Good Faith Claims Handling

In 2007, a law became effective in Maryland that, for the first time, permitted insureds to sue their insurers for failing to act in good faith in settling their first party claims under a property insurance policy. The cause of action, which is found in Maryland Code § 3-1701, applies in actions to determine whether coverage exists under the relevant insurance policy, and also in actions to determine the extent to which the insured is entitled to receive payment from the insurer for a covered loss.
Continue Reading Insurance Bad Faith in Maryland: Part 1

Insurance Bulletins are often overlooked gems protecting policyholders. Various departments of insurance regularly issue bulletins to Insurance companies regarding claims handling. The Arkansas Department of Insurance issued a bulletin last week indicating insurers should stop denying windstorm and hail damage claims when there is a valid reason by the policyholder not to have timely reported the loss.
Continue Reading Should Late Notice of Windstorm and Hail Claims Be a Valid Defense When the Insurer Is Not Prejudiced?

Similar to other states, Arizona has adopted unfair claims settlement practices statutes and regulations. While one cannot a bring a private cause of action under the Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act1 and its companion regulations, they lay out specific standards for insurers to promptly investigate and process claims.
Continue Reading Arizona Claims Handling Guidelines at a Glance

Oklahoma insurance law recognizes that insurance companies have a good faith duty to their customers. Merlin Law Group attorneys in Oklahoma work on what are called “bad faith” cases all the time. These cases should be called “lack of good faith” cases because there is no proof requirement that somebody was bad–just that they were not acting in the utmost of good faith and fair dealing.
Continue Reading Wrongful Denial or Delay by Your Insurance Company in Oklahoma? Insurance Companies Have Good Faith Obligations and Can Be Held Accountable

The Tampa Bay Times published an article yesterday which should be of concern to all policyholders. Florida’s elected official who then overseas the Department of Financial Services is calling for a 30-day time period for policyholders to cancel public adjusting contracts.
Continue Reading Attacking Those That Help Policyholders Rebuild, Make Claims, and Battle Insurance Companies

When an insurance company issues a policy, it is promising to adjust claims with the same care and diligence it would use if it were their own claim.1 Florida provides that insurers owe “a duty to their insureds to refrain from acting solely on the basis of their own interest in settlement.”2 In essence, the insurance company owe a duty to its insureds to abide by the golden rule; do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Continue Reading Insurance Company’s Golden Rule: Treat Every Claim As If It Were Your Own

Jeff Raizner, Steve Badger and Chip Merlin at IAUA San Antonio Conference

Speaking at the IAUA Conference in San Antonio yesterday, I suggested that every insurance company should be demanding from their field adjusters and claims managers that they deal with their customers who ask these four questions:
Continue Reading Policyholders—-What Are the Four Questions Every Insurance Adjuster Should Be Asked and Then Required To Answer?

Crawford has acknowledged that the insurance industry it serves is not living up to its good faith claims obligation in a recent publication. Here is the confession about the 2017 Hurricane season which it reported in Today’s Large & Complex Claims Landscape: Preparing for the Perfect Storm:

To adequately respond to today’s evolving catastrophe landscape, insurers need to be prepared with contingency plans for their contingency plans to make sure the “perfect storm” of 2017 doesn’t happen again. Through streamlined, coordinated team response, expert scenario planning and the vast knowledgebase of worldwide claims expertise, insurers can rest easy knowing they’re getting the best possible resources working on the frontlines of catastrophe.


Continue Reading Insurance Claim Payment Delay Following Expected Disasters is Epidemic

Hurricane season 2019 is officially underway, and so now is the time to take action and prepare before a possible hurricane threat. It’s imperative that policyholders understand the coverage and rights provided under their insurance policy. Therefore, one of the first things a policyholder should do is request a copy of their insurance policy now and confirm that they have the coverages provided are correct and appropriate for the type of property or interest being insured. Additionally, the policyholders should have a good understanding of the exclusions provided under their insurance policy, in other words, what is not covered under their policy if they suffer a hurricane loss.
Continue Reading Puerto Rico: Guide To Unfair Settlement Acts By Insurers During The Adjustment Of Claims

Ha iniciado la nueva temporada de Huracanes 2019, y son muchos los preparativos que debemos llevar acabo ante la posible amenaza de un huracán. Es imperativo que los asegurados entiendan la cobertura y los derechos bajo su Póliza de Seguros. En primer lugar, cada asegurado debe solicitar una copia de su póliza de seguros y confirmar que las coberturas sean las correctas según su propiedad o interés en asegurar. Además, el asegurado debe entender cuáles son las exclusiones bajo su póliza de seguros si sufre daños a causa de un huracán, en otras palabras, lo que no está cubierto bajo su póliza.
Continue Reading Puerto Rico: Guía De Las Prácticas Desleales Por Aseguradoras Durante El Ajuste De Reclamaciones