The insurance-to-value questions and concerns of underinsurance come up every time an insurance agent selling property insurance makes an application or oversees a renewal of a property insurance policy. Bill Wilson is an experienced insurance agent and insurance agent educator. When he talks insurance, those of us in the insurance business should listen.
Continue Reading The Underinsurance Gap: Who Is Truly in a Better Situation To Determine the Full Amount of Property Insurance Required on a Structure?

The recent Colorado wildfires have highlighted a countrywide claims issue for residential homeowners having total losses—most are far underinsured. Insurance agent commentator Bill Wilson recently published a blog on the topic: Another Cautionary Tale of Underinsurance. While there are myriad reasons for this epidemic of homes being underinsured to replacement value, Wilson’s post noted in part:

One would think that, among the parties involved in the insurance process – insureds, insurer, and if an agent was involved, the agent – someone would have questioned the large gap between purchase price and homeowners Coverage A limit.

The insurer is identified in the story and my first thought was that the insurer needs to reimagine their ‘You only pay for what you need’ sales pitch. Maybe, ‘We only pay for what you buy’ or ‘You only pay for what you mistakenly bought.’


Continue Reading The Wildfire Underinsurance Gap

United Policyholders (“UP”), a non-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to be a trustworthy and useful information resource and a respected voice for consumers of all types of insurance in all 50 states, launched its national Restoring the Insurance Safety Net Coalition (RISC) initiative in 2020. The purpose of this initiative is to reverse the trend of insurance policy re-writes that are shrinking coverage for damage to homes. One of its stated approaches is to identify wording that is causing protection gaps. I encourage you to read more about the initiative at uphelp.org/risc.
Continue Reading Beware of Avoidable Coverage Gaps with California FAIR Plan Companion Endorsements

I was appointed by the court as the liaison coverage counsel for the putative class members in the collapse of the Champlain Towers South. This week, a team of extraordinarily skilled lawyers that I have been working with filed an amended complaint explaining how we currently believe this catastrophe happened. It is a very sad matter. It is hard to be witness to the horrible aftermath the victims and their families live with.
Continue Reading The Champlain Towers Collapse Catastrophe and Purchasing the Right Insurance

United Policyholders is the one organization that policyholders can count on to stand up and comment on what insurance companies are trying to push through departments of insurance. United Policyholders Sandy Watts and I will be presenting today about insurance gaps created in new language found in insurance policies. One policy form we will be talking about is the one State Farm is pushing for approval in the California Department of Insurance.
Continue Reading State Farm New Policy Filing In California Should Be Concerning To All In the Property Insurance Industry—An Example Is the New Appraisal Language

The Big I calls the “where you reside” language found in ISO standard language the “catastrophic homeowners policy exclusion.”1 On its website, it states:
Continue Reading “Residence Premises” and “Where You Reside” Insurance Coverage Gaps—The Killer Exclusion That Is Not Listed As An Exclusion: Part Two

A number of questions posed by coverage practitioners recently spiked about residency requirements found in the vast majority of standard homeowners forms. The spike and questions were the result of a particular Order denying a summary judgement.1 The case is still pending in Florida with trial set August 2, 2021. While that case is relatively new, the policy language which acts as a killer exclusion causing a hidden insurance coverage gap has been a topic of great controversy in the insurance industry for well over a decade. An article was published in an agents’ education journal twenty years ago about the “where you reside” wording found in homeowners insurance policies.
Continue Reading “Residence Premises” and “Where You Reside” Insurance Coverage Gaps—The Killer Exclusion That Is Not Listed As An Exclusion: Part One

A few years ago, my wife gave me a watch for my birthday. It is a simple modest three-hand Bulova and I was ecstatic. It was the best gift I ever received. It was slim and elegant and would be a perfect addition to my attire in my budding legal career. What I didn’t know then is how consumed by the world of watches I would become. I was so intrigued by that little watch that within the coming years I would buy and trade several watches from Tag Heuer to the famous Swiss brand with the 5-pointed crown. Then arose the problem, suddenly I had a few uninsured pieces of jewelry.
Continue Reading Watch Your Coverage

The comments, posts, and articles about whether property insurance coverage benefits will exist are all over the place on the internet. An example of two opposing views come from Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner versus the advice from United Policyholders.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update—United Policyholders Says Do Not Give Up While Georgia Insurance Commissioner Suggests Do Not Waste Your Time