Insurance company attorneys can be tricky because they try to “set up” defenses in the investigation of a claim and then claim non-cooperation or fraud if the requests are not fully responded to. It is almost as if the insurance defense bar is playing a “gotcha” game. On the other hand, not cooperating on an obvious and material issue will spell doom for the policyholder. This was the case in a matter decided last week.1Continue Reading The Duty to Cooperate—What Happens If You Do Not Fully Respond and the Insurance Company Says Nothing About It?

Late filed proofs of loss are treated differently by state and federal law. Some are draconian, where a proof of loss filed one day late may void coverage, as noted in Attention Public Adjusters: Urgent Reminder on Upcoming Deadline for National Flood Proofs of Loss. Some states require the insurer to prove prejudice as noted in Late Filed Proof of Loss – Does Delay Result in Denial? Continue Reading Will a Late Filed Proof of Loss Void Coverage? What About a Late Filed Proof of Loss in Georgia?

The title of this post is a question often asked by policyholders. The practical answer in most states is that one should never expect to successfully appeal a decision by an appraisal panel. If you get a poor award from the panel, you better be ready to accept it because chances are slim that it will be changed by a court. I discussed this fourteen years ago in Appraisals Better Be Won Because They are Difficult to Overturn–Even if Unfair in Result or Procedure.Continue Reading Can An Appraisal Award Be Appealed?

As the clock ticks down, I’ve been receiving a surge of calls and emails from concerned public adjusters regarding the impending deadline for submitting National Flood Proofs of Loss. FEMA extended the deadline for 365 days from the date of Hurricane Ian. It’s crucial not to miss the deadline to deliver, not just mail, the full and correct proof of loss is this week. You only have a couple of days to get this correct.  Continue Reading Attention Public Adjusters: Urgent Reminder on Upcoming Deadline for National Flood Proofs of Loss

The property insurance policy calls for a court to appoint umpires. Parties typically file a petition to appoint an umpire and then a request to confirm the appraisal award after the appraisal panel renders a decision. A reader of this blog asked me to comment on the following ruling from a recent Florida appellate case:1 Continue Reading Can Florida Courts Confirm Appraisal Awards and Appoint Umpires?

Our law firm library is brimming with insurance company chronicles from books published long ago by the insurance industry. In these, company executives of yesteryears boasted about the swiftness with which they compensated their claimants. They painted pictures of drained company treasuries and the extraordinary efforts of their claims staff, working overtime to ensure prompt payments. These tales often shined a light on a business ethic that put the policyholder first.Continue Reading Why the Property Insurance Industry Is Dominated by Bean Counters —Why Is Your Hurricane Ian Claim Underpaid and Delayed

It has been one year since Hurricane Ian. If you have not completely resolved your claim, you need to see a lawyer about your rights. Public adjusters and contractors working on Hurricane Ian claims should say the same thing. One year is just too long for a settlement not to have been made, and insurers have had enough time to work with non-legal professionals to get their jobs done right. Continue Reading The One Year Anniversary of Hurricane Ian—What Do Policyholders Now Face? 

Cooperation does not equal “slavish obedience.” Property claims adjustments overseen by insurance company counsel come in various tones and methods. Some are professional and truly in good faith regardless of the decision. On the other hand, some insurance companies have failed to tell their dogs-on-a-leash counsel to treat their client’s customers the same way the insurance company did before the loss when the customer was not seen as the enemy.  Continue Reading Examinations Under Oath – Insurer Requests Have to Be Reasonable and Made Before the Claim Is Denied