A multibillion-dollar industry has developed around insurance company claims vendors. Engineering and consulting firms doing work for the insurance industry are now their own big-dollar industry. There is plenty of competition among these “consultants” willing to please and keep insurance company accounts. While the insurance adjusters and insurance companies are subject to regulation, most of these vendors answer to nobody other than the insurance claims departments. Those claims departments are now dependent upon them for reports and opinions about every aspect of a property insurance loss.

Continue Reading Can Policyholders Trust Insurance Company Retained Experts?

A whopping bad faith $112 Million punitive damage verdict in an Indiana federal court last week appears to be the result of insurers trying to “flip-flop” the policyholder’s expert consultant.1 The trial court noted the issue, denying the insurers’ motion for summary judgment of the bad faith action:  

Continue Reading Whopping Bad Faith Verdict Caused By Insurers Hiring the Policyholder’s Expert

The Rocky Mountain Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (RMAPIA) held one of the most informative public adjuster meetings I have ever attended. Kaye Beneke (pictured above) has been the Executive Director. She is retiring but leaving RMAPIA in great shape. 

Continue Reading Is There a Legitimate Reason to Send Deductible Information to Outside Vendors and Experts Who Will Determine the Cause and Amount of Damage?

Reading cases and learning hard lessons where other attorneys lose cases is a lot cheaper than me losing cases. So, I study the losing cases as much as the winning ones. A recent losing case has one obvious lesson and a secondary lesson worthy of remembering when faced with the situation. 

Continue Reading Turn Over Records Demanded and Hire Accounting Experts for Economic Damages

Hurricanes and windstorms place significant stress on windows and doors. These types of damages are easy to prove if something smashes through them or they fail so badly that they are completely pulled away from the structure. Many policyholders have overlooked this aspect of a hurricane loss because they do not realize how significant wind speeds permanently change the windows and doors. Measurements and analysis by experts are often required to determine if, and the degree of, the damage to windows and doors that has occurred as a result of a hurricane.
Continue Reading Hurricane Damage to Windows and Doors? Hire the Right Experts and Attorneys Who Know How to Prove the Damage

Patrick Moffett was at the First Party Claims Conference in Marina Del Rey this week. Another speaker, Matt Blumkin, mentioned Moffett’s update in 2020 of a paper, Wildfire Impact Assessments Completed by an Industrial Hygienist and Other Qualified Experts. Those handling wildfire insurance claims should read and study.
Continue Reading Wildfire Insurance Claims—Considerations From An Expert

The answers are obviously “no.” I was reading a recent Colorado case1 where these questions popped into my head. A condominium hired a local roofer, DiRito Roofing & Claims, to handle the insurance hailstorm claim and fix the roof. The insurer won the case in part because the alleged expert roofing company was disqualified from testifying after claiming to offer insurance claims help in addition to fixing the roof.
Continue Reading Should You Hire an Attorney to Fix Your Roof? Should You Hire a Roofer to Argue Your Roof Insurance Claim in Court?

Not every insurance claim requires expert involvement. However, when a dispute arises, identifying and retaining an expert can be invaluable, not only for final resolution but in keeping a claim open and alive. For example, in Vargas v. State Farm General Insurance Company,1 the Central District of California issued an order denying State Farm’s motion for summary judgment, relying on the well-reasoned and succinctly stated opinions of Plaintiff’s expert, Sandra Watts.
Continue Reading Expert Involvement in a Dispute Can Be Beneficial at Every Mile Marker of the Claim Resolution Marathon