Hurricane Season will soon come to its end and our attention will shift to other potential risks from nature. For many policyholders in our northern states, heavy snowstorms could be the next threat. That’s why I dedicate this blog to Alaska, known for its heavy snows or blizzards, and for earthquakes, tsunamis, forest fires, avalanches, flooding, volcanic eruptions, and landslides. These are some of the reasons why Alaska homeowner insurance policies should at least include coverage for damages done to their dwelling by fire, earthquakes and frozen pipes.
Continue Reading Claim Handling Requirements by State – Alaska

Chip Merlin and April Hall

Insurance companies spend time training their insurance adjusters. Training is a very important. It sets the tone and culture of how the claims department functions. Training can be ethical and professional as discussed by Ken Brownlee in Insurance Companies Must Perform in Good Faith Regardless of Their Customer’s Imperfect Actions. It can also lead into bizarre scenarios as exampled by the “Jewish Lawyers List” in Hindin v. State Farm – The Landmark Claims Practice Case That Few Know About Finally Ends.
Continue Reading Insurance Company Adjuster Training Scripts and Role Paying

Historically September is one of the most active months during hurricane season. Policyholders should be prepared and informed before, during and after a hurricane. As I write this blog, many in South Carolina are experiencing the force of Hurricane Florence and while for some, the hurricane will end the next day, for others the following morning will be the beginning of a long process of recovery, from claiming damages to their insurance company to work on all repairs needed on their residential or commercial properties.
Continue Reading Claim Handling Requirements by State – South Carolina

Property insurance is purchased to help protect an insured with the consequences of a natural disaster or serious storm. Far too often we hear from confused policyholders when their insurance carrier attempts to delay payment of a valid covered claim or unreasonably delays the payment of covered benefits. Fortunately, Wyoming provides several legal avenues to recover those improperly denied or delayed benefits.
Continue Reading Wyoming Denied or Delayed Property Damage Claims

One of the most offensive examples of insurance company claims managers losing their ethical way is when they demand that their insureds risk life and limb to immediately investigate their roofs after a hail storm. Most insurance policies require “prompt notice” of loss. But, does the insurance company ever warn its customers they must risk their lives to climb on their roofs or pay money for somebody else after every hail storm?
Continue Reading Prompt Notice of Hail Damage—What is It? Why Do Insurers Fetch Their Lawyers to Claim Non-Compliance? Should Insurers Expect Their Insureds To Dangerously Climb Roofs When OSHA Regulations Prevent Their Own Adjusters From Doing the Same?

Last month, a New York Supreme Court affirmed that insurance companies are subject to that state’s consumer protection law, General Business Law § 349. In 37 West 24th Street, LLC v. Seneca Insurance Company, Inc., the trial court denied Seneca Insurance Company’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim under that statute.1
Continue Reading Bad Faith Claim Investigation May Subject Insurance Company to Private Remedies Under Consumer Protection Law

Washington State is not only known as the “Evergreen State” and the only state named after a United States President, but it is also the home of many innovative Internet companies and where the biggest coffee chain in the world was founded: Starbucks. Besides these facts it is also important to know how a claim should be handled in Washington.
Continue Reading Claim Handling Requirements by State – Washington