Assignment of Benefits

I hope each and every one of you are in the midst of a wonderful holiday season! I am writing this blog from a food court in Toronto, Canada. While I am on a vacation to see family, the weather is making me rethink my life choices. It is currently 19 degrees. This Floridian is wearing more layers than I even knew you could pack on! I will be back in Florida in a few days—just in time to ring in the New Year. Soon thereafter, I will be heading back to Tallahassee for the start of the 2018 Legislative Session. Session officially begins on January 9th and ends on March 9th (unless a special session is called).
Continue Reading 2018 Legislative Session Preview

Assignment of benefits is one of the hottest topics in Florida first party property insurance and it’s no secret that insurance carriers are not in favor of AOBs. Some insurance carriers, like Security First Insurance Company, tried to take matters into their own hands and add language into their homeowners, condominium unit owners and “dwelling fire” policies that would require the “insureds, additional insureds and mortgagees” named on a policy to consent to any post-loss assignment of benefits to a third party.
Continue Reading Attempt to Bar Post-Loss Assignment of Benefits Denied

In a prior blog, I discussed the California Supreme Court’s decision in Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court,1 regarding the post-loss assignment of insurance benefits. In Fluor, the California Supreme Court held that section 520 of California’s Insurance Code prohibits insurance companies from refusing to honor post-loss assignments of benefits, regardless of whether the assigned benefits (a) had accrued at the time of the assignment (i.e., constituted “Noncontingent Benefits”), or (b) had not yet accrued but could accrue if additional events occurred or additional conditions satisfied (i.e., constituted “Contingent Benefits”).
Continue Reading Post-loss Assignment of Claims in California

As I and some of my colleagues have written about lately, in most states, after a covered loss has occurred, policyholders generally can assign the insurance benefits they’re entitled to receive in connection with that loss, despite language to the contrary in their policy. Following a devastating loss, such as the damage caused by the hurricanes that recently hit Texas and Florida, some policyholders are faced with the daunting task of rebuilding their homes, offices and other structures. Even if they’re fully insured for the cost of rebuilding their property, some policyholders may not want to or be able to. For some, the best—or only—choice may be to sell what’s left of their property.
Continue Reading Assignment of Contingent or Unaccrued Benefits in Florida

With its 2008 enactment of Colorado Revised Statute § 10-3-1115 and § 10-3-1116, Colorado has created one of the country’s strongest statutory bad faith causes of action. What makes Colorado’s bad faith statute even more exceptional is that it allows a repair vendor, such as a roofer or restoration contractor, to assert a claim for unreasonable delay or denial on behalf of an insured.
Continue Reading Colorado Allows Contractors to Bring Statutory Bad Faith Claim as First-Party Claimant

In prior blog posts on assignment of contingent benefits, I discussed the distinction between assignments of contingent benefits and assignments of noncontingent benefits under a property insurance policy. For the purpose of this post, a contingent benefit is a benefit or payment that is either not yet fixed in amount or regarding which the carrier is not yet obligated to provide because additional, specific conditions of the policy have not yet been fulfilled or excused. Noncontingent benefits are those for which all conditions have been fulfilled or excused and the carrier’s obligation to provide the benefits (such as a payment) has accrued.
Continue Reading Assignment of Contingent Benefits in Arizona

Unauthorized practice of public adjusting issues are going to the Texas Supreme Court. Lon Smith Roofing is not giving up and filed a petition which should be read by those with interests in the property insurance claims industry. I have previously discussed this case in:
Continue Reading Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting Case Petitioned to Texas Supreme Court

In Assignment of Unaccrued or Contingent Benefits, I discussed the distinction between assignments of Contingent Benefits and assignments of Noncontingent Benefits under a property insurance policy. For purposes of this blog, a Contingent Benefit is a benefit or payment that is either not yet fixed in amount or the carrier is not yet obligated to provide because additional, specific conditions of the policy have not yet been fulfilled or excused. Noncontingent Benefits are those for which all of the applicable conditions have been fulfilled or excused and the carrier’s obligation to provide the benefits (such as a payment) has accrued. An example of a Noncontingent Benefit is a policyholder’s right to receive payment of the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of a claim after the insurance company has been notified of the loss and the policyholder has cooperated with the carrier’s evaluation of the loss. An example of a Contingent Benefit regarding a replacement cost property insurance policy is the right to receive the depreciation holdback (sometimes called the replacement cost holdback) prior to completion of the underlying repairs. In other words, the carrier’s obligation to pay the depreciation holdback is contingent upon, and does not arise unless and until, the underlying repairs are completed.
Continue Reading Assignment of Contingent Benefits in California