There are many rumors going around about House Bill 1774, better known as “The Hail Bill” or “The Blue Tarp Bill,” which will go into effect on September 1, 2017. It is important to debunk those rumors and explain exactly what the bill means to Texas policyholders and their rights in this state.
Continue Reading The Truth About “The Hail Bill” That Messes with Texas

Undisputed amounts of loss were discussed at the ABA property insurance law subcommittee last week. I have never met an insurance adjuster who said his company refused to pay undisputed amounts of loss when coverage was admitted. But, I have had insurance defense attorneys argue there is no legal obligation to pay undisputed partial amounts of loss, even if coverage is admitted.
Continue Reading Undisputed Amounts of a Loss Should Be Promptly Paid

Lately I have had several public insurance adjusters call me about a specific problem with Lloyds.1 The public adjuster and the Lloyds (third-party) adjuster agree on the scope and amount of damages on a claim. Then Lloyds never pays. It’s not that Lloyds refuses to pay. They just don’t pay, like for a real long time. Usually there are lots of comments about Lloyds being across the pond and time differences and things like that, but this is not 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. We are in the age of air travel, FEDEX, the Internet, bank wiring funds, etc. Hell, I went to the much-maligned US Post Office the other day to send something to the UK and even the US Post Office got it there in five days.

Continue Reading Lloyds Delaying Payment on Many Claims

After Hurricane Ike some Texas courts decided that if a claim went to appraisal and the carrier paid the award, then no matter how nasty the carrier had been in handling the claim up to the time of appraisal, the policyholder lost the right to pursue a cause of action for breach of contract (and attorney fees).1

Continue Reading Graber Is Not an Outlier: Appraisal Should Not Wash Away Carrier’s Claims Handling Sins

Along with my colleague Patrick McGinnis, we are handling a number of hail claims across the country. As in the vast majority of claims that result in filing a lawsuit, we always seek to include causes of action for both breach of the insurance contract and failure to follow the duty of good faith and fair dealing in claims handling. The biggest challenge we face in maintaining the claim for breaching the duty of good faith and fair dealing remains the policyholders’ failure to timely respond to carrier requests for documents and/or examinations under oath.

Continue Reading Want to Maintain a Failure to Follow Good Faith and Fair Dealing Claim? Respond to the Carrier Promptly

After a claim is filed, the insurance company is certainly entitled to receive from a policyholder reasonable information that the insurance company requires to decide whether to accept or reject the claim. Unfortunately, as a way to delay the claim and discourage the policyholder, many insurance companies create daunting laundry lists of items from the policyholder they say they require before they can make a decision to accept or deny the claim.

Continue Reading Carriers Can’t Hide Behind Laundry List of Requested Items and Avoid the Texas Prompt Payment Act

Should any debtor hold on to money that is agreed owed? It seems like an absurd question, but in the insurance claims world, many insurance companies know that it is very profitable to "play the float." Even the most famous insurer admits that "playing the float" is very profitable, as I noted in Playing the Float and the Wisdom of Warren Buffett.

Continue Reading Partial Payments of Insurance Claims and Claims Delay – A Need for Higher Interest Rate Penalties and Claims Practice Regulations

The title to this blog probably has many insurance claims managers saying under their breath, ‘No joke, Chip. Tell me something I was not taught on the first week of the job I have been doing for my adult life.’ But, what happens when things go wrong and those undisputed benefits do not get paid—can you get out of this mess without being held accountable? Sorta like being caught “red handed” and praying that nobody is going to call you for the foul. Here is the picture I think of when that happens:

Continue Reading Good Faith Performance Requires Prompt Payment of Undisputed Amounts of Benefits

In Texas, a statute may appear to read very specifically but courts can construe it very liberally. A liberal interpretation is the construction Judge Harmon of the Southern District assigned to Section 542 of the Texas Insurance Code. The court provided a certain degree of latitude when determining whether prompt means by a certain deadline or just a bit after the deadline has passed.

Continue Reading Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Statute – 15 Day Deadline is Not Absolute

As promised in my post, Statute of Limitations in Colorado, this week I will discuss Colorado’s unreasonable delay statutes. In Colorado, insured’s have a cause of action they can utilize when pursuing a claim for benefits due after a loss pursuant to their policy of insurance. Colorado Revised Statute Section 10-3-1115(1)(a) states:

A person engaged in the business of insurance shall not unreasonably delay or deny payment of a claim for benefits owed to or on behalf of any first-party claimant.

“First-party claimant” is defined within this section in paragraph (b)(I) as an individual, corporation, association, partnership, or other legal entity asserting an entitlement to benefits owed directly to or on behalf of an insured under an insurance policy. This statute further states in paragraph (b)(II)(B)(2) that for the purposes of an action brought pursuant to this section and section 10-3-1116, an insurer’s delay or denial was unreasonable if the insurer delayed or denied authorizing payment of a covered benefit without a reasonable basis for that action.

Continue Reading Colorado’s Unreasonable Delay Statutes