Steve Badger published a proposed “Statutory Appraisal Process.” He noted on LinkedIn the following, in part:

My post last week about a proposed ‘Statutory Appraisal Process’ created a lot of discussion. Some supported the idea. Others hated it (for various predictable reasons). Everyone, however, agreed that the appraisal process is, or was at least intended to be, an efficient way to resolve disputed claims without the need for litigation.

Everyone also acknowledged that there are problems in the process that need to be corrected.

And here is my effort to address those problems……

…We are currently recommending that our clients include this revised appraisal provision in their policies. Several clients are now in the process of obtaining state regulatory approval of our proposed appraisal clause.

Continue Reading The Standard Steve Badger Appraisal Clause

How many policyholders, public adjusters, and appraisers become concerned when the judge picks an umpire who does not seem to have much experience with property insurance or the appraisal process? One reason I suggest that “all parties involved in an appraisal should try very hard to put their heads together to agree on someone they both think will be fair,” as noted in How Do Judges Appoint Umpires in an Appraisal? A Case Example from Louisiana, is that an inexperienced umpire can ruin the appraisal and cause further delays for everybody.

Continue Reading What Happens if the Court Appointed Umpire Ruins the Appraisal? Is There a “Do Over?”

How do judges appoint an umpire in an appraisal? Most appraisal clauses say words to this effect:

If the appraisers do not agree on the selection of an umpire within 15 days, they must request selection of an umpire by a judge of a court having jurisdiction.

Continue Reading How Do Judges Appoint Umpires in an Appraisal? A Case Example from Louisiana

Some states seem to be indicating that public adjusters act as fiduciaries for their policyholder clients. For example, Kentucky states that all adjusters “shall act in a fiduciary capacity on behalf of his or her principal.”1 Florida case law refers to public adjusters as a fiduciary.2 I made reference to the apparent fiduciary capacity being placed upon public adjusters at a recent public adjuster ethics presentation I made in California at the CAPIA Annual meeting. Many public adjusters might wonder—“What does it mean to act as a fiduciary?”

Continue Reading Ethics For Public Adjusters—What Does Acting as a Fiduciary Mean?

Colorado Division of Insurance (DORA) Commissioner Michael Conway has issued a new request to homeowners insurance companies to extend Additional Living Expenses (ALE) benefits for those affected by the Marshall Fire on December 30, 2021. This request for further extensions of ALE coverage echoes the concerns raised in my blog post, The Clock Is Ticking: Understanding the Need for Extended ALE Coverage After the Colorado Marshall Fires. The November 2023 request comes as many policyholders are still rebuilding their homes and approaching the two-year anniversary of the fire, which marks the expiration of their current ALE benefits. 

Continue Reading Colorado Division of Insurance Issues Updated Request for Marshall Fire ALE Extension 

If your property has been damaged, and your insurance company has approved your claim, the last thing you want to do is go back and forth with your mortgage company about when and how you can receive the money. However, many home and business owners find themselves in exactly this situation: forced to wait or jump through hoops before their lender will release the money they need for essential repairs — especially when the claim is significant.

Continue Reading What to Do When Your Mortgage Company Holds Your Insurance Check

A condominium made a claim arguing that unstable excavation material, which became heavy enough due to spring runoff, fell down a mountainside, causing damage to the condominium.1 The condominium made the following factual argument for coverage:   

Continue Reading The Specified Causes of Loss and Falling Objects—Can Debris Travelling Down a Mountain Be a Falling Object Triggering Coverage?

Property insurance adjusters sometimes ask me whether a loss comes within the “specified perils” coverage of the policy. What does “specified perils” mean?  When one goes to the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI) website, under “insurance definitions,” the term “specified perils coverage” is defined as the following:

Specified perils coverage is an obsolete auto physical damage term.

Continue Reading What Are the Specified Perils? What Is Falling Objects?

Dear Residents of Tree Oasis,

I hope this blog post finds you in good humor, as it is with great delight that I address a matter of utmost importance to Florida residents and others residing amongst the seemingly innocent vertical beings standing tall and proud: TREES.

Continue Reading Falling Objects Coverage – Are You Covered For That Tree Limb That Just Came Through Your Roof?

When an insured incurs expenses to prevent a potential loss, a situation arises that raises equitable and traditional insurance principles versus language not found in non-marine property insurance policies. This scenario, where the insured takes proactive steps to avert a loss that the insurer would have been liable for, raises a pivotal question: Should the insured be entitled to reimbursement for these preventative expenses?

Continue Reading Who Pays the Costs to Prevent a Loss?