A raíz de la catástrofe causada por los huracanes Irma y María, surgió la necesidad de revisar el proceso de reclamaciones ante las aseguradoras en aras de hacer este uno más eficiente. Es por esto que, el gobierno ha trabajado en métodos que ayudarán a mejorar los procedimientos de manejo de reclamaciones ante las aseguradoras. Siguiendo múltiples modelos de varias jurisdicciones de los Estados Unidos, los asegurados en Puerto Rico ahora tendrán herramientas adicionales de protección y que facilitarán la resolución de sus reclamaciones, tanto de propiedades residenciales como aquellas que sean comerciales. Recientemente, el Gobernador aprobó enmiendas al Código de Seguros de Puerto Rico para su inmediata aplicación. Dichas enmiendas pretenden solucionar el atraso y aclarar las ambigüedades que han afectado el proceso de recuperación y resolución de reclamaciones de forma justa y adecuada para el consumidor. A continuación, un breve resumen de las enmiendas realizadas al Código de Seguros ahora disponibles para el beneficio de los asegurados en Puerto Rico:
Continue Reading Puerto Rico Aprueba Enmiendas Al Código de Seguros Para Proteger A Los Asegurados Y Mejorar Los Procedimientos Para Solucionar Reclamaciones

After the catastrophe caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, there was a need for an efficient recovery process. The government has worked on methods to improve the way insurance claims are handled. Following models from multiple jurisdictions in the United States, Puerto Rico will now have available more protections and resolution methods for property and commercial policyholders. Several amendments to the Puerto Rico Insurance Code have been approved and signed for immediate application to help solve the delay and ambiguity that has affected the process of recovery. Below is a brief summary of each amended law now available for the benefit of policyholders in Puerto Rico:
Continue Reading Puerto Rico Approves Amendments to the Insurance Code to Protect Policyholders and Improve Claim Handling Procedures

One certain way FEMA and National Flood Administrators get out of paying otherwise valid flood insurance claims is to require strict and timely requirements. Citing an internally generated and fraudulent 99% closure statistic, the National Flood Program denied a request to extend the timeline for filing Proofs of Loss for Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria victims.
Continue Reading National Flood Administrator Says “Hell No, No More Extensions” To Harvey, Irma and Maria Flood Victims

As advocates for victims whose lives have been turned upside down as a result of the devastating flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria, we know that one year may not be enough time for flood victims to obtain the estimates and documents necessary to submit their required proof of loss form to FEMA or their flood insurance company.
Continue Reading Merlin Law Group Asks FEMA to Extend the Proof of Loss Deadline for Victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

It has been five months since Hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked widespread havoc on the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Category 5 hurricanes damaged buildings of all shapes and types – residences, businesses, places of worship, warehouses and commercial buildings. Those with insurance coverage filed claims, presumably expecting prompt and fair responses from their insurance companies. Have these policyholders received a timely response?
Continue Reading Additional Review Required of All Virgin Island Hurricane-Related Claims Where Property Determined to be Underinsured

Following the devastating damages from Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma, homeowners and businesses alike examined their insurance coverages to assist their recovery. For most people that have never needed to use insurance benefits, or had only small claims, these policies may have seemed like just another large expense every year that mostly protected the bank on its lending. However, when a loss happens each insurance policy should be recognized as the asset it has always been, available to provide funding for large, unanticipated expenses. The case I discuss next illustrates why understanding insurance principles is so crucial to gathering all available policy benefits.
Continue Reading Policyholders May Benefit From All Their Coverages

It has been four long months since Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated America’s Paradise; yet, many insureds have still not received a single payment (or even a meaningful response) from their insurance company. Regrettably, these are not isolated or one-off situations.
Continue Reading Updated Claims Handling Guidelines for Residential Hurricane Claims in the Virgin Islands

The 90-day period to resolve claims made for damages caused by Hurricane Maria may expire soon. To protect insureds from the bad faith and delay of the insurer, Puerto Rico’s Insurance Code provides under Art. 27.162, that insurance companies should be diligent in the processing of claims within the 90-day period for claims to be resolved, and if the insurer cannot comply within this period, just cause must be presented to the Commissioner.1 Bad faith is considered the frivolous or unfounded refusal to provide payment or treatment to a plan member or insured. Good faith is presumed, and the one who claims the bad faith has the burden of proof.2
Continue Reading Puerto Rico: Sanctions Will Apply for Bad Faith and Delays in Insurance Claims