause Slowdown of Business—Is There Coverage?
Merlin Law Group attorney Drew Houghton brought an article, Discovery of Insurer Employee Incentive Plans: Rewarding Employees For Paying Insurance Claimants Less, to my attention. It was written by longtime colleagues Mike Abourezk and Marialee Neighbours. Their article is important and raises one of the fundamental ethical questions of claims management: The role of the claims professional regarding company profit. While insurance companies need to be profitable in the long run, I have yet to see a claims goal that rewards claims managers for making certain that the customer has not had benefits missed and not paid after a loss. Continue Reading Thoughts On Claims Incentive Goals—Where Is the Goal To Not Overlook All Damages?
A recent legal skirmish under a builders risk policy contains significant discussion about Georgia law allowing insurance companies to shorten the time to file a lawsuit. The trial court Order1 not dismissing the lawsuit despite a one-year limitation, and the brief of the policyholder are attached because they are worthy of study if you find yourself in a Georgia situation where the insurer is relying upon a statute of limitation defense. Continue Reading Georgia Allows Property Insurers to Shorten Statute of Limitations But There Are Exceptions
Exclusion provisions in a policy work to limit the range of coverage by restricting certain events or losses; often serving as a basis to deny a claim. Nevada case law has long held the burden is on the insured to prove a claim falls within the scope of coverage, and the insurer bears the burden to prove the applicability of an exclusion. However, for the first time the Supreme Court for the State of Nevada was faced with the question of who bears the burden to prove an exception to a policy’s exclusion provision, essentially restoring coverage.1 Continue Reading Nevada Insureds Bear Burden of Proving Exceptions to Exclusion Provisions
The genesis for this post is a jury trial that Merlin Law Group attorneys Mike Duffy, Jon Bukowski, and Larry Bache recently won. Jon Bukowski sent me a transcript of the closing arguments with a comment about Mike Duffy’s closing being “the best.” Continue Reading Insurance Company Lawyer Tells Jury Insurance Companies Cannot Be Expected to Know Building Codes
A recent Louisiana case1 demonstrates the difficulty of interpreting deductibles when sub-limits of a peril apply. The case is significant because many high limit commercial policies have similar deductible clauses, which courts have found ambiguous and afforded the policyholder a much greater recovery. Continue Reading Deductibles Can Be Confusing and Ambiguous
In a Puerto Rico Hurricane Michael case involving a Zurich Insurance Company providing a policy to a Louisiana policyholder, an alleged delayed payment resulted in attorneys for Zurich arguing that they could delay owed payments for various excuses. The first issue was what a proof of loss meant under Louisiana law. Continue Reading Proof Of Loss is Different Under Louisiana Law—Should You Be Insured by a Slow and Underpaying Insurance Company?
I was speaking with an attorney from Jefferson Parish in Louisiana about Hurricane Laura claims. He told me that the word that best fit insurance company payments for that storm is “putrid.” If that is the case, insurance companies that wrongfully delay payment of claims in Louisiana for greater than thirty days can be subject to an automatic penalty. Continue Reading Insurance Companies Have 30 Days to Pay or Be Subject to Penalties in Louisiana