The title to this post would almost certainly be answered “no” by any insurance regulator or consumer advocate. But Liberty Mutual Insurance Company argues this is exactly what it can do with no consequence because the fraudulent and deceptive statements in the declarations should have been found by the policyholder reading the fine print in the policy endorsement—which is anything other than an enhanced product.
Continue Reading Can Insurance Companies Send Declaration Pages Which Indicate Enhanced Coverage Yet Deliver Diminished Coverage In The Fine Print In The Back of Endorsements?

Business owners and owners of commercial property should not buy Farmers Insurance. Virtually every insurance company in the United States considers the entire cost of restoration right away when making payments, including at actual cash value—except Farmers Insurance. Farmers Insurance has declared war on its own customers and independent restoration contractors.
Continue Reading Farmers Insurance Sells Substandard Commercial Policy and Business Owners Should Not Purchase Farmers Insurance

We see many commercial insurance claims denied because the insured did not maintain a particular “protective safeguard” required by the policy. For example, a policy may require burglar alarms, and exclude coverage for theft if alarms are not working at the time of a loss. Or, a policy may require fire sprinklers, and exclude coverage for fire loss if the property does not have any. Some provisions may even allow the insurer to deny coverage if the insured failed to have a contract in place for regular service of the protective safeguard, something often seen for Ansul systems in restaurants. Courts across the country have almost uniformly upheld the validity of these endorsements.1
Continue Reading Protective Safeguards Endorsements: Does Your Policy Have One?

Back in January 2017, I blogged about the landmark case of Pichel v. Dryden Mutual Insurance Company,1 where New York’s Third Department ruled that the insurance policy contained an ambiguity when differentiating between loss caused by backup to a sewer or drain and a loss caused by backup to an internal plumbing system.
Continue Reading Court Rules Sewer Backup Clause Does Not Include Internal Plumbing

A homeowner’s policy will, no doubt, help you sleep better at night. It’s a new year after all – everyone should read their insurance policy. But if you have not read your policy lately, or ever, then you may have a rude awaking when a sudden loss is not covered and leaves you financially devasted. Below are some of the more typical endorsements you may need or want.
Continue Reading Read Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy – You May Need More Insurance

With frigid temperatures setting in here in the Northeast and other parts of the country, it is an ideal time for insureds to ensure they are compliant with the protective safeguards1 endorsement that may be attached to their commercial policies.
Continue Reading “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”…But Make Sure You Don’t Get Burned After a Loss By Failing To Comply With Your Policy’s Protective Safeguards Endorsement

The State of Colorado has always been an attractive destination for people who enjoy the outdoors. Now more than ever, it seems people are choosing Colorado not just for a winter getaway, but as a place to call home. As a result of the market pressure that the ever-increasing population has caused, property values have skyrocketed in the Rockies. For homeowners that means two things: 1) your home is likely worth a lot more than when you purchased it; and 2) you could be woefully underinsured.
Continue Reading Keeping Up with Inflation: Does Your Home Have Sufficient Insurance Coverage?

Certain types of water damage are likely to fall under a water exclusion clause such as damage caused by flood, tsunami, standing water, groundwater and drain or sewage backup. Despite these categories, disputes often arise whether damages caused by water are covered under the standard homeowner’s policy. The type of water damage that may be covered depends on the source of loss, the policy, and if the water loss is accidental and sudden or gradual.
Continue Reading Is Duct Work Considered Part of a Home’s Air Conditioning “System”?