Additional living expenses can create a number of questions about what items of expanse can be claimed following a loss. FC&S is a publication I encourage those in the claims business to subscribe. While reading the Question and Answer section of the FC&S Coverage Insider, the following additional living expense coverage question was posed:

Our insured has an ISO HO 3 policy, 1991 edition, and recently suffered a fire loss. Coverage for her home and contents is not at issue; however, she has had to relocate to a motel until restoration of her home is complete. Prior to the loss, she stored some of her personal property in half of her two-car garage. Because of the fire, she can no longer use this space until repairs have been completed.

The insurance company is questioning two items under additional living expense—the cost to rent a storage space, and the cost to dry clean the clothing she took with her.

We think this is additional living expense, and should be covered. What is your opinion?


Continue Reading Storage Space and Dry Cleaning—Can These Be Considered Additional Living Expenses Under A Homeowners Policy?

Are you covered if your pet cat causes a CATastrophe to your property? I was posed this question after being referred to an article on celebrity Frankie Muniz who found his home “flooded with 3 feet of water because his cat had accidentally turned on the faucet while he was away at his uncle’s funeral.” That is a strange loss.
Continue Reading A CATastrophe! Is Damage Caused By Pets Covered?

Most judges and insurance regulators have never worked in property insurance claims departments. For that matter, few insurance attorneys have either (Merlin Law Group’s Javier Delgado worked his way through school as an independent adjuster). But, when I was starting out, an older and experienced GAB adjuster told me they never depreciated labor and the deprecation of repairs rarely occurred.
Continue Reading Few Judges and Insurance Regulators Worked in Property Claims: Understanding New Depreciation Rulings

Judges often make erroneous decisions based on the information presented and argued to them by the attorneys selected by the parties. I was thinking about this while writing my post, Experts Regarding Causation Can Be More Important Than Witnesses — or, Don’t Believe Your Lying Eyes When Your Insurance Company Hires an Expert.
Continue Reading Cracks Caused by Construction Operations May Be Covered

A public adjuster called with a common situation—a property loss occurred during repair and the insurance company had initially denied the claim, saying that the loss was from defective construction. The smart public adjuster thought the property damage caused in part by defective construction could lead to coverage under an ensuing loss provision. The policyholder did not want to get bogged down in years of possible litigation with its repair contractor.
Continue Reading Defective Construction and Ensuing Loss Provisions

Many commercial property owners and investors hit by Hurricane Matthew may insure multiple buildings under one policy. Depending on the insurance coverage form, one or multiple deductibles may apply. I was thinking about this while reading a recent case indicating that multiple deductibles applied.1


Continue Reading How Many Deductibles for Multiple Loss Locations–Using FC&S to Help Judges Make the Correct Decision

Borrowing a quote from Chip Merlin’s post, Dead Bodies–Are They a Covered Peril?:

Some of the most unnerving claims an adjuster experiences are those concerning dead bodies, and we have had many recent questions regarding the deceased and what to do with them. Particularly, is there coverage under the homeowner’s policy for clean up for both the dwelling and personal property? Are dead bodies’ pollutants? And what about self inflicted situations; are they excluded as intentional acts?

The quote above came from Christine Barlow, a CPCU and assistant editor of the FC&S Bulletin many years ago.


Continue Reading Property Damage Caused by a Dead Body: Court Says Clean-up Company can be Paid and Assignment of Benefits Valid

Insurance defense attorneys often argue coverage does not exist for losses the insurance industry routinely pays and recognizes as covered. I believe Ergas v. Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Company,1 which I discussed yesterday in Chipped Tile Claims Get Marred, misconstrues longstanding insurance contract interpretation. Hopefully, the policyholders’ attorneys file a motion for rehearing, because the judges got it wrong and the insurance industry knows it.


Continue Reading Insurance Industry Knows Chipped Tile Case Wrongly Decided