Articles by Jim Sams

Sams is editor of ClaimsJournal.com, the online resource and daily newsletter for property/casualty insurance claims professionals. ClaimsJournal is a member of the Wells Media Group. Sams can be reached at jsams@wellsmedia.com

Losses From Civil Protests May Cause Insurers to Rethink Property Coverage

The civil disturbance that started in Minneapolis after the killing by police of George Floyd spread to 20 other states, leading to an unprecedented property insurance catastrophe. The experience will likely impact policy renewals and could even persuade some insurers …

Insurance Fraud Investigators Ramp Up During Reopening, Even as Claims Volumes Drop

Fraud inevitably rises after natural disasters and during economic downturns. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought both conditions to the entire globe at once. Fraud-prevention advocates have long been warning about the coming increase in fraudulent claims. Data from Friss, a …

State Judge Rejects Michigan Restaurants’ COVID-19 Business Interruption Claim

A trial court judge in Lansing, Michigan handed a victory to insurers in what may be the nation’s first final ruling on the question of whether a property insurer is liable for financial damages caused by a coronavirus closure order. …

Court Refuses to Open ‘Loophole’ for Cruise Line Lawsuits

A plaintiff’s attorney cannot avoid a showdown with a cruise line at the federal courthouse in Miami simply by pleading the case as an action that does not require the court’s jurisdiction under admiralty law, a federal appellate court ruled …

No Coverage Owed for Shooting Due to Criminal Act Exclusion

An insurer is not liable for injuries caused by a policyholder who shot a 15-year-old boy in the head because the policy excluded coverage for criminal acts, a split Georgia Court of Appeals panel decided. The 2-1 ruling by the …

Riots in Wake of Floyd’s Death Could Become Most Costly Civil Disorder for Insurers

Rioting that erupted in cities across the country after peaceful protests mourning the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis may rival the 1992 Los Angeles riots to become the most costly civil disorder for insurers in United States history. The …

States Adding Laws to Shield Businesses From Liability for Coronavirus Claims

Four states have passed laws that grant businesses immunity from civil liability for claims relating to COVID-19, while legislation in at least three other states is advancing. The bills signed into law by the governors of North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah …

Coronavirus Business Interruption Suits Top 100; More Expected

A federal court has received notice that 101 lawsuits have been filed as of late May seeking coverage from insurers for business interruption losses caused by COVID-19. Plaintiffs attorneys say they expect the number to rise into the thousands. “Ultimately, …

California Workers’ Comp Bureau Lowers Mid-Range Estimate of COVID Costs by $10B

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California published estimated costs of allowing state workers to receive benefits for COVID-19 claims without proving virus exposure at work, dropping a prior mid-range estimate by $10 billion. In a report published in …

California Workers’ Comp Bureau Lowers Mid-Range Estimate of COVID Costs by $10B

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California published estimated costs of allowing state workers to receive benefits for COVID-19 claims without proving virus exposure at work, dropping a prior mid-range estimate by $10 billion. In a report published on …