My past few hurricane blog posts have been discussions of the issues raised in the recent Florida state court case of Citizens Property Ins. Corp. v. Ashe, No. 1D09-1546, 2010 WL 4628915 (Fla. 1st DCA Nov. 17, 2010). To refresh your recollection, Ashe was a case in which a homeowner’s property was damaged by a hurricane, the homeowner was paid policy limits by his flood insurer, and a dispute arose as to entitlement to benefits under his wind policy. Another case in that same vein was recently before a Mississippi federal court in Penthouse Owners Assoc., Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, No. 1:07CV568-HSO-RHW, 2011 WL 96514 (S.D. Miss. Jan. 11, 2011).

Continue Reading Does Accepting Flood Policy Limits Amount to an “Admission” that Hurricane Damage was Solely Caused by Water?

Policyholders with flood and all risk policies usually do not have as many problems collecting benefits following a hurricane where wind and flood damaged a structure. Those with only one policy are not so fortunate. When the combination of payments from both policies is less than the cost to repair or when delays in payments occur, numerous issues arise.

Continue Reading Double Recovery and Actual Cash Value Analyzed in Katrina Wind Flood Scenario

Slabbed has been dogged regarding its reporting on the Mississippi qui tam litigation involving State Farm. A recent post, Rigsbys file “Motion to Reconsider Scope of Proceedings in Light of Evidence Adduced in Discovery” – ask Court for additional time to conduct Discovery into “the Scheme,” provides some insight regarding the flood adjustment techniques required by National Flood versus how flood adjusters in the field actually do their job.

Continue Reading Flood Adjustment Methods Discovered in Qui Tam Case

The attempts by Mississippi’s Gene Taylor to craft an insurance product that fully covers hurricane losses seems to be having trouble, but not because Gene Taylor is not trying. While the House of Representatives passed a bill supported by Taylor which includes coverage for the perils of wind and storm surge into one policy, one Republican Senator offered a compromise bill which does not accomplish that but merely proposes a different method of dispute resolution. As reported in the National Underwriter, both Taylor and the insurance industry think the compromise legislation does not work.

Continue Reading Insurance Industry and Taylor Not Interested in Compromise Flood Insurance Legislation

The Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula slab cases are settling. There was an agreement between the Texas attorneys that nothing would come out in the press until the clients signed the agreements. Since even the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) participated with a press release, I assume that the gentlemen’s confidentiality agreement to wait on telling everybody publicly that a settlement has been reached, even before clients have signed the releases, no longer applies. The vast majority of my clients have only received letters from our firm, and I am awaiting final figures from TWIA so that we can consummate the deal. I hope everybody is not optimistically jumping the gun.

Continue Reading Texas Windstorm Insurer Settles 2,400 Hurricane Ike Slab Claims

Florida Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company v. Mathis
— So.3d —-, 35 Fla. L. Weekly D868a, 2010 WL 1542631
(Fla. 1st DCA April 20, 2010)

Florida Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company appealed a final judgment in favor of the Mathises, awarding them their homeowners policy limits. Hurricane Ivan caused substantial wind and flood damage to the Mathises’ home. The home was insured with a flood insurance policy with policy limits of $250,000, issued pursuant to the National Flood Insurance, and with a Florida Farm homeowners policy with policy limits of $295,600, which covered windstorm damage but excluded flood.

Continue Reading Florida’s First District Court of Appeal Issues an Opinion on Valued Policy Law

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

The exodus of the larger national multiline carriers along coastal areas continues. Nationwide has reportedly filed a plan to non-renew 60,000 property insurance policies in Florida starting next July. Unlike State Farm, however, Nationwide Insurance Company has made arrangements with Tower Hill Insurance Group out of Gainesville, Florida, to accept all 60,000 policies.

Continue Reading Nationwide Continues its Removal From Florida Property Insurance Marketplace

My work day started at 4:30 am EDT in Tampa, with a trip to South Padre Island regarding a Hurricane Dolly dispute. It will end at sunset following meetings on Hurricane Ike matters. As my pilots are working on getting me safely home through the summer Gulf Coast weather, I am wondering how Judy Guice did in her argument earlier today before the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Continue Reading National Flood Regulations Have to Be Followed and Policyholders Must File “Adverse Proofs of Loss”