Whether damaged property can be “matched” during a repair is a major property insurance adjustment issue. There is one Louisiana appellate case discussing the matching issue,1 and it found for the policyholder. A prior post, Provide the Right Proof so Your Insurer Will Pay Costs to Repair or Replace to Match Texture, Color, and Likeness, should be studied because the result may depend upon the policyholder’s presentation of loss.
Continue Reading Do Insurers In Louisiana Have To Match Damaged Property?

In a recent post, Policyholders May Benefit From All Their Coverages, I discussed the importance of carefully evaluating all the insurance benefits potentially available to policyholders if a catastrophic loss occurs. That blog examined the decision in Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Hamilton,1 which allowed recovery of benefits for a total loss due to flood and due to wind damage under both a flood and a separate specified-peril wind insurance policy.
Continue Reading Policy Exclusions Must Be Narrowly Applied to Assure Policyholders Receive All Benefits Available

Following the devastating damages from Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma, homeowners and businesses alike 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. However, 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

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

Recently, we received an inquiry on the hazards associated with New Hampshire’s Insurance-to-Value Policy Rules. For those not familiar with value-policy laws, I refer you to a prior article for a refresher on what a valued policy is, and how it affects claims in New Hampshire.
Continue Reading Hazards Associated with New Hampshire’s 100% Insurance-to-Value Policy Law

We recently received a requested blog topic for the following:

FL Value Policy Law as it would apply with Hurricane Irma. If we have an insured with a Citizens policy with Cov A limit of $200,000 and our repair estimate is $180,000 should the value policy law be applied?

Answer: It depends. (I’m a lawyer, of course this is my answer!)
Continue Reading Florida Valued Policy Law & Hurricane Irma

I am taking a quick break from my series on claims handling guidelines to write about an issue that is probably just coming up for many folks in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The other night I was showing my wife Chip Merlin’s blog about the Gatlinburg fires and then we looked at photos of the devastation there. Because she knows attorneys in our firm travel quite a bit, she asked if I would be going down there to assist with claims.


Continue Reading Gatlinburg Fires and Valued Policy Law in Tennessee

I wanted to clarify my post from last week, Navigating Florida’s Valued Policy Law—The Effect Of Co-Insurance. In last week’s post, I stated “[T]he existence of a co-insurance clause can prevent full recovery in the event of total loss or a partial loss by fire or lightning.” Since the post last week, I have had several discussions with Stephen Sarasohn, who is a very experienced adjuster.


Continue Reading Navigating Florida’s Valued Policy Law – The Effect Of Co-Insurance, part 2

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