David Hisey is a great guy and has worked for the insurance industry forever. He ran the Winsdstorm Network’s golf tournament for over a decade. The picture above is his burned home from the recent Gatlinburg wildfire. Losing everything and the memories associated with your home is one of the worst emotional times in life. Most people are in a state of shock and despair.

Continue Reading The Pain of Loss Following a Catastrophe

Have you ever tried to determine the value of everything you own? It is not an easy task, and as time goes on you accumulate more personal property items, the task gets even more difficult. Valuation is a critical part of an insurance claim, and a recent court ruling considered an insureds unrelated bankruptcy in an insurance claim for a fire loss and the coverage was voided because of the differences in values claimed in each case.1

Continue Reading Personal Property Inventory Valuation Matters

Coinsurance issues were a topic at The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters meeting yesterday. One suggestion by the panel was to consider whether the policyholder would be better off filing a claim on an actual cash value basis rather than a replacement cost basis to reduce the amount or applicability of a coinsurance penalty.

Continue Reading Coinsurance Problem? Consider Filing on an Actual Cash Value Basis

On November 30, 2016, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed an order by the Northern District of Texas granting summary judgment for State Farm that an insured’s breach of contract claim was time barred under the limitations clause in the policy and by statute, because it accrued as a matter of law when State Farm first closed its claim file.1

Continue Reading In Texas, Insurer’s Closing of Claim File Triggers Running of Statute of Limitations

The recent Wells Fargo calamity of opening customer accounts without permission underscores how financial incentives can promote unethical behavior by employees on the front line of servicing customers. I was asked by a reporter involved with stories of the recent Tennessee wildfire whether insurance companies offer incentive pay to their claims managers.

Continue Reading Incentive Pay to Lower Insurance Claims to Policyholders Still Exists

“Ordinance or law” property insurance coverage is typically triggered when, following a covered loss to a covered building, an insured incurs certain costs due to the enforcement of an ordinance or law1 requiring or regulating the demolition, construction, or repair of buildings.2 What does enforcement mean for purposes of triggering building ordinance or law coverage? Does enforcement require affirmative action of some sort by a building official, such as issuing or refusing to issue a building permit or issuing a citation for violating a building ordinance or law? Or, is enforcement simply voluntarily complying with building ordinances or laws?

Continue Reading What Constitutes Enforcement of a Building Ordinance or Law?

When making a non-flood claim for Hurricane Matthew related damage to your insurer you must comply with the insurance policy’s post loss conditions. This includes the timely filing of a Sworn Proof of Loss form. Generally, Proof of Loss provisions are worded in one of two ways. The first only requires that the proof be filed within sixty days of the insurers written request. The second and much more critical wording provides that the insured must submit the Sworn Proof of Loss, to the insurer, within sixty (60) days from the date of loss. This wording does not require a request from the insurer to trigger compliance with this mandatory post loss policy Condition.

Continue Reading Proof of Loss Deadline Considerations for South Carolina Hurricane Mathew Non-Flood Claims

On December 1, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court decided Sebo v. American Home Assurance Company, Inc.,1 resolving whether coverage existed under an all-risk policy when there were multiple causes of loss and at least one of the causes was excluded, in favor of the insured.

Continue Reading The Florida Supreme Court Clarifies What Rule to Apply When There Are Multiple Causes of Loss Under an All-Risk Policy

Depreciation tables were first introduced to me when studying accounting at the University of Florida. The tables were based on tax schedules and other accounting methods which usually had nothing to do with the actual depreciation of an item. Indeed, if you used tax depreciation tables, some items could be written off immediately despite little use, change in value, or change in condition.

Continue Reading Calculating Depreciation: Are Generic Tables Reliable or Based on Any Scientific Study?