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This program was recorded on October 2, 2020
Wild fires ravage much of the United States, especially now in the West, damaging and destroying structures and belongings and portending financial ruin. Fire insurance may finance the difficult, stressful, and often lengthy process of rebuilding, giving hope to property and wondering: “How much?” and “How soon?”. Statutory fire insurance policy forms and most fire insurance companies use standard policy language to describe coverages and prescribe procedures to follow to make a fire claim, establish the loss, and compel prompt payment by the insurer. But insurers have little incentive to pay claims generously or quickly. The insurer is not required to pay anything until the policyholder submits a “sworn proof of loss” including the “actual cash value” and amount of loss for each item damaged or destroyed. The value of a loss may be established by an appraisal award, agreement of the parties, or a court judgment, but not by the values claims in the sworn proof of loss. Thus, the sworn proof of loss can be a perjury trap, encouraging policyholders to swear under penalty of perjury the value of property. Insurance laws permit insurers to rescind the policy and deny all coverage if the policyholder makes any material false statement in the claim process. This “How to” course designed for lawyers and fire victims with little or no fire insurance claims experience to get the claim process started promptly and bringing it to a swift and satisfactory conclusion with minimum stress and expense.
Principal fields of study include: duty to defend, conflicts of interest, reservations of rights, Cumis counsel, lawyers’ ethical obligations, reasonableness of attorney fees, insurer reimbursement claims, good faith reliance on counsel, insurer good or bad faith, insurance coverage in construction defect, professional liability, personal injury, many business and personal torts, products liability, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, libel, slander, wrongful eviction, invasion of privacy, discrimination, sexual harassment, and pollution claims. Represented insurance companies or policyholders in coverage disputes. Defended policyholders for insurers in a wide variety of liability suits.
1 General Credit
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How Much Money May a Policyholder Recover?
How Soon May a Policyholder Be Paid?
How to Get Started
1. The Policy
3. Sworn Proof of Loss – a “Perjury Trap”
How to Determine the Loss – Appraisal Process
How to Get Help! Independent Adjuster, Lawyer, Contractor, or Appraiser?