Late filed proofs of loss are treated differently by state and federal law. Some are draconian, where a proof of loss filed one day late may void coverage, as noted in Attention Public Adjusters: Urgent Reminder on Upcoming Deadline for National Flood Proofs of Loss. Some states require the insurer to prove prejudice as noted in Late Filed Proof of Loss – Does Delay Result in Denial? 

Continue Reading Will a Late Filed Proof of Loss Void Coverage? What About a Late Filed Proof of Loss in Georgia?

As the clock ticks down, I’ve been receiving a surge of calls and emails from concerned public adjusters regarding the impending deadline for submitting National Flood Proofs of Loss. FEMA extended the deadline for 365 days from the date of Hurricane Ian. It’s crucial not to miss the deadline to deliver, not just mail, the full and correct proof of loss is this week. You only have a couple of days to get this correct.  

Continue Reading Attention Public Adjusters: Urgent Reminder on Upcoming Deadline for National Flood Proofs of Loss

Proof of loss deadlines are always a little tricky when the case law is not clear. For the Maui wildfire victims with an insurance policy that requires a proof of loss to be filed within 60 days from the date of the loss, my suggestion is to be safe rather than sorry and obtain an indefinite extension to file a proof of loss. 

Continue Reading The 60-Day Proof of Loss Deadline in Hawaii

As the effects vary from state to state, it is important to be aware of what can happen if there is a delay in providing a proof of loss or notice to a carrier in an insurance claim. Some states are more lenient and follow the notice-prejudice rule.1 “The notice-prejudice rule requires that the insurance company can assert late notice as a defense to overage only if the late notice has caused actual prejudice to the insurer.”2 Some states, on the other hand, are much stricter on complying with any deadlines for notice or proof of loss. What can happen in Arkansas if a proof of loss is late?

Continue Reading Late Proof of Loss in Arkansas

What can happen if your proof of loss is late or delayed? Can your claim be denied because of a technicality such as this? Different states have different stances on this and in Wisconsin two statues govern this. Wisconsin Statute §§ 631.81 and 632.26 govern notice provisions in Wisconsin insurance policies and set out the rights and duties of the insured and the insurer.

Continue Reading Is a Late Proof of Loss Fatal to A Claim in Wisconsin?

A recent case1 shows that every technical step regarding proof of loss requirements in the flood claims process has to be followed, even if the steps are meaningless. Federal law regarding flood claims is draconian. It is the worst law against policyholders. Attempts at legal reform of the claims processes have fallen on deaf ears. It is a “heads I win, tails you lose” situation if a flood policyholder challenges any claims decision.
Continue Reading Federal Flood Claim—File a Timely Proof of Loss Even If Claim Denied

Federal common law interpreting the rules and regulations of the National Flood Program is usually not helpful to policyholders. It has truly become a situation where technical, literal rules are followed to the letter of the law rather than any intent or spirit for why the rule was written. In this “form over substance” common law, which federal judges feel compelled to follow, an important lesson is to follow those rules in an exacting manner or risk losing insurance benefits. One recent case held that an attorney at law, while acting with authority for the client, cannot sign the proof of loss form for the policyholder client.1
Continue Reading Policyholders and Not Their Attorneys Need to Sign Flood Proof of Loss Forms

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

In a Puerto Rico Hurricane Michael case involving a Zurich Insurance Company providing a policy to a Louisiana policyholder, an alleged delayed payment resulted in attorneys for Zurich arguing that they could delay owed payments for various excuses. The first issue was what a proof of loss meant under Louisiana law.
Continue Reading Proof Of Loss is Different Under Louisiana Law—Should You Be Insured by a Slow and Underpaying Insurance Company?