We still field questions from adjusters about what gets paid if there is a total loss in Florida. I am certain that most adjusters remember something about a Florida total loss case where law and ordinance benefits were automatically paid without showing proof of loss. That case is known as Mierzwa1 and that part of Mierzwa was overruled by Ceballo.2
Continue Reading Total Loss Does Not Mean Supplemental Coverages Get Paid—Ceballo Overruled Mierzwa So That Law and Ordinance Does Not Get Automatically Paid Following a Total Loss

The string of natural disasters that struck California in 2017 and 2018 resulted in new legislation expanding the rights of California policyholders. The California legislature has drafted and introduced new legislation that would continue to expand policyholders’ rights.
Continue Reading Pending California Property Insurance Legislation – A Continued Expansion of Insured’s Rights

Total loss and constructive total loss concepts in Florida are often confused with automobile total loss situations and exclusions and coverages related to Ordinance or Laws. We recently were asked about building law and ordinances which required a building to be demolished per building codes. The cause of the damage was by a covered peril although like the vast majority of older buildings, there was pre-existing wear and tear to the structure.
Continue Reading Total Loss and Constructive Total Loss in Florida

Following the devastating damages from Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma, homeowners and businesses examined their insurance coverages to assist their recovery. For most people that have never needed to use insurance benefits, or had only small claims, these policies may have seemed like just another large expense every year that mostly protected the bank on its lending. Actually, when a loss happens each insurance policy should be recognized as the asset it has always been, available to provide funding for large, unanticipated expenses. The case I discuss next illustrates why understanding insurance principles is so crucial to gathering all available policy benefits.
Continue Reading Policyholders May Benefit From All Their Coverages

A co-insurance clause can operate to reduce the recoverable loss once a loss is sustained. What about in a claim under Florida’s Valued Policy Law (“VPL”)? Would a co-insurance clause reduce the recovery? This question has to do with the appropriate measure of damages under Florida’s VPL. As I have written previously, the VPL is meant to address the measure of damages for claims that fall within its terms.


Continue Reading Navigating Florida’s Valued Policy Law – The Effect of Co-Insurance

Do defenses of decay, dry rot, or termites reduce the amount of value owed by an insurance carrier to its policyholder when a property has been damaged and is a total loss under Florida’s Valued Policy Law (“VPL”)?1 This question has to do with the appropriate measure of damages under Florida’s VPL. After all, the VPL is meant to address the measure of damages for claims that fall within its terms.


Continue Reading Navigating Florida’s Valued Policy Law – Amount of Recovery