Back on March 29, 2019, every attorney in the Merlin Law Group Red Bank office attended the “Protection Gap in Property Insurance” seminar that was hosted by Professor Jay M. Feinman and held at Rutgers law school. This was the first time that I had observed Mr. Feinman speak on issues pertaining to insurance and I ended up buying one of his books, Delay, Deny, Defend, after the seminar.
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Every state has laws that prohibit unfair, discriminatory, or deceptive insurance practices. These regulations are normally encompassed as statutes or regulations enacted to protect insurance consumers. Pennsylvania has a statute enacted called the “Unfair Insurance Practices Act,”1 This law gives the consumer the right to file complaints against their insurance company to be investigated by the Insurance Department. However, this statute specifically prohibits a private cause of action against insurance companies by the public.
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Current Justices of the Texas Supreme Court

The Texas Supreme Court recently answered the question above in two cases with different results depending on what type of insurance code violations the insured is alleging. The court addressed Texas Insurance Code chapter 542 violations (often called prompt payment of claims) in Barbara Technologies Corporation v. State Farm Lloyds.1
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Insurance companies are supposed to have insurance adjusters that are empathetic, professional and ethical when dealing with policyholders and claimants. The first chapter in the insurance treatise, Claims Handling Principles and Practices, has multiple lessons about these obligations. Claims adjusters should not make policyholders scream out of frustration about the service you receive.
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It is important for policyholders to know and understand the steps they must complete before filing a complaint when an insurance claim has been delayed, denied and bad treated by an insurance company. As mentioned in a previous post, (please see my blog on this topic published on December 5, 2018: Puerto Rico Approves Amendments to the Insurance Code to Protect Policyholders and Improve Claim Handling Procedures), Puerto Rico’s Insurance Commissioner has established new requirements for the process of filing a complaint against an insurance company when it has delayed, denied, and treated their insured badly.
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Hurricane season 2019 is officially underway, and so now is the time to take action and prepare before a possible hurricane threat. It’s imperative that policyholders understand the coverage and rights provided under their insurance policy. Therefore, one of the first things a policyholder should do is request a copy of their insurance policy now and confirm that they have the coverages provided are correct and appropriate for the type of property or interest being insured. Additionally, the policyholders should have a good understanding of the exclusions provided under their insurance policy, in other words, what is not covered under their policy if they suffer a hurricane loss.
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Ha iniciado la nueva temporada de Huracanes 2019, y son muchos los preparativos que debemos llevar acabo ante la posible amenaza de un huracán. Es imperativo que los asegurados entiendan la cobertura y los derechos bajo su Póliza de Seguros. En primer lugar, cada asegurado debe solicitar una copia de su póliza de seguros y confirmar que las coberturas sean las correctas según su propiedad o interés en asegurar. Además, el asegurado debe entender cuáles son las exclusiones bajo su póliza de seguros si sufre daños a causa de un huracán, en otras palabras, lo que no está cubierto bajo su póliza.
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Derek Chaiken

Derek Chaiken is in the Merlin Law Group Los Angeles office. He is a Los Angeles Dodger fan and a student of drone usage during the property insurance claim process. Drones are no longer science fiction, but a fairly common part of modern property insurance claims adjustment. With stronger cameras and other advanced technical measuring devises, drone usage is an efficient tool all property insurance adjusters should use during the adjustment process.
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The California Fair Claims Settlement Practices Act imposes multiple deadlines to respond and report to insureds during a claim adjustment. Knowing and understanding an insurer’s reporting duties and deadlines can speed up the adjustment and payment of a claim. Although a failure to meet a deadline by a day or two may not, in and of itself, constitute bad faith, failing to respond to an insured or repeated failure to meet deadlines is evidence of an insurer’s poor conduct and may be evidence of bad faith.
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