The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving an insurance company that denied a claim under a maritime all-risk insurance policy because the policyholder failed to maintain fire extinguishers that were properly certified and tagged.1 Here is the quote about the facts from the insurance company in its petition to the Supreme Court

Continue Reading Are Your Fire Extinguishers Properly Certified and Tagged? Do Not Lose Insurance Benefits For Failure To Comply With Nitpicking Insurance Clauses

One of the interesting aspects of my professional life is receiving information from readers of this blog, who alert me to new matters and changes to old matters. The texts, emails, and phone calls I receive are from folks who work with policyholders, insurers, and even capable insurance defense attorneys whom we fight in courtrooms throughout the country. I appreciate this and try to share much of this with you. 

Continue Reading Order Overrules Louisiana Directive Outlawing Anti Public Adjuster Policy Language

Can you imagine the frustration of a policyholder trying to find the exclusion relied upon by the insurance company and getting this response after the fact: “Whoops, we mistakenly forgot to send you the portion of the policy which excludes your loss?” This was the factual scenario in a recent federal case out of New York.1  

Continue Reading What Happens If the Insurance Company Does Not Send the Correct or All of the Insurance Contract Provisions?

This well-known idiom alludes to a catch or mysterious element hidden in the details.1 Policyholders purchase insurance to protect and secure their property. Unfortunately, many carriers do not disclose provisions that limit their policyholders’ rights in the event a dispute arises.

Continue Reading The Devil Is In the Details. What Did Your Premium Discount Actually Cost You?

A lawsuit filed by Church Mutual seems to be part of a trend of insurers analyzing high-value appraisal awards and not paying them. I recently mentioned the nationwide non-payment of appraisal awards by State Farm in
Why Has State Farm Stopped Paying Appraisal Awards? The instant lawsuit1 argues that the award inherently is subject to coverage determinations of unowned amounts because the appraisal panel said they never applied any of the policy conditions:
Continue Reading Are More Appraisals Being Challenged By Insurers—Why Go to Appraisal If Insurers Will Not Pay the Appraisal Award?

Ever get so curious about something that is not so meaningful, but you just have to know the answer to satisfy your curiosity? I have been on a very nerdy quest about older appraisal clauses in property insurance policies because I challenged a commentator to this blog about not simply repeating what others have said about the origin of appraisal found in property insurance policies.
Continue Reading Were Older Appraisals Arbitration? One Older Appraisal Clause Clearly Was Not an Arbitration Clause

Conflicting policy provisions seem to be an increasing byproduct of the ever-growing number of coverage exclusions and limitations that insurance carriers are sneaking into policies. With the news of an upcoming special legislative session to address insurance premium hikes and rumors of potential changes, the best practice is for homeowners to read their policies and understand what is covered in the event of a loss. The truth is, however, reading a homeowner insurance policy these days seems like a game of “musical policy provisions.”
Continue Reading Ambiguities in Florida Policies: Comprehending Coverage Should Not Require the Proverbial Philadelphia Lawyer

One of the lessons from the treble damage case noted in yesterday’s blog, Treble Damages for Insurance Company Misconduct in North Carolina and Collapse Coverage Confirmed, is that denial letters from insurance companies should be accurate. They should not be quoting irrelevant policy language. Denial letters should only cite the policy language the insurer is relying upon to deny a claim. By law in most states, the letter should accurately state facts and the applicable policy language for denial.
Continue Reading Overbroad Denial Letters Are Deceptive and Not in Good Faith