When it comes to determining actual cash value and whether labor can be depreciated in Kentucky, do what insurance education Bill Wilson teaches and RTFP—Read the Full Policy. While a favorable Kentucky federal opinion ruled that depreciation could not be depreciated, it did so on the basis of ambiguity in the policy.1 It left open the question of whether the Kentucky Department of Insurance would allow insurers to have their policies.
Continue Reading Depreciation of Labor in Kentucky—Read the Policy!

What exactly is a fire alarm? What is required to satisfy the requirements of a fire alarm as a protective safeguard? A recent case decision finding that a motion detector that acted very much like a fire alarm still may not technically satisfy the policy and application requirement of an automatic central fire alarm.1
Continue Reading A Warning About Protective Safeguards—Motion Detectors That Report Fires May Not Satisfy Fire Alarm Requirements

United Policyholders is the one organization that policyholders can count on to stand up and comment on what insurance companies are trying to push through departments of insurance. United Policyholders Sandy Watts and I will be presenting today about insurance gaps created in new language found in insurance policies. One policy form we will be talking about is the one State Farm is pushing for approval in the California Department of Insurance.
Continue Reading State Farm New Policy Filing In California Should Be Concerning To All In the Property Insurance Industry—An Example Is the New Appraisal Language

In 2016, State Farm came out with a new appraisal provision for its homeowner insurance policy.1 This new provision makes the appraisal process extremely burdensome for policyholders. While I have always felt the new provision violates the Standard Fire Policy, a Michigan federal district court recently reached the same conclusion.
Continue Reading State Farm’s Appraisal Provision Violates the Standard Fire Policy

Don Malecki was an insurance coverage guru. He wrote many treatises regarding insurance coverage. He was respected and a much sought-after insurance coverage expert. Malecki wrote an article in an insurance agent publication, Rough Notes, entitled, Troubled Terminology: “Risks of Direct Physical Loss” Wording Is Currently Read Broadly By Courts.1 He noted that most policyholders do not understand the basic meaning of “risks of direct physical loss”:

Continue Reading The Troubled Understanding of “Risks of Direct Physical Loss”

History is important. Insurance history gives context and meaning to the thoughts and views of what should be and why things should be the way they were and are. Those historic views have been ever increasingly challenged in social media and very dynamic processes throughout the United States in the past few years. I want to know what people were thinking and what their intent was regarding insurance policy forms. Insurance history and policyholder advocacy is my life.
Continue Reading The History of the Business Interruption Policy In the United States

Throughout my years at Merlin Law Group, I have noticed a troubling pattern with insurance carriers: denying claims based on confusing and ambiguous policy language. Perhaps you are challenging a continuous seepage or leakage exclusion or a protective safeguard requirement on your collectibles. It is unlikely the policy defines “seepage” “leakage” or what qualifies as a protective safeguard. However, the Arizona courts and Legislature have brought some clarity to interpreting these unclear provisions.
Continue Reading Clearing Things Up: Interpreting Ambiguities in Arizona Policies