Archives: Settlement

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FIGA Ordered To Honor Settlement Agreement Reached By Underlying Insurer

​In Florida, the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (“FIGA”) handles and resolves claims of insolvent insurers under certain statutory guidelines. But what happens when the underlying insurer had reached a settlement agreement with a claimant before becoming insolvent? You would hope that FIGA would be ordered to honor such an agreement. It is a beautiful thing when the law follows common … Continue Reading

Take Care In Reviewing Release Documents Before Signing

It is a good practice to always review documents in detail before signing them. Courts usually enforce the terms of a document even if one party did not read and understand it before signing. One very important document to read and understand in the property insurance context is a settlement release. A proposed release often … Continue Reading

Ownership of Interdependent Business Does Not Necessarily Foreclose Coverage – Understanding Business Interruption Claims, Part 84

Contingent business coverage is a type of business interruption coverage intended to protect the “dependent business” from an external business income exposure. There are four (4) types of dependent business ISO endorsements: Contributing Premises, such as the businesses that deliver materials to the insured; Recipient Premises, such as the businesses that receive the insured’s products; … Continue Reading

Slabbed Class Action Settlement Approved in Texas

Texas Judge Susan Criss signed an Order this morning approving the settlement of the slabbed cases from Hurricane Ike. She made the following findings: 4. The Court finds that the Settlement was negotiated at arm’s length by Plaintiffs’ counsel and TWIA’s counsel. The Settlement is reasonable in light of the uncertainty as to whether the Class … Continue Reading

Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Loses Overhead & Profit Case

Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Company has settled a state class action case, Press v. Louisiana Citizens Fair Plan Property Insurance Corp., for failing to fully pay overhead and profit to insureds. The proposed settlement, for $23 million, covers claims from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.… Continue Reading

Texas Windstorm Insurer Settles 2,400 Hurricane Ike Slab Claims

The Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula slab cases are settling. There was an agreement between the Texas attorneys that nothing would come out in the press until the clients signed the agreements. Since even the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) participated with a press release, I assume that the gentlemen’s confidentiality agreement to wait on … Continue Reading

When the Saints Go Marching In — Finally!!

September 1970 was a time of big personal change for me. We were living outside Washington, D.C. and my father had just received orders to the National Data Buoy Project at NASA’s Mississippi Test Facility, now known as the Stennis Space Center. My mother, who grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was in tears wondering how her children … Continue Reading

Cutting Edge Thoughts About Insurance Claim Settlement and Trial from Don Bauermeister

When somebody starts talking with you over dinner about which part of the brain makes you worry that something bad may happen to you and talks with sentences that seem to have "cognition" interspersed frequently with "cortex," you know to skip cocktails. The person speaking with me was Alaska attorney, Don Bauermeister. He is a person of study and reflective … Continue Reading

Influence and Passion Revisted: The Art of Conflict Resolution Even if Insurers are Hard Nosed and In Your View Not Playing Fairly

Following yesterday’s post, What is a Bad Faith Claim? Or, When Does an Insurance Claim Wrongfully Handled Become a Bad Faith Claim?, there were a couple of posts suggesting that class action lawsuits were the answer to wrongful claims practices. Frankly, most policyholders are more successful financially with individual cases than through class action cases … Continue Reading

Texas Coastal Areas are Still Reeling From Hurricanes Ike and Gustav: Insurance Claim Denials and Delays are Prevalent

I just finished a two day settlement conference of a commercial insurance claim dispute held on the 51st floor of Fulbright & Jaworski in Houston. The view from the conference room was beautiful and in juxtaposition to the manner my client felt the insurance claim was handled. As is becoming customary for many of my cases, … Continue Reading

Damage Claims Rise From Spring Storms & Tornadoes in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama–When Should You Sign a Release?

(Note: This Guest Blog is by Deborah Trotter, an attorney with Merlin Law Group in the Gulfport, Mississippi office). As homeowners, business owners, adjusters, and government and relief agencies begin to sort through the devastation left in the wake of the dangerous storms and tornadoes that tore through the southeast last week, the stark and … Continue Reading

Insurance Settlement Preparation

The best way to prepare for an insurance settlement is to prepare the case for trial. Trying to predict what would probably happen at trial is a great way to gauge the value of an insurance dispute. I am writing this while flying to New Orleans for a mediation tomorrow morning. This blog post may … Continue Reading

Experience and Passion Count When Selecting Insurance Lawyers

Nowdoucit from Slabbed wrote a comment to my post, Surplus Lines Insurers, Sinkholes, and the Law of Mars, concerning the selection of lawyers: "The more cases I read, the more convinced I become of the importance of retaining an attorney experienced in insurance claims litigation – better yet, experienced and successful. The case you cited, Chip, … Continue Reading

Settlements And Litigation

After posting two Blogs (Effective Endgame Communications; Influence and Persuasion) regarding the topic of settlements, I was amused by SLABBED referring to settlements as "kissing one’s sister." While that was on my mind, I was provided our Leeds Appellate Answer Brief to a trial that I won with Jean Niven in 2007. While I can understand that civil lawsuits play … Continue Reading

Influence And Persuasion, Part 2

As indicated in my previous blog, everybody can benefit from understanding some basics of intellectual influence. While my speech was given to trial attorneys who typically represent people against insurance companies, anybody can use them, and should, if they want better results with dealing with people who have different views. Some may question why I would … Continue Reading

Effective Endgame Communications

Most cases resolve before a trial. While thorough preparation for trial is paramount, most of our policyholder clients want a resolution as quickly as possible and for a much as possible. Settling a case for less than its value is an easy way to get a quick resolution. Settling a case for more than its … Continue Reading

Merlin Law Group Settles 103 State Farm Claims

The Merlin Law Group has settled the claims of 103 State Farm policyholders.  While the terms of the individual settlements and total amount paid by State Farm are confidential, attorney Chip Merlin noted that each settlement amount was negotiated on a case-by-case basis and according to each client’s unique situation.”This was not a ‘cents on the … Continue Reading

Fla. Plaintiffs Settle with State Farm on Hurricane Damaged Screen Enclosures

A Broward County Court has approved a class action settlement on behalf of more than 12,000 State Farm Insurance policyholders in Florida who will receive 100 percent of the damages they requested in a $6.8 million settlement of claims filed last year in which they alleged the insurer refused to pay replacement costs of screen … Continue Reading