The vast majority of my adult professional career has been advocacy for policyholders trying to convince their own insurance companies to pay for claims their customers have made. After hearing countless stories and knowing the various battles fought, a number of my colleagues and friends kept pushing me to write a book on the topic and what I have learned. Continue Reading Pay Up! Preventing a Disaster With Your Own Insurance Company
Deception during solicitation and “twisting” in the insurance marketplace is becoming much more common. We see it with television insurance advertising comparing price without honest comparing of coverage. The internet is worse. My recent post, Can Insurance Companies Send Declaration Pages Which Indicate Enhanced Coverage Yet Deliver Diminished Coverage In The Fine Print In The Back of Endorsements? had me thinking about the concept of unfair and deceptive advertising by insurance companies while I was studying the case and writing about the different views of how insurance contract descriptions are made before delivery of the product with differing terms. Continue Reading Deception At The Point of The Insurance Transaction
The title to this post would almost certainly be answered “no” by any insurance regulator or consumer advocate. But Liberty Mutual Insurance Company argues this is exactly what it can do with no consequence because the fraudulent and deceptive statements in the declarations should have been found by the policyholder reading the fine print in the policy endorsement—which is anything other than an enhanced product. Continue Reading Can Insurance Companies Send Declaration Pages Which Indicate Enhanced Coverage Yet Deliver Diminished Coverage In The Fine Print In The Back of Endorsements?
Merlin Law Group attorney Jason Cieri and I were discussing recent cases in Connecticut. There will be a Connecticut Association of Public Insurance Adjusters meeting tomorrow. One case in particular piqued my interest because a policyholder was awarded a million dollars by a jury following a fire claim where the insurer wrongfully accused the policyholder of arson.1 Continue Reading Arson Denial Results In Policyholder Obtaining Emotional Distress Damages From Insurer’s Negligent Arson Investigation
The point of this blog is to implore policyholders to buy what is commonly called code upgrade coverage – formally known as law and ordinance coverage. I was thinking about this after reading two different articles discussing very different losses in very different parts of the world. Continue Reading The Importance of Revising Building Laws and Ordinances, Which Explains Why Law and Ordinance Coverage Law is So Important To Purchase
Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria claims are not close to being finished. Now, we have major earthquakes impacting Puerto Rico. The worst example of poor treatment to policyholders following a hurricane catastrophe is found in Puerto Rico. It is sad and now numerous earthquakes are causing more damage and loss. Continue Reading Puerto Rico Earthquakes—Could Anything Happen At a Worse Time For Puerto Rico? What Should Those Suffering From Earthquake Damage in Puerto Rico Do?
A younger attorney recently asked me who I considered was the first property insurance attorney representing policyholders on a regular basis in Florida. Maurice Rosen came to mind. I met Rosen while I was still working as a very young attorney insurance defense attorney with Paul B. Butler & Associates in 1983. Continue Reading The First Florida Property Insurance Lawyer—Maurice Rosen
Representing governmental entities regarding their insurance claims is very different than representing private individuals. At least this has been my experience after representing numerous governmental school districts, municipalities, ports, power authorities, and even judicial entities. The photo above is of me and Merlin Law Group attorney Javier Delgado. Javier and I have jointly been involved in governmental claims in Texas, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Experience means a lot in our business and Javier, who worked his way through law school as an insurance claims adjuster, has practical experience regarding how property insurance claims should be settled as well as legal experience about how governmental claims are often undervalued by insurance companies.
Most of these governmental entities have fantastic plans to help their constituents if a disaster strikes, but they usually have zero plans about what to do for their own insurance claim. Continue Reading Representing Governmental Entities For Their Insurance Claims When They Are Late To File Suit
Law360 published an excellent article, The Insurance Landscape For Phishing Claims Is Shifting,1 written by Jason Rubinstein and Jasmine Chalashtori. Their summary about the importance of coverage for these computer fraud claims and the need for brokers to discuss these risks with their business clients was highlighted at the end of their article: Continue Reading Computer Fraud, Phishing, and Cyber Insurance Claims Pose Significant Risks and Coverage Issues
Additional living expenses can create a number of questions about what items of expanse can be claimed following a loss. FC&S is a publication I encourage those in the claims business to subscribe. While reading the Question and Answer section of the FC&S Coverage Insider, the following additional living expense coverage question was posed:
Our insured has an ISO HO 3 policy, 1991 edition, and recently suffered a fire loss. Coverage for her home and contents is not at issue; however, she has had to relocate to a motel until restoration of her home is complete. Prior to the loss, she stored some of her personal property in half of her two-car garage. Because of the fire, she can no longer use this space until repairs have been completed.
The insurance company is questioning two items under additional living expense—the cost to rent a storage space, and the cost to dry clean the clothing she took with her.
We think this is additional living expense, and should be covered. What is your opinion?