Late notice of loss lead to denials in Florida at a very high rate. Insurers claim that they are prejudiced and that a presumption of prejudice arises from late notice. A federal trial court has questioned older legal authority about whether a presumption exists and whether the insurer bears the burden to prove prejudice based on policy language.1
Continue Reading Is Your Denial Based on Late Notice of Loss—Who Has To Prove Prejudice?

Many insurance companies adjusting hail damage claims have a checklist of items that each adjuster must answer before payment of a claim. One of the items at the top of the list is whether there have been any prior hailstorms at the loss location. From a policyholder’s perspective, most do not go onto a roof nor call a roofer unless a leak occurs or there is obvious damage.
Continue Reading Hail Damage?—Not From This Hailstorm

With cold temperatures gripping my home State of New Jersey, my mind (and research) brings me to warmer locations. In a recent case,1 a federal court in Georgia held that an insured’s 11-month delay in filing a claim after a loss was not justified and provided the insurer with a reasonable ground to deny the claim.
Continue Reading Is Eleven Months Too Long a Delay in Filing a Claim with an Insurer After a Loss?

Late notice of damage to roofs is a common issue. Most people do not report damage from a windstorm to a roof unless it leaks. Do insurers expect that after every windstorm that their customers report a potential loss to them for inspection? Do insurers expect all of their policyholders to climb up on their roofs to look for damage?
Continue Reading How Late Can Late Notice of Loss Be of Roof Damage in South Carolina?

The defense of late notice has increasingly been used as a technical defense to preclude coverage for covered losses caused by covered perils. While some states have issued bulletins (targeting these strategies,1 often the determination of whether coverage will be afforded will depend upon whether a particular state requires that an insurance company demonstrate that the untimely notice caused prejudice in the investigation of the claim. While it would seem the denial of coverage due to an action that has no material effect on the insurer would further the purpose of having insurance, several states still apply a traditional notice rule that does not require a showing of prejudice.2
Continue Reading Montana Requires Insurance Company to Demonstrate Prejudice When Denying a Claim for Late Notice

With the closure of the statute of limitations for Hurricane Irma related claims, we are faced more and more with claim denials based, in part, on “prompt notice” and/or “late notice” language from the insurance carrier. But was the claim actually reported late? Well, that depends on the reporting requirements as outlined in the insurance policy.
Continue Reading Was the Insurance Claim Really Late Reported?

Some insurance companies look for ways to deny insurance claims. One method is to use the “prompt notice” of loss requirement found in property insurance policies. State laws vary, but in Florida, the determination of whether “prompt notice” has been given and whether prejudice has occurred because of late notice is generally a fact question for a jury to determine.
Continue Reading Has Your Insurance Company Denied Your Claim Because of Failure To Provide Prompt Notice?

The California Supreme Court emphasized that the notice-prejudice rule in first-party insurance contract is a fundamental public policy that can override a choice-of law provision in certain circumstances.
Continue Reading Is the California Notice-Prejudice Rule a Fundamental Public Policy For Purposes of Choice of Law Analysis?

Every insurance policy outlines certain duties a policyholder is required to perform following a loss. However, the prompt notice provision appears to be increasingly gaining traction by opportunistic insurance companies and their defense attorneys who seek to use this as a technicality to avoid liability for an otherwise covered loss.
Continue Reading New Mexico Requires Insurance Company to Demonstrate Substantial Prejudice Before Denying a Claim for Late Notice

Last week the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted Travelers Indemnity Company’s Motion for Summary Judgment allowing them to dodge hail damage claims made by policyholder Mapleton at Countryside Condominium Association Inc. (“Mapleton”).1 Mapleton brought suit against Travelers for breach of contract and bad faith following two hailstorms impacting their buildings in June 2016 and April 2017. The hailstorms caused damage to the condominium’s siding estimated at $2.58 million.
Continue Reading Court Finds Hailstorm Claims Made “Unreasonably Late”