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Six Things to Know About Making Storm-Related Insurance Claims

Mon Sep 25th, 2017 on     Insurance Claims,     R. Hugh Lumpkin

  As a result of Hurricane Irma, people and businesses will begin to take stock of the damage suffered and evaluate potential recovery assistance promised by property insurance. We urge those affected to seek professional help and guidance; insurance policies are complicated documents. We suggest some simple steps that should be followed in finding the right help and guidance, and to assist in getting paid fairly and promptly. Make your claim: Insurance policies have time limits on when and how a claim should be made. More than 50 years ago, the Florida Supreme Court observed that most folks don’t read their insurance policies until disaster strikes – get the policy and review it now. If you need help interpreting what you need to do and when, check with your agent or broker. A good agent or broker can and will help you with the mechanics of providing notice of a claim. Document your claim: Always keep careful track of the extent and expense of your claim. All insurance policies require you to mitigate your damage to prevent more loss, but don’t try to fix anything unless lots of pictures are taken. If paying in cash, get a receipt. Insurance companies expected to make a large claim payment need an equally large amount of paper to justify the payment. Even if something is not covered by the policy or there is a large deductible, there may be tax reasons to keep all of that paper – consult a professional to tell […]

Understanding insurance options before setting sail

Mon May 8th, 2017 on     Insurance Claims,    

One of the primary advantages of living in Florida, apart from the countless sunny days, lush greenery and ecological diversity, is the seemingly endless water access. Indeed, those looking to swim, kayak or take a boat out on the water can pick from any spot along the miles of sandy coastline, or spend their time out on one of the state’s many rivers or lakes.

Given this reality, you’ll find that many people in the Sunshine State have everything from canoes and sail boats to powerboats and jet skis parked in their driveways or down at the local marina.

Bad faith battlegrounds: Not so quiet on the Southeastern front

Thu May 4th, 2017 on     Articles,     Brenton N. Ver Ploeg

Bad faith battlegrounds: Not so quiet on the Southeastern front Bad faith has now become part of the American landscape and an accepted tool to balance the playing field between insurers and policyholders. In 1982, Florida’s Legislature became the first in the United States to create the right to bring a private lawsuit for an insurance company’s violations of the Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act (UITPA). UITPA, on the books since the mid-’70s, described and prohibited many unfair claims practices but saw them enforced only by the limited staff employed in the Insurance Commissioner’s office. The 1982 law (Florida statute 624.155) commonly known as Florida’s Bad Faith Statute, provides outside-the-contract remedies for consumers with a Florida claim. It promised much, but in its infancy brought little and was sparsely used. Though uninsured motorist claimants at the trial level were quick to benefit from the statute’s plain effort to include them, appellate cases were slow to come, scattered and inconsistent. Even the basic procedural and substantive issues, undefined by either the statute or its legislative history, went largely begging for resolution. The Bad Faith Statute is now into adolescence, and like most teenagers approaching their 16th birthday, is experiencing not only rapid growth but the confusion that comes from false starts. Here, we review some of both threads. The underlying bad faith disputes: Chickens and eggs One of the threshold issues in insurance bad faith law around the country is whether an insured can maintain a bad faith suit at the […]

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