Iris Kuhn

The purpose of Section 627.7015, Florida Statutes titled “Alternative procedure for resolution of disputed property insurance claims” is to encourage insurance companies and policyholders to resolve their disagreements regarding disputed property insurance claims without the necessity of litigation or appraisal. The statute requires, in part:

(2) At the time a first-party claim within the scope of this section is filed by the policyholder, the insurer shall notify the policyholder of its right to participate in the mediation program under this section.1
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Chip Merlin and Stephanie Lee

Public adjuster Stephanie Lee approached me at the Win The Storm conference with an intriguing question—could she be appointed by a contractor holding an Assignment of Claim as the contractor’s appraiser in an appraisal? My first thought, and I bet it is the same thought most reading this blog, was “why not?”
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Recently, I presented at the Professional Public Adjusters Association of New Jersey educational conference on the area of insurance appraisal to roughly 30 public adjusters. During my preparation, I reviewed current and past appraisal provisions contained within standard insurance policies. In my research, I found some very interesting differences contained within insurance policy appraisal provisions concerning three key terms: competent, disinterested and impartial.
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Appraisal provisions in property insurance policies are intended to provide an alternative dispute resolution process for resolving property insurance claim disputes involving the amount of loss. The amount awarded by the appraisal panel is, with limited exceptions, binding on both parties under the terms of the policy. While the appraisal process is intended to bring finality to a dispute, what happens when the appraisal panel fails to consider certain items due to limitations or restrictions on the scope of the appraisal or unanticipated factual issues not considered by the panel? Such a situation poses the question of whether Colorado appraisal awards preclude any further breach of contract claims for unanticipated circumstances.
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A raíz de la catástrofe causada por los huracanes Irma y María, surgió la necesidad de revisar el proceso de reclamaciones ante las aseguradoras en aras de hacer este uno más eficiente. Es por esto que, el gobierno ha trabajado en métodos que ayudarán a mejorar los procedimientos de manejo de reclamaciones ante las aseguradoras. Siguiendo múltiples modelos de varias jurisdicciones de los Estados Unidos, los asegurados en Puerto Rico ahora tendrán herramientas adicionales de protección y que facilitarán la resolución de sus reclamaciones, tanto de propiedades residenciales como aquellas que sean comerciales. Recientemente, el Gobernador aprobó enmiendas al Código de Seguros de Puerto Rico para su inmediata aplicación. Dichas enmiendas pretenden solucionar el atraso y aclarar las ambigüedades que han afectado el proceso de recuperación y resolución de reclamaciones de forma justa y adecuada para el consumidor. A continuación, un breve resumen de las enmiendas realizadas al Código de Seguros ahora disponibles para el beneficio de los asegurados en Puerto Rico:
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After the catastrophe caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, there was a need for an efficient recovery process. The government has worked on methods to improve the way insurance claims are handled. Following models from multiple jurisdictions in the United States, Puerto Rico will now have available more protections and resolution methods for property and commercial policyholders. Several amendments to the Puerto Rico Insurance Code have been approved and signed for immediate application to help solve the delay and ambiguity that has affected the process of recovery. Below is a brief summary of each amended law now available for the benefit of policyholders in Puerto Rico:
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