Tag Archives: New Jersey

What Triggers Ordinance or Law Coverage?

In our practice we are often called upon to represent clients where their claim for ordinance and law coverage has been denied. This is because ordinance and law coverage is one of the most misunderstood and incorrectly interpreted policy provisions there is. Although, one of our attorneys, Robert T. Trautmann, has previously written on the DEB … Continue Reading

What Is a Permissions Granted Clause and How Does It Affect a Carrier’s Ability to Disclaim Property Losses for Increased Hazards?

Most home owner policies have a potential coverage defense for “increase of hazard.” An increase of hazard clause generally allows a carrier to disclaim coverage when “a new use is made of the insured property, or when its physical condition is changed from that which existed when the policy was written, and the new use … Continue Reading

New Jersey Legislature Considers a Bad Faith Statute for Catastrophe Claims

Initially introduced in January 2014, Assembly Bill No. 231 made its way before New Jersey lawmakers during a committee hearing on December 10, 2015. The bill, “establishes a private cause of action for insureds or their assignees regarding unfair practices in the settlement or attempted settlement of insurance claims arising out of a declared disaster.”… Continue Reading

New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Proposes Rule Changes for Public Adjusters

Spurred on by a request from a policyholder who has a bad experience with a public insurance adjuster, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) has proposed rule changes that will affect all New Jersey licensed public adjusters. The policyholder was sued by their public adjuster to recover fees. The matter went to … Continue Reading

Replacement Cost Value After Denial

Recently, I was asked, “if an insurer initially denies a claim and then later pays or is forced to pay, do they have to pay actual cost value, or replacement cost value?” After a little research on the topic, the old joke, if you ask a lawyer a question, their favorite answer is always, “it depends,” … Continue Reading

New Jersey Independent Adjuster Sentenced to 32-Months in Prison for Defrauding the New Jersey Turnpike Authority

On January 8, 2015, Robert Napolitano, of Clifton, New Jersey was sentenced to thirty-two (32) months in prison and three years supervised release1 after pleading guilty to “charges that he defrauded the [New Jersey Turnpike Authority (“NJTA”)] out of insurance money meant to cover the cost of repairs to turnpike property,” totaling approximately $900,000.00.2… Continue Reading

Federal Court Expands “Direct Physical Loss” Definition to Benefit of Insureds

For coverage to be afforded under insurance policies there is a requirement that the insured property suffer a direct physical loss from a covered cause of loss. This often leads to disputes and litigation concerning whether property suffered a physical loss. Insurance carriers argue that a physical change in the insured property must occur before … Continue Reading

Partial Payments of Insurance Claims and Claims Delay – A Need for Higher Interest Rate Penalties and Claims Practice Regulations

Should any debtor hold on to money that is agreed owed? It seems like an absurd question, but in the insurance claims world, many insurance companies know that it is very profitable to "play the float." Even the most famous insurer admits that "playing the float" is very profitable, as I noted in Playing the … Continue Reading

Super Storm Sandy Litigation Still Going Strong – New Jersey Transit Sues for Several Hundred Million Dollars in Sandy Loss

Litigation related to Super Storm Sandy is still going strong; or even still getting into full swing. Recently, New Jersey Transit Corporation filed a lawsuit in New Jersey against numerous insurance carriers seeking $300 million in coverage from Super Storm Sandy damage. One of the issues in the case will involve whether a flood sublimit applies.… Continue Reading

Broker Negligence and Attorneys’ Fees in New Jersey

When you are dealing with damage to a client’s property and attempting to recover insurance proceeds, one of the first questions raised is in reference to attorneys’ fees. The client wants to know if the party that has wronged them will be responsible for their costs and expenses in recovering the insurance proceeds. Unfortunately, New … Continue Reading

Innocent Coinsured Doctrine in New Jersey

One of the favorite tricks of insurance companied to avoid paying claims is to allege fraud by the insured. The fraud can be in the policy application, in causing the loss or in an alleged misrepresentation of the value of the loss. Even the slightest misstep by an insured can cause them to lose their … Continue Reading

What Happens to Your Property Insurance Claim After Foreclosure in New Jersey?

I previously discussed the increasing number of “for sale” signs along the New Jersey Shore in Recovering Replacement Cost After Selling Unrepaired Property. Unfortunately, many of these homeowners are not able to sell their properties and are forced to default on their mortgages. Lately, a frequent question from insureds is, “what happens to my property … Continue Reading
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