August 22, 2018

Go to the Scene—Part 2: Go the Extra Mile

By Hon. Mark A. Drummond

In the last issue, I promised to tell the story of how I learned the hard way the value of going to the scene. I was defending an insurance company in a fire loss claim. We had some strong evidence that the husband had torched the house. It was also clear that the wife had nothing to do with it. The couple was estranged. She had lived out of state for quite some time. Under the “innocent co-insured rule,” she could recover her 50 percent.

iStockphoto by Getty Images

The adjuster sent me the investigation with an appraisal, along with an expert’s report. Most of the photos were of the interior of the home, with just one or two pictures of the outside. The adjuster asked me if it was “OK” to cut a check to the wife, and relying on the appraisal, I said, “Sure.” That was a mistake.

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