With many Hurricane Maria claims still in litigation, courts are beginning to apply the Puerto Rico Supreme Court’s recent jurisprudence and making insurers pay prior adjusted property damage when not in controversy. The court of first instance of Bayamon, recently applied this new jurisprudence in, Consejo de Titulares del Condominio Lago Vista II v. MAPFRE Praico Insurance Company,1 in which the Board of Directors of Condominium Lago Vista II filed a complaint against MAPFRE requesting the payment for the already adjusted property damages caused by Hurricane Maria. The court ruled in favor of the Condominium and ordered MAPFRE to pay the amount of $269,007.82.
Continue Reading Puerto Rico Court Grants Partial Summary Judgment and Orders Insurer to Pay Prior Adjusted Property Damages Caused By Hurricane Maria

“MAPFRE is not paying property insurance claims and is threatening the safety of Puerto Ricans,” was the message public adjuster Jack Hanks noted in a CBS news report. Jack Hanks and David Skipton held a seminar in Tampa earlier this spring for public adjusters just starting out in the public adjusting business. Hanks is an excellent speaker and educator as one can tell from the news story.
Continue Reading CBS News Report—Public Adjuster Calls Out MAPFRE For Not Paying Puerto Rico Hurricane Claims

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria caused catastrophes through its passing by Puerto Rico. As mentioned in past blogs,1 many policyholders filed their insurance claims and as soon as they received their response from the carrier along with a check, they proceeded to deposit the check unaware that even if they did not agree with the amounts, these were considered “total and final” payments and therefore, a waiver to their right to claim. Since then, as I have discussed on other blog posts, many policyholders have battled in court as to the application of accord & satisfaction doctrine to their claims.2
Continue Reading Accord & Satisfaction: Puerto Rico Supreme Court Rules for Policyholder in Hurricane Maria Claim

As discussed in my previous blog post, Should an Insurance Company Pay Adjustable Claim Amounts Not in Controversy While Another Amount Is Still In Dispute?, the payment of undisputed amounts is an issue that is frequently being argued in Puerto Rico courts for Hurricane Maria claims. As recent as this week (May 12, 2021) the First Instance Court of Carolina, Puerto Rico, granted a Partial Summary Judgement and ordered the carrier to pay the adjustable amounts not in controversy.
Continue Reading Another Win for Adjustable Claim Amounts Not in Controversy

It has been two years since Real Legacy announced their insolvency1 and only approximately 800 of the claims have been paid (excluding 430 cases that are still in court and all claims that did not have an agreement prior to the insurance company announcing its insolvency).2 In other words, it could take three or four more years for Real Legacy insureds to get their Hurricane Maria claims paid.
Continue Reading Puerto Rico Update: Real Legacy Confirms Rumors of Insolvency – What’s Next? Part II

Communications between Insurance Companies and their insureds are always important, and copies of these are requested to understand insurance claims when filing a complaint. Recently, the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals ruled on an Accord and Satisfaction case in which Plaintiff presented a memo received from the insurer that contradicted its allegations against the Plaintiff’s Hurricane claim.
Continue Reading Accord & Satisfaction: Will My Insurance Claim Be Dismissed If I Deposit A Payment? – Part 2

On September 30, 2020, the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals revoked the rulings held on two (2) Accord and Satisfaction cases. The first case, Victor Cruz Perez v. Universal Insurance Company,1 was reversed due to the insurer’s failure to prove that all elements of Accord Satisfaction had been fulfilled.
Continue Reading Puerto Rico Court of Appeals Revokes Two Accord & Satisfaction Rulings on Hurricane Maria Claims

September 20, 2020, marked Hurricane Maria’s third anniversary of devastating the island of Puerto Rico. Since then, policyholders have overcome many obstacles, but many are still struggling with property damages that have not yet been repaired. Insurance companies are still denying and underpaying Hurricane Maria insurance claims, and yet we must ask: What have we learned?
Continue Reading Hurricane Maria’s Third Anniversary – What Have We Learned?

Unfair claims practices in Puerto Rico was the point of the New York Times article noted in, Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Claims Still Not Paid—New York Times Reports on the Insurance Claims Crisis in Puerto Rico. Merlin Law Group attorney Chris Mammel and I were talking about the deceptive releases in Puerto Rico and he reminded me that Florida put an end to this wrongful claim practice by issuing a Bulletin following Hurricane Andrew.
Continue Reading Property Insurance Unfair Claims Practices Caused By Releases and Checks Citing “Final Payment”

One of the interesting aspects of having a national policyholder insurance practice is seeing regional trends of claims processing by insurers. I have come to my own philosophy that differing insurance laws in the various states, whether statutory or by common law, are not right or wrong—they are just different. I am not so certain about claims practices because pushed to the extreme, there are plenty of ways insurance companies can frustrate the purpose of insurance, such as the use of claims processes designed to delay and underpay claims.
Continue Reading Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Claims Still Not Paid—New York Times Reports on the Insurance Claims Crisis in Puerto Rico