Many Policyholders in Puerto Rico are concerned about the notifications of non-renewal or cancellations they received after Hurricane Maria claims. This is a matter that affects both residential and commercial Policyholders. The process of obtaining insurance coverage from a different insurance company can be even more difficult when repairs related to a prior claim have not been completed.
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After Hurricane Michael, on October 15, 2018, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued an Emergency Order No. 234790-18-EO, that affected insurers writing insurance in the following counties affected by Hurricane Michael: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington Counties.
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In August, I wrote a blog post about an insurer who had violated section 143.17a(a) of the Illinois Insurance Code by failing to provide adequate notice of their intention to non-renew a policy. As a result of its failure to timely provide notice of the intent to non-renew, the insurer was required to renew the expiring policy under the same terms and conditions for an additional year. Two days after issuing the renewal policy, the insurer issued a Notice of Cancellation citing the reason for the cancellation as “Underwriting Reasons: Measurable increase in risk.” This notice provided more than 60 days’ notice.
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All too often following a loss, insureds are a faced with another shock when they open their mail and find a notification that the insurance company is not renewing their policy at the end of their existing policy term. Recently my colleague Edward Eshoo and I represented a policyholder facing this very situation. The insured was already fighting the insurance company for benefits under the policy and now in the midst of a loss was being told that at the end of the current policy period the insurance company would not be renewing the policy. While insurance companies have the right to non-renew or cancel coverage, there are strict requirements governing when how and when they may do so.


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One of the biggest complaints I hear from homeowners after suffering a property insurance loss emerges out of the insurer’s “cancellation” or failure to renew the policy after the loss occurs. After suffering a loss, the thought of trying to get new insurance while the loss has not been completely resolved is a devastating and stressful blow to an insured. Purchasing new insurance while a loss has not been fully remediated and repaired is expensive and difficult.


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