Examples of unreasonable insurance conduct

Refusing to re-inspect.

Refusing to see damage that is not difficult to see.

Not communicating with you or your representative in a way that is clear and effective.

Not looking for ways to provide coverage under your policy.

Trying to force you to use their chosen repair people.

Using false or unreasonably low estimates.

Unreasonable delay.

Here is what a Judge said were good examples or unreasonable conduct. I quote:

Call Keith Frankl 303-300-2029

 

 

Ask your insurance broker about new coverage limitations for property insurance

Insurance companies can limit payment through creative exclusions or expanding deductibles.

There is a cosmetic loss exclusion. It doesn’t sound like much. But cosmetic losses to metal and shingles will cost you money by reducing the useful life of your property.

Code or ordinance coverage should always be added. The cost of repair goes up as new code regulations are added.

Most building codes require that you repair following manufacturer’s recommendations. Manufacturers frequently update their recommendations to make their products last longer.

RCV is the actual cost to replace your property. ACV is the actual cash value of your property when it was damaged. There is a big difference. Make sure that you have RCV or replacement cost coverage.

Some deductibles are based on a percentage of the value of your property. Your deductible might increase after your damage claim but before you get payment. New insurance company tactics include an attempt to measure your deductible by the value of your property. Property values are increasing in Denver. The value when you bought the policy may be less then the current value of your property. This means the amount of your deductible goes up.

Call Keith Frankl 303-300-2029 or email KFrankl@Frankllawfirm.com

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Insurance companies like American Family routinely insist that they get the chance to reinspect before your contractor does any work which they do not think was caused by the storm or fire.

If you are in the middle of construction it’s difficult to stop.

Make sure you send photographs of the problem and an explanation that you are in the middle of construction and it is costly to stop. Ask American Family to come out right away under the circumstances. If they refuse, you have a better argument later.

The policy does not require preapproval. There is a general cooperation clause. Cooperation must be mutual and reasonable. This means that American Family, and others like them must respond in a reasonable time under the circumstances. If they don’t, they can’t complain later.

American Family has admitted that they can properly pay a claim based on photographs without an inspection.

Call Keith Frankl at 303-300-2029 or email KFrankl@Frankllawfirm.com

 

 

 

Insurance Companies use new tactics to fight appraisal.

In recent years insurers have sought for new ways to avoid appraisal.

Some new tactics include refusing to recognize the binding nature of an appraisal award or challenging the award itself in a variety of ways. Your appraisal was is followed by a clause that says the insurer reserves the right to deny the claim. This clause was inserted for reasons other than to challenge the appraisal award. For example, if the policyholder materially misrepresents the loss , the insurance company is still able to deny the claim . However, it has been used as an excuse for nonpayment of the award.

Keith Frankl fought this tactic. He pointed out that this clause exists for other purposes. A settlement followed shortly.

An insurance company claimed that they were tricked into accepting an appraiser who had previously worked with the public adjuster. Upon questioning, the insurance company appraiser admitted that he knew of the relationship and informed the insurance company. The insurance company simply didn’t care until after the award was issued. The insurance company may claim fraud in connection with the appraisal award when none exists.

This company was the subject of the previous order that determined that appraisal would determine whether there was storm damage and the amount needed to repair or replace that damage. During a subsequent lawsuit the insurer sought in vain to argue that appraisal only determined what it cost to repair the storm damage but not what was damaged in the storm. This insurance company also quickly settled during the appraisal process.

Another insurance company simply refused to go to appraisal until they were sued. This still happens with regularity.

The policy governs the terms of appraisal. Your insurance company cannot add additional conditions like requiring your appraiser or you to sign something that limits your rights.

Don’t forget to ask the insurance company about their appraiser. Ask about that appraisers background and past work. Even if they don’t answer it is useful evidence that you asked.

 

 

 Call Keith Frankl 303-300-2029 or email kfrankl@Frankllawfirm.com

 

Remember To Film Your Hail Storms

When hail decides to come down, people tend to look outside and gaze in awe as these nuggets of frozen ice pound away on your homes, gardens, and cars. If it looks like the hail may be rather large and could possibly cause damage, it is important to whip out your cell phone, video camera, or Polaroid and grab a quick video or two of the hail, especially to document the size. This will come in handy when you file a hail claim with your insurance company.

For a homeowner’s association (HOA) and the managers of those properties this documentation is even more important. The Association should make sure that following a hail storm, residents turn in a copy of the videos and photographs that they took during the storm. To make it worth their while, an HOA can offer up $40 as a reward for the best video or photograph that illustrates that hail size and the damage it causes.

Keith Frankl is an experienced lawyer who teaches other lawyers about storm claims. He has many satisfied clients. You could be one of them. Contact him at  8027538694

Keith Frankl Wins Multi-Year Battle Against American Family

This fight was for the little guy.
Tony Scott could not get his house repaired for the amount offered by American Family.
After trying to get a contractor from June through October 2010 a hero came along.
Rooftop Roofing, Inc. risked its own money.
They spent about $30,000 to repair storm damage when American Family would only pay about $15,000. They hired a lawyer for Mr. Scott to get his claim paid.
Mr. Scott was entitled to appraisal/arbitration to get a fair dollar figure for storm damage repair.
American Family refused originally but was forced by the court.
American Family was told to pay almost double after appraisal/arbitration.
They did not pay a dime until 6 months later.
The court said this was unreasonable delay. American Family appealed this to the Court of Appeals.
A jury trial was then held in May 2015. This was 5 years after the loss.
A jury found there was unreasonable delay. This entitled plaintiff to attorney’s fees and court costs.
Sometimes the little cases are the most satisfying.

Farmers Ordered to Provide Marijana coverage

A Court ruled that the Farmers group of companies agreed to ensure marijuana plants and the equipment used to grow them.

A disabled veteran used a medical marijuana license. These plants and growing equipment burned down. Farmers denied the claim saying that federal law made the growing and possession of marijuana illegal. Keith Frankl, Esq. argued that state law applied to insurance matters. A District Court judge agreed.

This is important news for medical marijuana users, growers and dispensaries. If the insurance policy does not specifically exclude marijuana plants and the growing equipment it is likely that there will be claims against insurers. When this happens state law should apply.

(541) 748-4203

917-639-1943When a car accident happens different insurance coverages will apply.

Liability for property damage:  pays the cost of repair or replacement of a damaged car.

Liability for bodily injury: pays for harms and losses caused by injury.

Medical payments coverage: Pays for healthcare costs.

Loss of use: You will need a replacement vehicle while your car is repaired or while you look for a new car.

Either liability property damage will pay for this or your rental coverage  provides up to 30 days coverage.

Health insurance: After co-pay and deducible pays for care.

Injury finance companies: These companies provide after-the-fact financing of health care costs if you do not have health or medical insurance. The company gets paid back out of the proceeds of settlement.

Uninsured motorist coverage: In return for a premium your company promises to pay what the driver causing the collision is responsible for up to your policy limit.

Underinsured motorist coverage: Same thing as uninsured, but covers you if the driver who hit you does not have enough insurance to pay for all the harms and losses.

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What counts is proving unreasonable conduct by the insurer. Many insurance companies made it a habit of paying just a little less than what was reasonable on very many claims. The conventional wisdom was that it was easier to steal a dollar from 100 people then $100 from one person. Colorado recognized This and now you can get all of your attorney’s fees if you can prove your insurance company denied part of your claim unreasonably.

The new law says that you, your auto repair shop, your roofing company, even your doctor’s office can sue for the unpaid part of the bill and get attorneys fees. In addition you get double the amount of your claim.

This law makes it difficult for insurance companies to continue to cheat by paying a little lessthan what is owed. Obviously insurers had an incentive to pay a little less on all claims. Keith Frankl says it has not seemed to change insurance behavior yet.