One of the basic duties which public adjusters are supposed to accomplish for their policyholder clients is to evaluate the amount of damage and properly file a proof of loss if one is required. I was thinking about this while reading a fairly recent Florida case1 where a public adjuster failed to file a proof of loss on behalf of the policyholder despite the insurance company demanding one in writing. This failure to file a proof of loss cost the policyholder an otherwise valid claim.
Continue Reading Public Adjusters Owe a Duty to Properly Comply with Proof of Loss Requirements

With every coverage afforded under a property insurance policy, there comes a laundry list of conditions that attach for the policyholder to be able to recover. These are usually called something along the lines of “Post Loss Obligations” or “Duties After Loss.”
Continue Reading Failure to Comply with Post-Loss Obligations: Affidavits by Themselves May Not be Enough to Win Summary Judgment Under Florida Rule 1.510

After having suffered a dish washer leak to their home, policyholders submitted a claim to their insurance company. The insurance company sent the policyholders a Reservation of Rights letter requesting a signed, sworn proof of loss within 60 days. The homeowners failed to meet this deadline and submitted their sworn proof of loss after the insurance company filed a complaint for declaratory judgment and material breach. The trial court entered a final summary judgment for the insurance company based upon the failure of the insureds to comply with their obligation to provide a sworn proof of loss, and the policyholders appealed.1
Continue Reading Late Filed Proof of Loss – Does Delay Result in Denial?

Insurance policies impose a duty on insureds to cooperate with the insurer’s investigation of a claim. An insured’s duty to cooperate encompasses the insured’s obligation to appear for an examination under oath (“EUO”), if requested, and to provide documentation verifying the loss. “Cooperation clauses” generally have been held to be material provisions of insurance policies with compliance therewith a condition precedent to coverage.
Continue Reading Can My Insurance Company Deny My Claim For Failure to Cooperate With Its Investigation?

While appraisal can be used by an insurance company as a method of delaying claims and avoiding complete payment, there are circumstances when entering appraisal is in the best interest of the insured. Whatever the reason for seeking this cost-efficient procedure, it is important to consider what the courts view as prerequisites to utilizing their discretion to compel appraisal.
Continue Reading How to Force an Insurer into Appraisal in Florida – Satisfaction of Post-Loss Obligations

After a catastrophe such as Hurricane Laura, it is common that policyholders may not have a full copy of their insurance policy. Often the only policy document they may have in their possession is the Declaration Page showing a summary of the insurance benefits available to them. Though helpful, a full policy is necessary to inform the policyholders of their rights and duties under the insurance policy.
Continue Reading Hurricane Laura Recovery: Policyholder’s Duties After a Loss

Mick Jagger sang that “time is on my side.” That is not true when it comes to insurance policies. At 2 PM EST today, Merlin Law Group Attorney Larry Bache and yours truly will discuss those important and often overlooked time frames for repair and replacement required under insurance policies.
Continue Reading Replacement, Repair and Law & Ordinance Time Frames—Do Not Miss Tuesday at 2 With Chip For a Discussion About Often Overlooked Time Frames

Insurance policies always have time deadlines to do something after a loss happens. The failure to follow these may prevent recovery. I will be discussing and answering questions about these policy time requirements over the next several weeks during our Tuesdays at 2 With Chip Merlin.
Continue Reading Time Deadlines To Be Wary Of When Filing Property Insurance and Business Income Loss Claims—Do Not Miss Tuesday At 2 With Chip Merlin