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

One question I get asked by clients after a storm has damaged their home is: “Can I start making repairs?” This can be a difficult question as the real-world factors of cost, time, availability of materials, and labor are important considerations. It is also important to understand how repairs can affect your insurance claim as most residential insurance policies I deal with include what appear to be contradicting duties to mitigate and the duty to allow the insurance company to inspect.
Continue Reading If I Start Making Repairs, Does It Affect My Insurance Claim?

In Florida, if an insured fails to meet a post-loss obligation, is it a complete bar to recovery? In a recent decision, the Third District Court of Appeal certified conflict with the Fourth District Court of Appeal and held that an insurer must be prejudiced by the insured’s non-compliance with a post-loss obligation in order for the insured to forfeit coverage.
Continue Reading Is Failing to Comply With a Post-Loss Duty an Automatic Bar to Recovery?

When personal contents or business personal property are damaged or lost in a covered event, most policies require the policyholder to provide an inventory of the damaged or lost items to the carrier. But often, the carrier and the policyholder clash on the level of specificity required and whether the policyholder has submitted adequate proof of ownership or even the pre-loss existence of the listed items.
Continue Reading Post-Loss List Created Solely From Memory Can Satisfy the Insured’s Duty to Furnish an Inventory

It is no secret that insurance policies are confusing: they are long – often 40 or more pages – and contain vague language that can be unclear and difficult to understand, even for the most educated people.

After large scale natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey, insurance companies and their adjusters frequently rely on vague and confusing insurance policy language to support their improper denial or underpayment of claims. This is a source of great confusion and frustration to people who have already gone through the devastation of a disaster.
Continue Reading Challenging the Insurance Adjuster’s Claim Assessment or Report

In Florida, an insurer’s denial of coverage constitutes a waiver of its right to require an insured to comply with policy conditions before filing suit.1 But, what if insured requests an insurer to reconsider its coverage denial before filing suit? Does the request to reconsider nullify the insurer’s previous denial of coverage requiring the insured to comply with policy conditions never initially invoked or requested?
Continue Reading Compliance with Policy Conditions After a Denial of Coverage