Showing 3 posts in Insurance & Reinsurance Litigation & Counseling.

Reasonable Disagreement or Fraud? Competing Estimates of Property Damage in First Party Claims

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Absent an outright disclaimer of coverage, a disagreement regarding the scope and amount of covered damages represents the very heart of virtually every disputed first-party property claim. While certainly not all claims presented by policyholders (or their public adjusters) are unreasonable, any lawyer who has defended first-party lawsuits can offer examples of claims with extremely minor damage that quickly turn into five and six figure demands based on estimates that call for repairs or replacement to virtually every element of a home. Take, for example, a minor water leak underneath a single kitchen cabinet that is quickly discovered by the homeowner and repaired, but leaves some minor water staining and warping to that single cabinet. Often, by the time a demand is presented to the carrier, that minor water damage claim has turned into a demand for a complete kitchen overhaul to include replacement of all kitchen cabinets, countertops, flooring, painting, etc. More »

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Issues Informational Memorandum on Insurer Continuity of Operation Plans on COVID-19

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On March 16, 2020, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation ("OIR") issued an Informational Memorandum OIR-20-03M.  In that Memorandum, the Commissioner urged all regulated insurers to heed the guidance memos from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"), as well as the Florida Department of Health ("DOH"), for businesses and employers. All companies regulated by the state OIR are required to review and update all Business Continuity Plans and/or Continuity of Operations “immediately”.  Such operations as policy issuance, premium collection, claims adjustment and payment, and policyholder services, must account for DOH and CDC guidance surrounding COVID-19. The OIR required immediate notice to the department by any regulated insurer, if that insurer has had to activate its Business Continuity or Continuity of Operations plans. Insurers must advise the DOI the date the plan was activated, and the name, phone number and email address of the company’s point of contact for continuity plan activation. Further, if in response to COVID-19 any business operations are compromised to the extent it may jeopardize ability to provide essential services to policyholders the company must immediately notify the DOI, by providing detailed information regarding the extent to which business operations are compromised, including how it impacts policyholders, and provide the name, phone number and email address of the point of contact for that issue.

CLIENT ALERT: Seventh Circuit Negates Need for a Certificate of Insurance Before Loss - CGL Coverage Exists for an Additional Insured if an Oral Agreement Prior to Covered Event

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The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Vita Food Products, Inc., No. 15–1405 (7th Cir. Dec. 16, 2015), has issued an important decision with far-reaching impact on the interpretation of “additional insured” status under commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurance policies. With this decision, additional insureds should have an easier time seeking coverage. More »

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