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Is Failing to Comply With a Post-Loss Duty an Automatic Bar to Recovery?

In Florida, if an insured fails to meet a post-loss obligation, is it a complete bar to recovery? In a recent decision, the Third District Court of Appeal certified a conflict with the Fourth District Court of Appeal and held that an insurer must be prejudiced by the insured’s non-compliance with a post-loss obligation in … Continue Reading

The (Usually) Not-So-Difficult Question: Should a Policyholder Ask To Recuse a Federal Judge?

To avoid the appearance of impropriety, the federal judiciary ensures that every case is assigned to impartial judicial officers. Absent a unique circumstance,1 all cases are assigned to a judge based on a random-draw system. Thus, there is usually no way for litigants to know which judge will preside over the action. Most districts also … Continue Reading

What Is the California FAIR Plan?

Californians have many questions after being non-renewed by their insurance companies and unable to find another company that will insure their properties. The losses from recent wildfires have caused carriers to scale back, and some have completely ceased writing insurance in several California regions. The California FAIR Plan remains the only option for many of … Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael One Year Later and Keeping The Devastation in The Minds of Our Leaders

Hurricane Michael devastation and the similarity to other devastated areas is shockingly apparent to me. I lived in Panama City, Florida, and raced sailboats out of the St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club. Today, we represent the yacht club, longtime friends, iconic night clubs, a church, and numerous others as they try to get their lives, businesses, … Continue Reading

Although Many Policies Exclude Sewer Line Backups from Coverage, What Is A Government Entity’s Liability Under Inverse Condemnation?

Most homeowners are surprised to learn that almost all homeowners’ policies include exclusions for damage caused by sewage water originating outside their home. For example, if your city or county’s sewer main line backs up because of tree roots or debris and the sewage water backs up into your home, the resulting damage will not … Continue Reading

Insurance Coverage Gaps—An Increasing Insurance Crisis Which Needs To Be Addressed and Stopped

Rutgers Law Professor Jay Feinman has written an excellent paper regarding insurance protection gaps (of which insurance gaps are a subset) involving residential structures: The Protection Gap in Homeowners Insurance: An Introduction. I recently mentioned this emerging issue in, Coverage Gaps Plague Policyholders! Merlin Law Group and AAPIA Host Webinar Explaining What Is Being Done To Fight This … Continue Reading

Can an Insurer’s Pre-Sale Representations to a Prospective Insured Prevent Denial of Insurance Benefits After Loss?

Consumers are bombarded by insurance company advertisements loaded with puffery and bloated promises. While celebrity hucksters, jovial lizards with heavy accents, and emu sleuths might be amusing on TV, real world policyholders are left to discern fact from fiction when it comes to promotional statements in insurance company quotes.… Continue Reading

North Carolina Statute of Limitations

One of the first questions I’m often asked by a client is, “What is the statute of limitations in XYZ state?” The Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog has not addressed the statute of limitations in North Carolina, and below is a quick cheat sheet for North Carolina policyholders and their representatives.… Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael Victims Should Not Be Forgotten-The “Blue Tarps” Documentary Makes A Case for Florida’s Panhandle

Reporter Jennie McKeon wrote an article (‘Blue Tarps’ Doc Shows The Aftermath of Hurricane Michael) about two filmmakers, Carrie Hunter and Austin Hermann, who recently released a significant documentary about Florida’s Panhandle following Hurricane Michael. I was struck by one quote from Carrie Hunter: Literally every person we talked to said they felt forgotten . … Continue Reading

Can a Raccoon Engage In Vandalism Under an Insurance Policy?

The Western District of Pennsylvania recently had to answer the question of whether a raccoon’s actions in destroying a property can be considered vandalism or malicious mischief under an insurance policy. The trial court found that “raccoons and their companions in the animal kingdom cannot formulate the intent needed to engage in vandalism, malicious mischief, … Continue Reading

Steve Badger and Chip Merlin Clash Again Over Appraisals, Umpires, and Appraisers! Come to the Show in San Antonio on October 1 and 2!

Steve Badger has certainly made his mark Texas property insurance law over the last decade. Bob Norton has similarly made a name for himself over the same period of time by forming the Insurance Appraisal and Umpire Association (IAUA) and getting some of the top legal talent and practitioners in the insurance industry teaching at … Continue Reading

Misrepresentations Made After Loss But Before An Examination Under Oath

New Jersey Merlin Law Group attorney Jason Cieri was married last week. It was a fantastic wedding. It also provided me a chance to catch-up with some Jersey Shore public adjusters, discuss the upcoming PPAANJ seminar on November 14 and write this blog which includes a case discussion involving post loss misrepresentations made prior to … Continue Reading

Can Misrepresentations In a Proof of Loss Void Coverage?

It can be difficult after a fire for an insured to remember with 100% certainty what personal property they had in their home. Most likely, receipts and other purchase records have also been destroyed. As such, public adjusters in preparing estimates and/or proofs of loss are typically left to rely upon the insured’s memory. After … Continue Reading

Payment of An Appraisal Award: Is There More?

The answer to the above question came, in part, on June 28, 2019, with the issuance of twin Texas Supreme Court opinions: Barbara Technologies Corporation v. State Farm Lloyds,1 and Ortiz v. State Farm Lloyds.2 The specific issue in these two decisions was what effect did an insurer’s full and timely payment of an appraisal … Continue Reading

PayUp! A Policyholders Guide to Insurance By Forbes Books

Merlin Law Group cares about insurance consumers’ interests. Insurance company lawyers only care about their profits and profits for their insurers. I mentioned in David Berardinelli Was a Policyholder Advocate, that I would be completing a book with ForbesBooks about insurance policyholders and this book, Payup!, is about to be published this November.… Continue Reading
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