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

I suppose a lot of professions are cyclical. In my 25 years if practice I have sometimes found that I will go years without getting certain types of cases and then I will get two or three all at once. Lately, I have been asked to look at cases where the carrier is claiming that the policyholder breached post-loss duties under the policy (other than prompt notice). The argument is that the policyholder has failed to cooperate with the carrier’s investigation of the claim.1 Mainly the policyholders are accused of not submitting to an examination under oath (EUO).

Continue Reading High Ho High Ho Do I Have To Do An EUO?

Some losses are not as readily apparent to policyholders as a fire or significant water loss. The policyholder may not discover the damage until days, weeks or months after the loss occurred. This can often be the case for hail losses to roofs. However, when the policyholder gives notice weeks or months after the loss, the insurance carrier will often claim late notice and rely on the notice condition in the insurance policy to deny coverage.

Continue Reading Is Your Claim Too Late in Georgia?

As attorneys for first-party property claims, we must vet through claims to see if we can be “The Policyholder’s Advocate” on any case. Some of the initial questions I ask a potential client are: 1) When was the date of loss? 2) When did you notify the carrier? 3) How and when did you notify the carrier of the amount of damages you are seeking? 4) Does your policy have a provision limiting the time for you to file a lawsuit?

Continue Reading “I’ve missed my filing deadline, do I have a valid reason for tolling?”

On Wednesday, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal issued an opinion affirming a trial court’s order compelling appraisal of a homeowners’ supplemental Hurricane Katrina claim.1 The insureds, the Cardelles, had filed claims with State Farm after Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in 2005. After each hurricane the insureds reported property damage to State Farm. They obtained estimates from a contractor and their public adjuster and submitted sworn proofs of loss for each claim.

Continue Reading Appellate Court Affirms Trial Court Order Compelling Appraisal for Supplemental Hurricane Claim

When a loss occurs, policyholders must always be mindful of their property insurance policy’s section titled “Duties after Loss.” A policyholder is required to perform specific duties after a loss and failure to meet the obligations may jeopardize a claim.

Continue Reading Does a “Duties after Loss” provision Obligate the Insured to Produce Documents to the Insurer Unsolicited?

In a case recently decided in Texas, the insurance carrier prevailed against the policyholder when the appellate court found that the policyholder failed to adhere to its post-loss duties under a homeowner’s insurance policy.1 This blog entry examines the facts and holdings in the hope policyholders and professionals assisting them can avoid facing a similar situation.

Continue Reading What Are Homeowners’ Post-Loss Duties In Texas? – Texas Coverage Series