Good Faith Claims Handling

Merlin Law Group attorney Drew Houghton brought an article, Discovery of Insurer Employee Incentive Plans: Rewarding Employees For Paying Insurance Claimants Less, to my attention. It was written by longtime colleagues Mike Abourezk and Marialee Neighbours. Their article is important and raises one of the fundamental ethical questions of claims management: The role of the claims professional regarding company profit. While insurance companies need to be profitable in the long run, I have yet to see a claims goal that rewards claims managers for making certain that the customer has not had benefits missed and not paid after a loss.
Continue Reading Thoughts On Claims Incentive Goals—Where Is the Goal To Not Overlook All Damages?

Insurance company claims management hates to have outside critical analysis over its handling of property insurance claims. Whether by regulators through market conduct examinations or discovery in claims practices cases by their own customers, the modern trend is to object to turning over these internal documents on every conceivable ground, including “trade secrets.” This has been noted numerous times in this blog, including in Trade Secrets: Dynamite Discovery Decisions, Part 11, where we noted:
Continue Reading Insurance Company Internal Claims Management Documents Should Demonstrate Good Faith Claims Processes

The tragic tornadoes ripping through Kentucky and the Midwest this weekend will result in significant insurance claims. Policyholders are in need of immediate adjustment and payments of money to help soften the blow. Kentucky has a very strong public policy for good faith claims treatment which is found in its Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act (USCPA).1
Continue Reading Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act

Louisiana insurance law is very different from other states. Louisiana insurance bad faith law is different, makes meaningful definitions about what good faith conduct is expected, and makes insurers accountable for good faith claims treatment when hurricanes damage Louisiana policyholders. Policyholders who have been underpaid or delayed payment should get legal advice about their valuable legal rights. You could lose out on monies owed if you fail to speak with legal counsel and have been subjected to low-ball and slow-paying property insurance companies.
Continue Reading Louisiana Policyholders Deserve Good Faith Claims Treatment—Understanding Louisiana Hurricane Claim Bad Faith Law

The genesis for this post is a jury trial that Merlin Law Group attorneys Mike Duffy, Jon Bukowski, and Larry Bache recently won. Jon Bukowski sent me a transcript of the closing arguments with a comment about Mike Duffy’s closing being “the best.”
Continue Reading Insurance Company Lawyer Tells Jury Insurance Companies Cannot Be Expected to Know Building Codes

Hurricane Ida claims in Louisiana are underway. Following Hurricane Laura, a number of Louisiana public adjusters complained about many insurance companies not speaking with them and simply ignoring their own policyholder customers. All adjuster and claims managers should read and follow a February 26, 2021, Bulletin1 from Louisiana’s insurance commissioner about what is expected of them regarding good faith claims handling and working cooperatively to help Louisiana policyholders.
Continue Reading Louisiana Policyholders Deserve Good Faith Treatment – Insurance Companies Cannot Ignore Public Adjusters and Should Communicate with Policyholders

Mississippi unfair claims practice law and bad faith actions are unique. Following Hurricane Katrina, I took the Mississippi Bar and represented hundreds of Mississippi businesses and residents with insurance disputes arising from Hurricane Katina. I was honored to represent the grandparents of my co-author in this blog post. As a kid, I lived for three years in Waveland, Mississippi. Merlin Law Group is still being retained on property insurance disputes in Mississippi. Since her interest in property insurance law started with our firm’s work in Mississippi, I look forward to working with Kathryn on those cases after she gets the results from her bar examination.
Continue Reading Understanding Mississippi Unfair Claims Practice and Bad Faith Cases Based on Delay