Knowledgeable and creative public adjusters can be worth their weight in gold to policyholders. This is another lesson from the case cited1 in yesterday’s post, Insurance Claims Manager Tries to Teach Public Adjusting Firm a Lesson—Does State Auto Have an Ethical Claims Problem. The remaining contract dispute involved an issue about the period of restoration, which the insurance company field adjusters and the public adjuster agreed upon until State Auto’s claims manager became involved in the case.  

Continue Reading The Period of Restoration: A Lesson About Saving the Insurer Money Until the Insurer Backs Out of the Deal

Last month, Anthony Natole, MBA, CPA/CFF, CGMA from Risk Accountants, LLC, gave a presentation on “Hurricane Ian: All About Business Interruption” at the Valuation, Forensic Accounting & Litigation Services Conference presented by the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants.1 I had the privilege of being on the accompanying panel for this presentation along with Margaret Krichevets, CEO, MBA, PA of Best Public Adjusters. While listening to the presentation and the questions that followed, I began to think about how important it is to have a general understanding of business interruption coverage and when it comes into play.

Continue Reading A General Overview of Business Interruption Coverage

United Policyholders Executive Director Amy Bach and I discussed how difficult and disastrous the coverage battles have been for policyholders regarding business income losses involving the pandemic. Some of the best policyholder lawyers in the United States have volunteered considerable time to support United Policyholders Covid Loss Recovery Initiative.  

Continue Reading “Physical Loss” and “Physical Damage” Are Still Being Debated—United Policyholders Is Still Fighting The Good Fight 

In June, we noted in Louisiana Appellate Court Finds Coverage For Covid Business Losses, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal opinion1 reversing a trial court’s judgment against an insured business affected by COVID-19. The case, Cajun Conti LLC, Cajun Cuisine 1 LLC, and Cajun Cuisine LLC d/b/a Oceana Grill v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London and Governor John B. Edwards in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Louisiana, and the State of Louisiana, involves a popular New Orleans restaurant, known as Oceana Grill, which requested the trial court declare Business Interruption coverage existed under their policy. This type of request is referred to as a “Petition for Declaratory Relief,” as opposed to a request that a court compels another party to pay for losses that were caused by that party (referred to as a “Petition for Damages”).
Continue Reading The Difference in the Outcome of Your COVID-19 Business Interruption Suit May Depend on Which Court You File In

Stempel and Knutsen on Insurance Coverage is a leading American insurance law treatise. The professors have also have published the fifth edition of Principles Of Insurance Law. The authors of those treatises were recently published in a University of Connecticut law review article, Infected Judgment: Problematic Rush to Conventional Wisdom and Insurance Coverage Denial in a Pandemic,1 which is a must read for those whose interest is insurance policy interpretation and those involved with Covid lost business income claims. Since the article is critical of many Covid business income judicial opinions at the motion to dismiss stage, judges and their law clerks involved with these cases should also look for guidance from these very respected insurance law professors.
Continue Reading Covid Business Interruption Claims Law Review Article Is a Must Read For Students Of Insurance Policy Interpretation

History is important. Insurance history gives context and meaning to the thoughts and views of what should be and why things should be the way they were and are. Those historic views have been ever increasingly challenged in social media and very dynamic processes throughout the United States in the past few years. I want to know what people were thinking and what their intent was regarding insurance policy forms. Insurance history and policyholder advocacy is my life.
Continue Reading The History of the Business Interruption Policy In the United States

Virtually every property insurance policy has a specific section regarding the post-loss obligations of the insured. Whether it be expressly stated in its own policy provision or implied from the wording of other post-loss obligation provisions, it is almost universally agreed that an insured has a duty to mitigate their damages after a loss.
Continue Reading Conflicting Policy Provisions Regarding the Duty to Mitigate in Business Interruption Claims