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Insurance Regulations Prohibit an Insurer From Just Standing By Its Repair Estimate When An Insured’s Estimate Demonstrates the Cost to Repair Is More – Another California Practice Tip

In California, the moment an insured obtains a repair estimate that exceeds the insurer’s estimate, the insurer must either pay the difference or adjust its original estimate. This rule is set forth in the Fair Claims Settlement Practices Act, 10 Cal. Code Regs. § 2695.9(d). Generally, whenever anyone makes an insurance claim, the insurance company … Continue Reading

California Regulations Require That an Insurer’s Preferred Vendor Return Property to Its Pre-Loss Condition – A Quick Guide to What You Need to Know

It is becoming more and more common that insurance companies are recommending and suggesting that their “preferred vendors” perform loss repairs. California offers insureds protection if they opt to use a preferred vendor. Under the Fairs Claims Settlement Practices Regulations, if an insurer recommends a vendor, the insurer is essentially required to guaranty that vendor’s … Continue Reading

Contractors Beware Taking AOB Contracts For Restoration Work: New Policy Forms Restricting AOB Contacts Discussed By Recent Insurance Bulletin

Assignment of benefits contracts for property damage claims may be going the way of the dinosaur in Florida. A recent Florida Insurance Bulletin notes that the new statute allows insurance companies to issue policies preventing an assignment of benefits if insurers offer a premium discount.… Continue Reading

Colorado Overhead and Profit Issues—Merlin Law Group Files a Response for Colorado Policyholders

The Colorado Department of Insurance has proposed eliminating one of its long-standing bulletins requiring insurance companies to pay contractor overhead and profit rather than deduct the amount until incurred. Such an elimination is obviously against policyholder interests and is the result of insurance industry lobbyists making inroads with Colorado insurance regulators who are supposed to … Continue Reading

In Florida, There Are Penalties For An Insurance Company That Does Not Timely Issue Payment After A Settlement

An overwhelming number of claims are settled on a mutual understanding with respect to the covered loss and the amount necessary to indemnify the policyholder. The question is then: What can a policyholder do if the insurance company is taking an unreasonable amount of time to tender settlement payment. Florida law remains focused on strong … Continue Reading

Time Limits on Public Adjuster and Contractor Solicitation Challenged as Unconstitutional Restraint on Free Speech

A federal lawsuit has been filed challenging the free speech rights of solicitation by contractors and public adjusters.1 We have discussed this topic before in Public Adjusters Win Free Speech Rights and Ability to Promptly Help Policyholders, and History Repeats Itself When Public Adjusters Win Free Speech Rights.… Continue Reading

Insurers Must Provide Complete Replacement Cost Estimates

The California Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling yesterday requiring insurers to communicate “complete” replacement cost estimates to insureds.1 The ruling not only found the regulation requiring this action to be well within the Insurance commissioner’s authority, but found the basis for the regulation to be well founded. It is a wonderful victory for policyholders … Continue Reading

Insurance Bulletins Can Help Consumers Looking for Full Recovery

Rarely do insurance commissioner bulletins warn insurance companies of paying too much or that consumers are not entitled to insurance benefits. Most departments of insurance only write bulletins because insurance company adjusters pay far too less to similarly situated consumers suffering from the same loss.  Of course, insurance company lobbyists now go into overdrive to … Continue Reading

Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting Trends

Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting (UPPA) has become the predominant discussion among public adjusters at virtually every public adjuster association meeting I attend. Brian Goodman, general counsel for the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA), said that UPPA is now the most important issue facing public adjusters because licensing of the profession is accepted … Continue Reading

State Law Sets New Requirements for Public Adjusters

On May 11, 2015, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law SB 439, which modifies and changes current laws relating to public insurance adjusters. The bill, first introduced by the Oklahoma Senate on February 2, 2015, “aims to protect Oklahoma storm victims, and ensure transparency and accountability in the insurance adjusting process.”1… Continue Reading

Partial Payments of Insurance Claims and Claims Delay – A Need for Higher Interest Rate Penalties and Claims Practice Regulations

Should any debtor hold on to money that is agreed owed? It seems like an absurd question, but in the insurance claims world, many insurance companies know that it is very profitable to "play the float." Even the most famous insurer admits that "playing the float" is very profitable, as I noted in Playing the … Continue Reading

Florida Public Adjusters Make Progress Fighting Code Changes

This spring, a hot topic for Florida public adjusters has been proposed changes to sections of the administrative code that govern public adjusters. Listen to the complete 25-minute audio recording from the recent DFS hearing here. Two of the proposed changes have the Florida Association of Public Adjusters taking action and explaining ramifications that may … Continue Reading

Are State Insurance Commissioners and Attorney Generals Failing to Protect Insurance Consumers?

Insurance is a highly regulated industry because insurance companies have a long history of failing to honor promises, going bankrupt or finding unethical novel methods to gain a competitive edge. State insurance commissioners and attorney generals are charged with enforcing laws and regulations protecting consumers. I posed a question about whether state insurance commissioners and … Continue Reading

Public Adjusters Challenge Validity of Proposed Language Regarding Direct Supervision and More

The Florida Department of Financial Services proposed changes to very important sections of the administrative rules that govern public adjusters and, in part, other adjusters in Florida. I posted about the proposed changes in Take Action Florida Public Adjusters: The Florida Department Seeks to Change the Rules Again.… Continue Reading

Take Action Florida Public Adjusters: The Florida Department Seeks to Change the Rules Again, Part II

The Department of Insurance is looking to change the way adjusting is done in Florida. Two weeks ago, I posted about the how problematic some of these proposed changes could be to the industry. On Thursday, May 9, 2013, the Department will have a hearing about the proposed changes. One of the changes our readers … Continue Reading

Take Action Florida Public Adjusters: The Florida Department Seeks to Change the Rules Again

The Department of Insurance is looking to change the way adjusting is done in Florida. Rule changes to 69B-220.051 and 69B-220.201 have been proposed. Here is the summary from the Department: The proposed changes to Rule 69B-220.051, F.A.C., clarify the responsibilities and requirements of public adjusters and public adjuster apprentices, define the terms “direct supervision” … Continue Reading

Regulating the Appraisal Industry—Is it Time?

Two recent posts, The Current State of Appraisal and How Mutual Terms Can Prevent Appraisal and Ethics of Appraisers—Just Wishful Thinking? raise the question whether the appraisal process and appraisers should be regulated. In my speech at the Windstorm Insurance Conference last week, I predicted regulation was certainly coming because neither insurers nor policyholders should … Continue Reading