As I discussed my post “The Duty to Defend in Florida”, liability insurance policies have two distinct requirements. The duty to defend a policyholder against whom a claim has been brought and a duty to indemnify that policyholder for any damages awarded in that action. The duty to defend the policyholder against a claim is a broad duty. As I previously noted, an insurer is generally required to assume responsibility for the defense if the alleged facts and legal theories are the type that the policy could cover.Continue Reading The Duty to Indemnify in Florida

While property insurance is likely the most recognizable and most discussed type of insurance, equally important is the liability policies providing coverage for the association, its employees, and the board. Board members and property managers should discuss all types of liability coverages, from general liability to errors and omissions policies, to ensure that everyone has a good understanding of what coverages exist and when each may come into play.Continue Reading The Duty to Defend in Florida

Insurance policies have contained contractual appraisal clauses for many years. Recently, however, there have been a number of disputes over when appraisal can be invoked and when it can be rightfully rejected. Appraisal is appropriate when there is a “dispute” over the amount of loss. The problem faced by many courts has been when this “dispute” actually comes into existence.Continue Reading Appraisal: When Can It Be Invoked

I often tell policyholders, be it associations, unit owners, or homeowners, to be sure to document their personal property before a loss occurs. This is especially important for unit owners that have downsized from larger houses and may keep some of their property in storage. Often pictures, or even a video, can make all the difference in getting a claim paid.Continue Reading Adding Insult to Injury: Holocaust Survivor’s Claim Denied Over Lack of Documentation

For years a debate raged over whether Florida law recognized an action for breach of a common law obligation of good faith and fair dealing in a first party insurance claim. At the center were condominium associations that suffered damages from Hurricane Wilma and either had their claims underpaid or denied altogether. After years of waiting, the Florida Supreme Court issued its ruling in QBE Insurance Corporation v. Chalfonte Condominium Association, Inc.,1 holding there can be no independent cause of action for breach of the common law obligation of good faith and fair dealing.Continue Reading The Good Faith and Fair Dealing Debate Continues in Florida

As I was driving through Dallas this week I noticed more and more roofing companies advertising help with hail damage claims. Anyone who has been involved in property claims in Texas knows that roofing contractors are a common sight. In fact, Texas seems to have more roofing contractors involved in claims than any other state.Continue Reading Texas Moves to Limit the Role of Roofing Contractors

The last thing a person wants after a long day of traveling is to be evacuated from his hotel room and herded into a basement hallway filled with dated furniture that likely hasn’t seen the light of day in a decade. When traveling to the central states this time of year, however, this scenario is not uncommon.Continue Reading Wind, Hail, and Hotel Basements: Insurance Companies in the Heartland Will be Busy