I spoke about water damage loss at the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters Annual Convention last week. One issue I discussed was the time limits of water damage. A recent post, Avoiding Denials of Water Damage Claims Based on “Long Term Damage Exclusions” also discussed the issue.
Continue Reading Water Damage Loss Time Limits and Hidden Damage—What Do Insurers Promise to Departments of Insurance?

Is USAA a bad faith insurer? Active duty and retired military people often ask me if USAA treats their policyholders fairly and whether it is a "good insurance company." My father, a former Admiral in the United States Coast Guard, is insured by USAA. My sister is awaiting promotion as a captain in the Coast Guard Reserve. Our law firm has had numerous claims and lawsuits with USAA.

Continue Reading USAA Loses Hurricane Bad Faith Trial in Texas

Law Reviews are where the academic discussions of law are openly published. While in law school, I was fortunate to serve as the Executive Editor on the University of Florida Law Review. The experience enabled me to research, correct and debate with law professors and scholars about points of law and how they should be framed for public review. Last week, the Mississippi Law Journal published an article, William F. “Chip” Merlin, Jr., Corban v. USAA: A Case Providing Far Too Little Because It Was Rendered Far Too Late, 79 MISS. L.J. Supra 129 (2010), which I humbly suggest may help many understand the issues related to the anticoncurrent clause in cases involving storm surge. I strongly urge you to read it if you are an attorney representing policyholders. For everybody else, it is another example of how I can make sleep potions better than anything you can find at the pharmacy.

Continue Reading Anticoncurrent Causation Clause Explained in Relation to Hurricane Losses

Does anybody think that TWIA is doing a "good job" of adjusting hurricane claims other than the private member insurance companies on TWIA’s Board of Directors? In a prior post, TWIA Insurance Claims Under Investigation by Regulators and Media, I noted that the Texas Department of Insurance attorneys are conducting an investigation into activities of TWIA’s claims conduct. The Houston Chronicle’s Purva Patel has been doing her own outstanding investigative reporting which is providing shocking and needed transparency into the real world activities that have gone on in the field concerning TWIA’s claims conduct and the motives behind it.

Continue Reading TWIA Receives Litigation, Media and Regulatory Critical Analysis for the Manner it Treats Customers During Adjustment

My initial and simple impression posted in Corban Mississippi Supreme Court Case Decided, Part 2 stands. My emotions and thoughts during my three readings of this decision kept reminding me of people I have met, represented, debated and lived out this saga with in Mississippi since the fall of 2005.

Continue Reading Corban Part Three: A Win for Policyholders and a Decision Following Rossmiller’s Causation Analysis of the Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause

My initial impression is that this is a huge win for policyholders because the decision correctly defines the burdens of proof in an all-risk insurance situation. The Court correctly noted what I have been advocating regarding the burden of proof since the date I first landed at Stennis Airport outside Waveland a week after Hurricane Katrina:

Continue Reading Corban Mississippi Supreme Court Case Decided, Part 2

Kelly and Craig Kubiak successfully presented a case to a jury this week involving a dispute with a long time USAA policyholder following a denial of her property insurance claim. The $245,000 jury verdict came after lengthy and contentious litigation with USAA. The opposing counsel and his law firm are one of the most successful in Florida. The most USAA ever offered in settlement to our client was fifty thousand dollars, so our client was thrilled and in tears following the jury’s verdict.

Continue Reading Sinkhole Case Trial Won For USAA Policyholder

No. 09-1333, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51410
(E.D. La., June 2, 2009)

Isidore’s home in Slidell, Louisiana was damaged in Hurricane Katrina. Isidore was originally included as one of several hundred improperly joined plaintiffs consolidated in the Federal District case, In re: Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation. When that case was administratively closed, all plaintiffs were ordered by the court to file separate amended complaints. After settlement negotiations with USAA, Isidore’s insurer, failed, Isidore refiled suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. USAA moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 

Continue Reading Federal Court Finds Lack of Diversity For Subject Matter Jurisdiction Against USAA