David L. Brown

All articles by David L. Brown

 

Texas Extends Emergency Adjuster Licensing Eligibility Period from 90 to 180 Days due to Extensive Claims Resulting from Harvey

Texas Insurance Code §§4101.002(b) and 4101.101 authorize carriers to immediately use nonresident and emergency adjusters to handle claims. Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on August 25, 2017. As the Code authorizes — and with the relocation of hurricane victims and other personal hardships sustained by residents of counties covered in the governor’s disaster proclamations due to the effects of Harvey — the Texas Insurance Commissioner has just signed Order # 2017 dated November 16, 2017. This order extends for
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Catch-All RORs? South Carolina Again Says No

The South Carolina Supreme Court reaffirmed that when an insurer reserves rights to deny coverage, the specific grounds stated in the insurer’s reservation of rights letter are critical. In reaffirming a much-discussed decision from earlier this year, the court refused to consider policy defenses asserted by an insurer because the insurer failed to properly reserve its rights to contest coverage. According to the opinion, the insurer’s letter (1) failed to notify the policyholders of the particular grounds upon which it
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Threshold for Extra-Contractual Liability Reaches New Low

The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina recently ordered an auto insurer to pay a $1.1 million dollar excess judgment because the settlement checks sent by the adjuster did not arrive in the plaintiff’s counsel’s hands within the 24-hour limit set by the plaintiff’s counsel. With a claim-to-settlement span of a mere 25 days, this case may set a new, far lower standard for “negligent” claims handling, and allowed the plaintiff’s counsel to place requirements on
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Policyholder’s Breach of Insurer Consent To Settle Clause Precludes Bad Faith Claim

In Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. v. XL Specialty Insurance Co., 2015 WL 1773620 (Ga. Apr. 20, 2015), XL had provided Piedmont an excess policy with limits of $10 million excess of $10 million. The policy provided that XL will only pay for a “loss” that the policyholder became “legally obligated to pay.” The policy required the insurer’s consent to settle a claim, although it stated that the insurer would not unreasonably withhold consent. Further, the policy contained a provision
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