Tag Archives: California

What Is the California FAIR Plan?

Californians have many questions after being non-renewed by their insurance companies and unable to find another company that will insure their properties. The losses from recent wildfires have caused carriers to scale back, and some have completely ceased writing insurance in several California regions. The California FAIR Plan remains the only option for many of … Continue Reading

Although Many Policies Exclude Sewer Line Backups from Coverage, What Is A Government Entity’s Liability Under Inverse Condemnation?

Most homeowners are surprised to learn that almost all homeowners’ policies include exclusions for damage caused by sewage water originating outside their home. For example, if your city or county’s sewer main line backs up because of tree roots or debris and the sewage water backs up into your home, the resulting damage will not … Continue Reading

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

California’s Insurance Adjuster Act of 2019 Is Coming

California’s Senate Bill 2401 is making its way through the legislature and will hopefully bring some important changes to the way insurance companies train their out of state adjusters who handle California based policyholder’s claims. The bill, also known as the Insurance Adjuster Act of 2019, was created by Senator Bill Dodd to eliminate confusion … Continue Reading

Insurance Company Act in Bad Faith? Can It Be Punished? What Policyholders Need To Know About California Bad Faith Law

Insurance policyholders who are considering suing their insurance companies for bad faith need to consider many pros and cons, including the potential for financial compensation. California juries can allocate the money they award policyholders to several categories, such as unpaid policy benefits, attorney fees, and punitive damages. This post addresses punitive damages and looks at … Continue Reading

Insurance Companies Cannot Deduct The Cost Of Land From Your Replacement Home Purchase in California

Many insurance policyholders who have lost homes in the devastating California wildfires call our firm and ask, “Can my insurance company really deduct the value of the land under the replacement home I purchased from my claim payment?” This is a great question because this is now an unlawful tactic by the insurance companies that … Continue Reading

Does an Insurance Adjuster Have Deadlines To Work and Finish My Claim? A California Guide

The California Fair Claims Settlement Practices Act imposes multiple deadlines to respond and report to insureds during a claim adjustment. Knowing and understanding an insurer’s reporting duties and deadlines can speed up the adjustment and payment of a claim. Although a failure to meet a deadline by a day or two may not, in and … Continue Reading

Hidden Damage from Wildfire Claims

Losses from wildfires across the United States over the past decade have added up to $5.1 billion.1 In addition to damage typically expected from fires (smoke, soot, ash, water from fire-fighting hoses and extinguisher chemicals), some homeowners may face the additional risk of damage caused by suppression efforts, specifically aviation-based firefighting.… Continue Reading

When Can You Ask for Reformation?

Everyone in the insurance industry has heard the term reformation, but it is often misunderstood. In California (and elsewhere), the legal right to reformation originated over a century ago when we still had separate courts of “law” and “equity.” Reformation was a creature of the latter, designed to prevent one party from using a mistake … Continue Reading

Applying Depreciation in California – Understanding the Guidelines

The California Insurance Code mandates if a property insurance policy requires actual cash value payment, the payment must be based on the property’s depreciation for two types of claims: (1) a partial loss to a structure, i.e., a home or building and (2) damaged contents, i.e., personal property or business personal property.1 Fortunately, there is … Continue Reading

Potential Changes to California’s Insurance Code Section 2051 Impacts Total loss Valuation on ACV Policies

Are California homeowners entitled to collect actual cash value (“ACV”) or replacement cost values (“RCV”) for property claims? It depends on what type of policy you have and whether you suffered a total or partial loss of your property. What’s more, in a few weeks, the California Assembly may vote to change existing law. To … Continue Reading

Summary of California Property Insurance Legislation Enacted in 2018

California residents were not spared from disaster in 2018. Instead, devastating wildfires continued, which included the biggest and most devastating wildfires to ever ravage California. The continued disasters were more frequent and begun much earlier during California’s prolonged dry period. The number and size of the wildfires along with insurance carriers’ claim handling have brought … Continue Reading

California Passes Law Requiring Insurance Companies Take Specific Measures To Periodically Review The Estimated Replacement Cost Of Structures Insured Under Residential Property Insurance Policies

Last month, California passed legislation that requires residential property insurers to take specific measures to review the estimated cost of rebuilding or repairing structures insured under residential property insurance policies. Assembly Bill 1797 added section 10103.4 to California’s Insurance Code. With certain, limited exceptions, under the new statute, residential property insurers must, at least biennially, … Continue Reading

Why California Insurance Reform Can Improve Disaster Recovery in the Future

As many Californians continue to repair, rebuild, and regain financial health after the disasters throughout the State, many are looking at insurance reform as a solution for the future. Insurers should provide the funds due to individuals and businesses after a disaster, but as surveys have shown, these funds don’t always flow as they should.1… Continue Reading

Claims Handling Requirements by State – California

As I am writing this blog, most of the country is in the middle of a deep freeze. Here in New Jersey, the forecast doesn’t show any signs of warming up: So naturally, my mind turned to more temperate climates and so today we are going to chat about the claims handling guidelines in California.… Continue Reading
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