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The Importance of Specificity in Reservation of Rights Letters

Reservation of rights letters notify policyholders that all or some of their claims may not be covered under their insurance policies. Insurance companies may deny coverage for a variety of reasons including: (1) the provisions of the policy, (2) legal principles, and (3) actions of the policyholder.  To avoid waiving any of their available defenses, …

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PROPERTY IN 60 SECONDS: Bob Horst Quoted in Claims Journal

HKR’s Bob Horst has recently been quoted in two articles published in Claims Journal dealing with appraisal: Appraisals, Water Damage Fraud Among ‘New Normals’ Discussed at PLRB (April 5, 2022) Insurers Challenging Awards When Appraisers’ ‘Disinterest’ in Question (April 19, 2022) The law surrounding the appraisal process has been developing rapidly throughout the country in recent months.  …

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PROPERTY IN 60 SECONDS: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules for Insurer in COVID-19 Coverage Dispute

This morning, in the first state supreme court opinion on COVID-19 business income coverage, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the virus does not cause physical loss of or damage to property that could trigger coverage under commercial property policies. In Verveine Corp. v. Strathmore Ins. Co., the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld the trial court’s ruling in favor of …

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Cryptocurrency Complications in the Property Insurance Context

Cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, Etherium and Litecoin, is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography. A distinct feature of cryptocurrency is that it is not issued by any central authority, such as a bank. Instead, internet users help maintain and manage the value of cryptocurrencies.  Cryptocurrency does not have any tangible existence, …

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“Other Insurance” Issues in Condominium Claims

Condominium claims can be challenging, even for experienced adjusters.  Condo losses regularly involve building exteriors, decorated common areas, multiple units, and other insurers. Depending on the areas of the condo damaged, an incident could implicate multiple insurance policies at the same time. When considering condo claims, unit owners and associations will typically review multiple property …

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PROPERTY IN 60 SECONDS: Harvesting Undamaged Siding is a Reasonable Repair

Property insurers are enjoying a late Winter harvest courtesy of Minnesota. In Elm Creek v. State Farm, the Minnesota Court of Appeals recently ruled that the “harvesting” of undamaged siding was a reasonable method of repair.  The loss location was a “residential, common-interest community” with 21 buildings, some of which were damaged during a 2017 hailstorm.  …

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Understanding the Role of Public Adjusters

The role of public adjusters is clearly set forth under Pennsylvania law.  Public adjusters advise and assist policyholders with their insurance claim.  See 63 P.S. § 1601.  Public adjusters do not “represent” anyone.  Public adjusters are not attorneys, nor are they representatives or employees of an insurance company.  The public adjuster-policyholder relationship is regulated by …

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Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Airbnb Properties?

The advent of Airbnb and similar services has introduced new difficulties into the insurance industry.  Standard homeowner’s insurance policies only protect properties being used as a primary residence.  A residence purchased for use solely as an Airbnb will require an insurance policy that accounts for the short-term and intermittent occupancy. Airbnb provides Host Guarantee and …

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Insurance Coverage Litigation in Bankruptcy Court

A Policyholder that files for bankruptcy may sometimes seek to resolve an existing insurance coverage dispute through the bankruptcy court as an adversary proceeding.  After all, a pending insurance claim may be considered an asset in the bankruptcy proceeding. Bankruptcy court jurisdiction over insurance coverage actions is a complicated legal analysis that can vary by …

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