I wonder whether the water fountains at some insurance companies are spiked. Certainly, it must be some pretty potent stuff where the employees who came up with this cost saving gimmick work. I mention this because of a story, P&C Insurers Can Pay Claims With Prepaid Visa, N.Y. Rules, in the National Underwriter which noted:
Replacement at the same location or repairing the same premises has been a frequent question posed by a number of clients. In many situations, clients of older structures in areas where it is not economically feasible to rebuild wish to replace in another location. They want to know if they can replace or repair with another structure at another location and whether they can obtain the holdback of the replacement cost benefits since the insurer generally pays only the actual cash value until the replacement is incurred. Fortunately, the FC&S Bulletins has the right answer to those questions and a Florida case provides a good example of the general law to this topic.
The Minnesota Attorney General had enough of insurance companies failing to live up to the promise of putting policyholders back into the same position they were before the loss. Currently, the situation is the same throughout the nation, where insurers say they will do one thing, but have their attorneys argue out of the bargain based on obscure policy wording. Matching the damaged portion of the structure to the remaining parts of a structure is one such issue, and we literally tracked down this State action by the Minnesota Attorney General because we feel the issue is that important.
Jewelry is something most adults purchase and accumulate and for which the value is far in excess of what standard policies cover. I thought about this after coming across a post, What Does it Mean to "Replace" a Lost Diamond Bracelet Under State Farm’s Homeowner’s Policy, by Mark Nation. Insurance agents study what their clients may need for insurance purposes. They should strongly urge that most of their clients schedule jewelry items because, chances are, policyholders are otherwise underinsured under most standard forms. Further, the perils to jewelry are extraordinarily limited under the standard form, so agents should be making certain that their clients are aware of and purchase the proper coverage for jewelry items that are valuable and emotionally important.
Yesterday’s post, Physical Damage is Needed to Collect for Loss of Warranty, may lead some to think that property insurance policies require “structural” or a “functional” destruction before coverage is not afforded. This simply is not true. Alterations to the physical appearance of a structure or personal property are covered so long as the cause is a covered peril.
I was asked twice on Friday at our seminar in Houston whether a policyholder could collect for the loss of their roof warranty. I felt the questions were valid because Hurricane Ike has caused many to lose warranties on their roofs as a result of wind speeds being in excess of allowable warranty requirements. In essence, policyholders suffer financial damage because they no longer have warranties on roofs due to the physical wind speed event of an act of God, Hurricane Ike.
Seems like yesterday when my son, Chase, was swinging on jungle gyms. It is hard to imagine that this day is finally here when he is off to college. With all the little odds and ends to take care of, I wondered whether all his electronic gadgets are covered under my homeowner’s policy. After doing some reading, I am calling my agent and reading my policy when I get home from Philadelphia.
As usual, I like to check the FC&S Bulletins for some general information with these practical questions. While I have suggested that all policyholder attorneys and public adjusters subscribe to this publication, insurance agents and brokers can get some great ideas as well because the coverage topics are very “main street” rather than some of the exotic situations my clients bring to our firm.
The Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) has taken a strong stance against contingent agent and brokerage fees. A recent article in the National Underwriter Property and Casualty Online Edition suggests the debate of this topic may be heating up again.
The insurance industry is probably calling and writing the editors of the FC&S Bulletin because the June 2009 edition correctly notes that Ensuing Loss Damage is covered under the ISO form policies for typical Chinese Drywall losses. I recently noted various coverage issues related to Chinese Drywall. A number of these cases are coming to our office because insurers are not affording first party coverage.
Why are major insurance companies selling insurance with "feel good" messages rather than explaining how many different types of accidents and catastrophes they will not cover? If they were honest, wouldn’t they explain to customers what is not covered before the purchase? Sandy Burnette wrote a comment to "Is the State Farm Policy Really Worth Anything?" As I indicated in yesterday’s "Some Public Adjuster and Insurance Attorney Concerns and My Blogging Mistakes," he made a valid criticism which I corrected and appreciate him calling to my attention.