In 1990, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners adopted a new section to its model regulations relating to unfair property claims.1

Section 9 of the model regulation provides:2

A. When the policy provides for the adjustment and settlement of first-party losses based on replacement cost, the following shall apply:

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(2) When a loss requires replacement of items and the replaced items do not match in quality, color or size, the insurer shall replace all such items in the area so as to conform to a reasonably uniform appearance. This applies to interior and exterior losses. The insured shall not bear any cost over the applicable deductible, if any.
Continue Reading Matching Protections for Hurricane Irma Claims in Florida

Hurricane Harvey brought unprecedented flooding and destruction to Texas. Three churches have sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) seeking the ability to be awarded disaster relief grants available to other non-profit entities. In Harvest Family Church v. FEMA, three Texas churches damaged by Harvey are taking on a FEMA policy that does not allow them to receive FEMA money simply because they are religious houses of worship.
Continue Reading FEMA Relief for the Houses of Worship that Provide Hurricane Relief?

We recently received a requested blog topic for the following:

FL Value Policy Law as it would apply with Hurricane Irma. If we have an insured with a Citizens policy with Cov A limit of $200,000 and our repair estimate is $180,000 should the value policy law be applied?

Answer: It depends. (I’m a lawyer, of course this is my answer!)
Continue Reading Florida Valued Policy Law & Hurricane Irma

Florida’s Third District of Appeal recently confirmed that insurance carriers are initially obligated to pay the true amount of the actual cash value (“ACV”), not just the insurance company’s estimate of the ACV.1 This obligation exists regardless of whether policyholders intend to use the money to make repairs to their home. The court also confirmed that insurance carriers are required to pay additional amounts up to replacement value only as work is performed and repair expenses are incurred.
Continue Reading Hurricane Irma and Actual Cash Value in Florida

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the two-catastrophic category five hurricanes that struck the U.S.V.I. in the space of twelve days, many residents are still in survival mode as they deal with the lingering psychological and physical damage. As the resilient Virgin Islanders continue to rebuild, the next ordeal for those affected will entail dealing with their insurance company regarding the damage to their homes and businesses. Many, including myself, can still vividly recall the failures of prior insurers following Hurricanes Hugo (1989) and Marilyn (1995) and the rippling economic effect that followed. Depending on the extent of damages, insureds may want to consider hiring a licensed and experienced public insurance adjuster to represent their interests.1
Continue Reading Insurance Bad Faith in the Virgin Islands

With the devastating strength and power these hurricanes were bringing, the last thing on anyone’s mind was these hurricanes throwing additional blows to areas that seemed outside of their “cone.” However, those of us that went through Hurricanes Harvey and Irma (and even those watching from areas outside those directly affected) recall all the news stations announcing tornado watches and warnings for over 24-hours with each storm. I recall the meteorologists’ predictions of which storm cells in the bands of these hurricanes had rotation and were producing tornados.
Continue Reading Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Produced Tornados and Tornadic Activity Across Texas and Florida