The Colorado Division of Insurance got an earful from Colorado policyholders dealing with insurance claim problems at a virtual town hall meeting last night. The event, Insurance Town Hall – Partial Losses in the Boulder Fires & Straight Line Winds, had panelists discussing the issues of soot, ash, and char claims following the recent Marshall Fire. Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway was obviously frustrated hearing how Coloradans are being treated with their claims. He stated that “his blood pressure was going up” and that he intended to call Liberty Mutual and Travelers. The event was recorded and will be on the Division’s website.
Continue Reading Soot, Ash, and Char Claims Are Hot Topic At Colorado Insurance Commission Virtual Town Hall Meeting

So, I have been in the property insurance claims business as an attorney for 16 years. During my time as a policyholder attorney advocate, I have helped thousands of claimants navigate the claims process that I have always described as a gauntlet.
Continue Reading Fire Loss At My Home Makes My Eyes Wide Open About The Emotions Our Clients Feel During The Claims Process—Empathy Through Agony

In a recent case,1 a federal appeals court addressed the issue of whether fire damage to a vacant dwelling from an arsonist was considered distinct from vandalism, so as to not implicate an exclusion within a homeowners insurance policy. In that case, Wells Fargo Bank owned an insurance policy on an abandoned house that an arsonist set ablaze. The insured sued its insurer after the insurer refused to indemnify the insured for the loss, relying on a policy provision exclusion for damage caused by “vandalism or malicious mischief” after the property had been vacant for more than thirty consecutive days.
Continue Reading Arson of Vacant House: Covered Fire Loss or Excluded Vandalism?

Last month, I spoke at the First Party Claims Conference in Rhode Island on the topic of the Standard Fire Insurance Policy, which 165-line form provides coverage for direct loss by fire and lightning.1 My presentation presumed that everyone knows what a fire is, myself included. I changed my mind though after reading the Connecticut federal district court’s recent opinion in National Liability & Fire Insurance Company v. Jablonowski.2
Continue Reading What Is A Fire?

Last week, Richard Tutwiler of Tutwiler and Associates, Matthew Garnett of Vernis and Bowling, Heather Filegar of Southern Healthy Homes, and I presented at the 2018 Windstorm Insurance Conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel.

Rick Tutwiler who will be the President of the Windstorm Insurance Network in 2020, wanted to expand the course offering presented this year, so we proposed a topic that had not been presented in the past: Where Wind Meets Fire: Interesting Issues in Claims Where the Wind Brings Fire, Ash, Smoke, Soot and Ash to Other Properties.
Continue Reading Where Wind Meets Fire – Wildfire

Fires, and especially the recent California wildfires, are going to raise questions related to the long-term impact of fire, smoke, and the effects of smoke particulates on electrical gadgets, computers, and apparatus. We live in a day when computers and small computer chips are in virtually everything electrical or mechanical. It is an obvious question after a fire whether the smoke causes these fine electrical machines and gadgets to break down in the long or short term.
Continue Reading Does Smoke Damage Electrical Gadgets, Computers or Apparatus?

Frying the turkey for Thanksgiving has become increasingly popular over other, more traditional, turkey-cooking methods. Are you considering frying your turkey bird for this upcoming Thanksgiving meal? If so, you may also want to consider the risks associated with this trending and flavorful frying technique.
Continue Reading Fry Your Bird, Not Your Castle