Statute of Limitations

On April 28, 2021, policyholders in Norman, Oklahoma, and surrounding areas were rocked by a catastrophic hailstorm with baseball size hail and 70 mph winds resulting in more than $1 billion in damages. As many of our blog readers may know, I was one of those policyholders. While I am fortunate to report State Farm has paid my claim in full and all my restoration work has been completed, many policyholders cannot say the same. With supply chain issues and market pricing increases, many Norman policyholders are still waiting on roofs and windows, which keeps their claims open. Others are still fighting over their scope of damages or proper costs for repair/replacement. Regardless of what aspect of their claim remains unresolved, with the one-year anniversary of the catastrophic hailstorm coming up, they now face the possibility of having to timely file a lawsuit by April 28, 2022. Failure to do so may result in a waiver of policy benefits they are otherwise entitled to. How could this happen?
Continue Reading A Warning for Norman, Oklahoma Policyholders on the One-Year Anniversary of the April 28, 2021, Catastrophic Hailstorm

I posted a blog earlier this week, Kentucky Allows Property Insurers To Shorten The Statute of Limitations—Even If You Do Not Know That A Loss Occurred. I received an email from an outstanding lawyer and colleague, Brandon McWherter. He sent me a case decided last month by a separate federal court in Kentucky that ruled favorably on a statute of limitations issue in Kentucky.1
Continue Reading A Follow Up to Kentucky Statute of Limitations Following Hailstorm Losses

Policyholders should always check their duties after loss, when the proof of loss is due and when the deadline is to file a lawsuit. It is hard to provide a notice of loss, much less file a lawsuit, if you are unaware that a loss happened but was not discovered. This is a frequent issue in hailstorm losses.
Continue Reading Kentucky Allows Property Insurers To Shorten The Statute of Limitations—Even If You Do Not Know That A Loss Occurred

Always check time frames for proof of loss and the time to file a lawsuit. I preach these are lessons because the time to adjust claims and resolve disputes seems to be dragging on. While some states allow for an “equitable tolling” where the time for limitations is tolled until a denial occurs, most states do not allow this extension.
Continue Reading Condo Loses Claim Because of Statute of Limitations—Always Mark the Date to File Suit

A recent legal skirmish under a builders risk policy contains significant discussion about Georgia law allowing insurance companies to shorten the time to file a lawsuit. The trial court Order1 not dismissing the lawsuit despite a one-year limitation, and the brief of the policyholder are attached because they are worthy of study if you find yourself in a Georgia situation where the insurer is relying upon a statute of limitation defense.
Continue Reading Georgia Allows Property Insurers to Shorten Statute of Limitations But There Are Exceptions

What is the statute of limitations under a property insurance policy in Vermont? What do policyholders, restoration contractors, and public adjusters have to be concerned about when faced with statute of limitations, but no denial has occurred or the property is not fully repaired? What happens if additional damage is found after the statute of limitations?
Continue Reading Vermont Statute of Limitations and Hidden Damages Discovered After the Limitations Passes

When it comes to claims, the National Flood Insurance Program is in need of major legal reform that only Congress can address. The claims system is form over substance. When it comes to the stupid reasons insurance benefits can legally be disallowed, the National Flood Insurance Program is in a league by itself. The most recent example of how an entire flood claim for all damages can be denied is an innocuous letter denying part of the contents claim because photographs of some content items were not provided.1
Continue Reading All National Flood Insurance Letters Are Important—Technical Denials of Only a Part of a Claim Start the One-Year Time to File Suit

Insurance companies often have clauses which shorten the time to file suit against them that are less than the statutory limitations for suit. Some states allow this, and some states do not. An important North Carolina decision filed yesterday indicates that North Carolina will not allow insurance companies to shorten statute of limitations under property insurance policies. The limitations period is three years from the date of the loss.1
Continue Reading Insurance Claim Statute of Limitations In North Carolina

With wildfire season in full swing, it is worth revisiting the laws surrounding the deadlines to file suit and ensuring that coverage counsel properly writes the lawsuit to avoid dismissal. Last week, a federal court ruled that an insured’s lawsuit was filed too late based on the allegations the insured herself set forth. The court ruled, consistent with California law, that the deadline is firm and missing the deadline bars the lawsuit. The case is Rosenberg-Wohl v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company.1
Continue Reading Not Following California’s Intricate Suit Limitations Rules Dooms Yet Another Unsophisticated Insured

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen deserves a big shout out for issuing a Bulletin on July 26 warning policyholders of the impending statute of limitations for a derecho that struck Iowa on August 10, 2020. He is calling on insurance companies to be liberal granting extensions to file lawsuits and warning derecho claimants to file suit or get an extension before August 10—next week! This Bulletin provides:
Continue Reading Iowa Derecho Statute of Limitations Quickly Approaching—Policyholders, Public Insurance Adjusters, and Contractors Beware!