Category Archives: Insurance Coverage & Liability

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Beware of Time Limits for Homeowners to Sue Their Insurance Carriers

Posted in Insurance Coverage & Liability

Most homeowner’s policies issued in New Jersey contain statutes of limitation for filing a lawsuit against an insurance carrier where the homeowner (insured), disagrees with the insurance carrier’s claim payment amount, or refusal to make any payment on a claim. In a recent unpublished United States District Court opinion, Turkmany v. Excelsior Insurance, the court… Continue Reading

Honesty Required When Homeowners Bring a Fire Loss Insurance Claim

Posted in Insurance Coverage & Liability

Insureds filing a fire loss claim against their homeowner’s insurance carrier for property damage and loss of personal property must not conceal or misrepresent any material fact or circumstance in presenting the claim. In a recent unreported Appellate Division case in New Jersey, Masaitis v. Allstate, plaintiffs (the homeowners) sued Allstate for significant fire loss… Continue Reading

Senior Citizen Life Insurance Policies and Designating a Third Party to Receive Notice

Posted in Insurance Coverage & Liability

A recent unpublished decision by a N.J. federal district judge addressed whether an insurance company can be forced to pay out $300,000 on a life insurance policy purchased by a senior who stopped paying premiums before his death.  Smith v. Conseco. The New Jersey legislature enacted a statute, effective in 2000, requiring insurers to remind… Continue Reading

The Impact of “Tolling” on Sandy Suit Deadlines

Posted in Insurance Coverage & Liability

With the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy fast approaching, policyholders who sustained damage during the storm who have not yet settled their insurance claims, may be running up against some contractually imposed deadlines. Most insurance policies limit the time period within which an insured is permitted to file suit against an insurer for the insurer’s failure to provide benefits under the policy. Insurance policies are considered contracts, and normally in New Jersey an aggrieved party has up to six years to sue for an alleged breach of contract. However, parties are free to enter into contracts that contain terms which restrict rights that would otherwise be available to one party or the other. In the insurance context, policy provisions which limit the time period within which an insured is permitted to sue are found in virtually all policies.

Post-Sandy “Bad Faith” Bill Targets Insurers

Posted in Insurance Coverage & Liability

While Superstorm Sandy brought with it destructive winds and tidal surges, it also ushered in tides of change for New Jersey’s insurance market and regulatory scheme. Now that insurance company coverage decisions are starting to emerge, the New Jersey Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, codified as N.J.A.C. 11:2-17.1, et al., is in the spotlight. The Act is currently only enforceable by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance and action is typically only taken if a pattern of abuse is evident.

Homeowners Insurance Policy Summary Will Be Required Post-Sandy

Posted in Insurance Coverage & Liability

It is no surprise that legislation mandating changes to homeowners insurance in New Jersey has begun to make its way through Trenton following Superstorm Sandy. Most recently, a bill was signed into law which adds information to be included in the required Homeowners Insurance Consumer Information Brochure which accompanies new and renewal policies. The new law will require the inclusion of a one-page summary of the policy including “notable” coverages and exclusions, as determined by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance.