Policyholders are human and social media has really become a way of life for the young and those in their golden years.

Not surprisingly, homeowners and business owners suffering a loss, post about their problems on social media. But consider this: insurance companies are using information gathered from your social media profiles to look for ways to gain information they can turn into a red flag or a reason to delay or deny your claim.

Continue Reading Insurance Companies Search Social Media During Property Claim Investigations, Part I

It is very common in first-party litigation for the policyholder to sue the in-state adjuster in addition to the out-of-state insurance company and thereby destroy diversity so the case remains in state court.  The carrier will generally remove the case anyway and claim that the joinder of the adjuster is improper.  In a very general sense, the carrier will ultimately argue that the causes of action against the adjuster should be ignored (not taken seriously) by the federal court because the policyholder is really just trying to destroy diversity and cannot establish a viable cause of action against the adjuster.  A recent decision out of the Southern District of Texas reminds us of the heavy burden a removing party has and that Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 91a does not change that analysis.

Continue Reading Remand and Fair Notice Pleading and Texas Rule 91a: “Same As It Ever Was”

I was discussing a property insurance claim with a colleague a few weeks ago when he mentioned a letter that was sent to an insured from the insurance carrier shortly after their public adjuster submitted his letter of representation. The letter suggested that the insured review the public adjuster’s contract and fee structure to make sure it complies with Florida Statute 626.854. It also paraphrased several provisions of this statute dealing with the duties of a licensed public adjuster practicing in Florida, such as how a public adjuster cannot prevent an insurer from reasonable access to the insured or the insured property, and that the public adjuster cannot dissuade an insured from privately speaking with the insurer regarding the settlement of their claim.

Continue Reading Carrier’s Response to Letters of Representation by Florida Public Adjusters – Informative or Unfair Claims Handling Practice?

Well many folks in the insurance industry have been waiting some time for this moment… the decision of the validity of post-loss assignments of benefits in Florida. Several opinions were recently issued on the same day (May 20, 2015) by Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals related to assignments of benefits in property insurance claims.1 The cases involve the typical scenario where a policyholder hires a water remediation contractor after suffering a loss, and instead of having to pay them out of their pocket for the work, they issue and assignment of part of the claim proceeds to the vendor.

Continue Reading Are All Post-Loss Assignments Of Benefits Created Equal? Accrued vs. Unaccrued Rights Being Assigned