In New York they can! I’ve fielded many calls from public adjusters who are worried their client will be waiving their rights to further pursue insurance proceeds if they sign the proof of loss sent by the insurance carrier or cash the check issued by the carrier. The short answer to those questions is…it depends.
Continue Reading Can an Insurance Company Include a Release in a Proof of Loss Form?

Back in June 2018, I blogged about the New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act passing the Senate and heading to the Assembly. Unfortunately, many roadblocks (insurance company lobbyists) prevented the Bill from going forward by using propaganda to spread lies about the detrimental effect of passing it. For the foreseeable future, New Jersey will continue to be one of the most difficult states in the country to prove bad faith given their court’s “fairly debatable” standard.1
Continue Reading New York’s Bad Faith Bill Advances Through Assembly Insurance Committee

(Note: This guest blog is by Kathryn Ray, a Summer Law Clerk in our Tampa office)

When sustaining property or casualty damage and after filing a claim with an insurance company, the insurance company may then request a proof of loss. A proof of loss is defined as “a policyholder’s statement of the amount of money being requested, signed to and sworn to by the policyholder with documentation to support the amount being requested.”1 In New York, if an insurance company gives the insured a written notice, after a loss, requesting a proof of loss the insured shall then have 60 days after receiving this notice to comply with the insurance company’s request.2 This compliance period to provide the insurance company with a proof of loss may also be longer than 60 days if the insurer specifies so in their written notice.3
Continue Reading Misrepresentations and Proofs of Loss in New York

With COVID-19 business closures, legislatures across the country have been grappling with new questions, including what protections may be afforded by business income insurance. As of late, members of legislatures in states like New York1 and Pennsylvania2 have all proposed legislation in favor of affording coverage for claims that might otherwise be excluded. While these bills have not passed, they may offer some indication about what legal issues could arise in the future.3
Continue Reading State Legislatures Aim to Afford COVID-19 Coverage

A New York court of appeals recently ruled that an insured’s claim for business interruption losses in excess of policy limits may proceed as the insured alleged the additional losses were the result of its insurers’ delay in payments.
Continue Reading Delay in Payment May Lead to Insurer’s Liability in Excess of Policy Limits

We’ve all seen it before. The insured files a claim, the insurance company sends out an adjuster to adjust the loss, the loss is more complex, or a situation arises that the adjuster cannot handle so the insurance company forwards the claim to their legal department. At that point, an attorney becomes involved and the adjustment of the claim, as well as the communication between the parties is limited and calculated.
Continue Reading Court Holds Documents Created by Counsel During Claims Handling Were Not Privileged

Linda A. Lacewell, Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services

Since the New York Department of Insurance was abolished in October 2011, the New York State Department of Financial Services has supervised and regulated all insurance companies that do business in New York. The Department of Financial Services attempts to ensure fair and equitable dealings between insurers, agents, and policyholders regarding all insurance transactions. The Department of Financial Services also receives and investigates all complaints against agents or insurers.
Continue Reading How To File A Complaint With The New York Department of Financial Services About Your Delaying, Denying and Bad Treating Insurance Company

The statute of limitations period applicable to a breach of contract cause of action in New York is ordinarily six years. However, parties to a contract may agree, in writing, that any lawsuit must be commenced within a shorter period of time. Moreover, while the statute of limitations on a breach of insurance contract generally starts to run on the date that coverage is disclaimed by the insurance company, the parties to an insurance contract are likewise free to include distinct language in their agreement demonstrating that they intend for the limitations period to run from the date of the underlying loss as opposed to the date of the disclaimer of coverage.
Continue Reading Statute of Limitations: How Much Time Do I Have to File a Complaint Against My Insurance Company For Breach of Insurance Contract in New York?

The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department “unanimously reversed, on the law, with costs, the motion denied and the claims reinstated,” the New York County Supreme Court trial judge’s order dated April 2, 2018, to the extent appealed from, which granted dismissal of Plaintiff D.K. Property, Inc.’s (“D.K.”) consequential damages (other than attorney’s fees) pled in its amended complaint.1 The dispute involves an “all-risk” commercial property policy issued by Defendant National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA (“National Union”) and its denial of D.K.’s October 2014 claim for policy proceeds and benefits arising from damage to one of its buildings insured under the policy.
Continue Reading Consequences of a Well-Pled Complaint