Merlin Law Group, P.A. (LexBlog United States)

5185 results for Merlin Law Group, P.A. (LexBlog United States)

  • Florida Replacement Cost and Actual Cash Value: A Study by Michael Cassel

    In a paper worthy of law review publication, Michael Cassel has written an excellent review of Florida’s changing law regarding replacement cost and actual cash value. Exploring The Application of Actual Cash Value Versus Replacement Cost Value in Florida Property Insurance Claims, is a must read for anybody wanting to have a full understanding of Florida’s...

  • Insurance Attorneys Acting as Claims Adjusters

    Can insurance attorneys hide their claims actions and billing records when they allegedly work with claims adjuster clients to hide reports? That was the issue in an Arizona bad faith case.1 The court noted the general law that an attorney acting as a claims adjuster has no attorney-client privilege: The attorney must be acting in...

  • Insurance Defense Firm Sued For Malicious Prosecution After Fraud Case Dismissed

    The same contractor that brought the RICO action against insurers allegedly “zeroing out” insurance claims before conducting investigations has filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit against a law firm that represented an insurer alleging fraud and misrepresentation committed by the contractor.1 The introduction to the malicious prosecution lawsuit filed this month states: This is a case...

  • Science Debunks Insurers False Opinions That Covid Does Not Physically Damage Property

    Insurance companies should prove the reason for not paying a claim under an all risk insurance policy. The denial should not stand on false opinions of fact. This was the point of a brief filed by a medical society in a covid business income claim pending before the New Hampshire Supreme Court.1 The New Hampshire...

  • Heroes Arise From the Champlain Towers Condominium Collapse

    One year ago, I got a telephone call from an engineer, Eduard Badiu. It was a little after 6 a.m., and his call woke me up. He called to tell me that people would need my help because a terrible tragedy happened with a condominium collapsing. His voice was afraid. He told me he was...

  • Can you Recover the Cost of Repairs from the Insurance Company after Selling your Home?

    One topic that has been written about multiple times on our blog involves the implications of selling the home or property during the course of an insurance claim. Notable posts include Things To Consider When Selling Property With An Open Insurance Claim, and Recovering Replacement Cost After Selling Unrepaired Property, by attorneys Kyle Bugden and...

  • Insurance Company Defense Counsel Admits That Claim Delay By Insurers Is a Strategy

    A Texas law firm that practices insurance defense work admits that claims delay is a strategy employed by some of its clients. In an article that was sent to me by numerous people, the law firm posted on its website blog: In February of 2022, it was reported that more than 10% of all insurance...

  • Supreme Court Has Ruled That the Appraisal Clause in the Standard Fire Policy Is Constitutional

    The United States Supreme Court held in the 1931 case of Hardware Dealers Mutual Fire Insurance Company v. Glidden Company,1 that the appraisal clause found in the Minnesota standard fire insurance policy is constitutional. This post follows the recent post, Does the Appraisal Process Violate the Constitution?, where I analyzed a pending case where the...

  • Louisiana Appellate Court Finds Coverage For Covid Business Losses

    The Louisiana Court of Appeals found that coverage exists for loss or damage caused by “direct physical loss of or damage to” the insured premises as a result of contamination by COVID-19.1 I have previously discussed the case following the trial in Chip At 2 Will Be At 2:30 With Update on New Orleans Oceana...

  • Does the Appraisal Process Violate the Constitution?

    Happy Father’s Day! Pablo Caceres is an experienced insurance defense attorney from a very reputable law firm who has raised the issue of whether the appraisal process violates the constitution. In an answer to a lawsuit by a condominium trying to enforce the appraisal provision, Caceres made the following argument on behalf of his client,...

  • Is Termite Damage Covered

    With the Florida summer heat in full force, I am forced to walk my dog through wooded trails. A common sight on these walks are trees fully hollowed out by termites. This got me thinking, what happens when termites do a number on older frame houses? Insect damage is commonly excluded from insurance coverage as...

  • Florida’s New Property Insurance Reform Tackles Fraud, But Only One Side

    Earlier this year, I wrote about the ongoing saga that is the Florida property insurance legislative reform efforts in a blog post titled: Florida Insurers Continued Use of “Fraud” as a Red Herring in Their Legislative Agenda. Throughout the article, I explained that the legislative reform efforts, which insurance companies and their lobbyists heralded, were...

  • A Brief Overview on Insurance Company Insolvencies and FIGA

    What happens if your insurance carrier goes under? Many people never consider this as a possibility, but as more and more insurance carriers go insolvent in Florida, this is becoming a very common reality. In Florida since 2018, seven Florida insurers have gone insolvent, including three in just this year.1 The three ordered into liquidation...

  • Do Homeowners Need Architects or Representatives in The Rebuilding Process?

    Does the typical homeowner have the expertise to inspect and evaluate the construction of a major loss? The answer is an obvious “no.” Yet, it is a rare occasion that a major repair estimate calls for any costs associated with drafting construction specifications and then inspecting the construction to determine if specifications are being met....

  • Lightning Strikes Increase While Lightning Losses Almost Disappear

    Actuaries from New York City have no answer for the most improbable set of statistics that have been recently occurring—lightning strikes have been increasing while lightning losses have been declining. The phenomenon is so bewildering that an international group of actuaries from Toronto, South Florida, and the Carolinas joined their New York colleagues to study...

  • Clay Morrison Becomes President of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters

    Clay and Ruth Morrison are wonderful people. Clay became president of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) last night at NAPIA’s Texan-themed annual meeting. I first wrote about Clay and Ruth Morrison in a 2010 post, Membership in Professional Organizations Helps a Small Public Adjusting Firm Achieve a Big Result. Clay Morrison is...

  • What To Do If You Cannot Get Your Property Insurance Adjuster to Return Calls

    The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) is hosting its annual meeting in Galveston, Texas. The claims handling tips make the event an excellent learning experience. One tip came from former NAPIA President Ron Papa from National Fire Adjusters (NFA). The topic was what one should do if the insurance company adjuster does not...

  • Beyond Claim Handling – Get a C.L.U.E.

    If you are a property insurance professional, you are undoubtedly aware of the harsh reality that the hardships of a loss event are rarely quickly resolved for a policyholder once the flames are extinguished. Instead, this marks the beginning of the claim handling process that can take months or years, bringing along its own challenges....

  • Kevin Jones Explains Why TPAs and Managed Contractor Repair Networks Are Scams Against Policyholders

    A preferred insurance contractor network or third-party administrator (TPA) is not the friend of the property insurance policyholder. As indicated in yesterday’s post, Policyholders, Restoration Contractors and Public Adjusters Should Be Concerned About Managed Repair and Third Party Administrators Working in Preferred Contractor Networks, Kevin Jones’ book, The Insurance Gods: How the Insurance...

  • Policyholders, Restoration Contractors, and Public Adjusters Should Be Concerned About Managed Repair and Third-Party Administrators Working in Preferred Contractor Networks

    Rene Sigman gave what must have been a humdinger of a speech about an alleged “ethical preferred contractor network.” She called out other co-presenters at the conference who are part of this network for selling out to the insurance industry. An audience member later said that other speakers affiliated with this allegedly new way of...

  • Restoration Contractors Claim New Florida Property Insurance Laws Unconstitutional

    Restoration Association of Florida (RAF) and a restoration contractor did not let Florida Governor DeSantis’ ink dry before filing a lawsuit seeking to quash the new property insurance legislation. RAF recently filed a lawsuit against Florida’s Insurance Commissioner, as noted in last month’s post, Restoration Association Accuses Florida Insurance Commissioner of Unconstitutional Conduct. The...

  • Arizona First-Party Common Law Bad Faith

    Our firm is battling State Auto in a commercial first-party property insurance claim in Arizona. As a result, we have been researching deeply into the nuances of Arizona bad faith law in preparation for the upcoming trial. I thought we should give an update on the basics of Arizona first-party common law bad faith. Arizona...

  • The Insurance Industry Teaches That a Cause of Loss Does Not Have to Alter Property

    Judges writing about what insurance contracts mean should read what the insurance industry teaches its adjusters and claims managers what insurance contracts mean. For example, a judge would not learn how a doctor is supposed to practice medicine by reading medical malpractice cases. For the same reason, judges and insurance law practitioners should spend time...

  • Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules Covid Does Not Cause Physical Loss or Damage

    While I was reading a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision cited in my post, Is Bat Infestation and Damage Covered Under A Homeowners Policy?, I noted that the same court held Covid 19 does not make property suffer physical loss or damage.1 The primary reasoning was as follows: The provisions of Society’s policy on which Colectivo...

  • Personal Property Valuation In Georgia Following A Fire

    Significant losses make it difficult to quantify the amount of damage recoverable for personal property. Property insurance adjusters will sometimes find all the personal property was consumed in the fire. There is very little left over to view. Refreshing the policyholder’s mind with the types, amounts, and condition of personal property consumed in a major...

  • Is Bat Infestation and Damage Covered Under A Homeowners Policy?

    A recently reported case drove me a little “batty” (pun intended) because it did not reach a conclusion or cite policy provisions when considering whether a case involving bat infestation would be covered under a homeowners policy.1 The appellate court sent the matter back to the trial court for further consideration and development of facts....

  • Remembering Coast Guard Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro

    Our heroes and leaders can come from all kinds of life circumstances. Memorial Day is specifically reserved for mourning those in the United States military who have died while serving us. I encourage each of us to pause for a moment to reflect upon someone who has made the ultimate sacrifice to protect democracy and...

  • Champlain Towers Collapse Class Action Settlement Is Granted Preliminary Approval

    The legal entanglements and issues arising from the Champlain Towers South condominium collapse at Sunrise, Florida reached a milestone with preliminary approval by the judge overseeing a billion dollar plus recovery for the class of victims. Judge Michael Hanzman held a Saturday hearing and ruled: 1. The terms of the Settlement are within the range...

  • Appraisal Clause in 1761 Maritime Policy and Reflections on Fast Resolution of Controversies

    Researching the origins of the appraisal clause, I posted about one found in a 1793 property policy in An Appraisal Clause From 1793. I came across the same clause in a 1761 maritime policy that was found in a virtual Harvard library. The policy bound in New York pre-dates the United States. I kept looking...

  • Thoughts On Claims Incentive Goals—Where Is the Goal To Not Overlook All Damages?

    Merlin Law Group attorney Drew Houghton brought an article, Discovery of Insurer Employee Incentive Plans: Rewarding Employees For Paying Insurance Claimants Less, to my attention. It was written by longtime colleagues Mike Abourezk and Marialee Neighbours. Their article is important and raises one of the fundamental ethical questions of claims management: The role of the...

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