Tag Archives: Hurricane Michael

How Florida Insurers Make Millions on The Side

Paige St. John wrote a Pulitzer winning series on the corruption of Florida’s insurance industry and propaganda by the insurance company trade associations nearly nine years ago. I was thinking about this and one particular article, How Florida Insurers Make Millions On The Side, when the Security First CEO blamed the furious and upset policyholders … 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

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

Hurricane Michael and Irma Policyholders with Outstanding Claims Should Help Florida’s Insurance Commissioner Explaining The Mystery of Their Open Claims

Florida’s Insurance commissioner made the news a little over a week ago when his testimony, which you can watch above, indicated some bewilderment about why so many claims are still open a year after Hurricane Michael struck Florida’s Panhandle. Over 18,000 claims are reported as open.… Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael NFIP Proof of Loss Deadline Approaches

The time is now to button up those flood claims. The deadline for submission of the sworn statement of a Hurricane Michael flood loss, known as the Proof of Loss (‘POL”), is 365 days from the date of loss,1 which is October 10, 2019, for those in the Panhandle of Florida. The POL is the … Continue Reading

Are Insurance Company Adjusters Really Working Around the Clock and Making Accurate Estimates?

“Not with Hurricane Michael claims” is the answer to these questions being screamed by policyholders, contractors and public adjusters. The blog title and questions were plucked from CJW’s website which also says most adjusters have a difficult time making accurate estimates but CJW does not because their adjusters “work ‘round the clock” to make accurate … Continue Reading

Closed Claim File Statistics Following Hurricanes

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable. —Mark Twain Closed claim file statistics reported by various departments of insurance following hurricanes seem absurd to those in the impacted areas and those working in the insurance claim business. The root of the problem is that most departments of insurance put pressure on insurance companies to … Continue Reading

Reflections on Superstorm Sandy Along the Jersey Shore Almost Seven Years After the Catastrophe

Larry Bathgate was my co-counsel on 23 municipal insurance claims Following Superstorm Sandy and countless commercial and residential claims as well. We spoke on Friday evening and Saturday morning about our former clients, the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore and our law practices. From my view, there has been an amazing transformation and it was … Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael Policyholders, Public Adjusters, Contractors, and Agents Warning About Some Policies With One Year Limitations To File Arbitration

Hurricane Michael policyholders, public adjusters, contractors and agents must check their policies to make certain that there is not a one-year deadline to start arbitration. The above photo is Lloyds at London. Lloyds is a place where surplus lines insurers do business and it is not an insurance company. Many of the Lloyds Underwriters have … Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael Claims Data Update: Part II

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation recently released updated data on July 26, 2019, from Hurricane Michael.1 A review of the available data shows the damage for the Florida panhandle. Since my prior blog post, the damage in the Florida panhandle from Michael has continued to grow. Over one hundred and forty-eight thousand claims have … Continue Reading

Wind Versus Water Causing Insurance Payment Delays? The Sad Song Remains The Same For Michael Victims as In Other Storms

The Tampa Bay Times ran an excellent story, Hurricane Michael Destroyed Their Homes Then The Insurance Heartache Began, which tells a sad but familiar theme about insurance company denials and delayed payments following hurricane losses. I was quoted in the piece: Chip Merlin, a Tampa insurance lawyer, said the same conflict happened in the last … Continue Reading

Substantial Damage, Substantial Structural Damage, Wind Damage, Flood Damage…. Damage Anyway!

Hurricane Michael has left a familiar mark on the Florida Panhandle. Much like Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, Hurricane Michael brought devasting winds followed by wind and flooding and more wind. Battered homes and businesses are assessed in the aftermath in an attempt to determine the extent and cause of damage resulting from the multiple perils … Continue Reading

Attorneys’ Fees and Costs for the Prevailing Insured

It has been almost eight months since Hurricane Michael devastated the eastern side of the Florida Panhandle. Not surprisingly, many residents and business owners are exhausted. Exhausted in the deepest sense—exhausted from waiting, exhausted from hoping, exhausted from failed promises made by their insurer, which benefited from premiums faithfully paid, only to find out that … Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael Reflections Six Months After the Catastrophe

Merlin Law Group’s Panama City based attorney Jeff Carter and his paralegal assistant, Charlan Stephenson, talked with me about the current state of affairs in the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Michael before I left Panama City last night. Every storm leaves its own unique stories and lessons. I seemed to keep running into long-time storm … Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael Rumor—Category 5 Status and Deductible Refunds

A relatively inexperienced attorney from another law firm asked in an open forum whether a Category 5 hurricane mandates that no hurricane deductible can be applied and if Hurricane Michael policyholders can get a return of their hurricane deductible. Corey Harris has been involved in hurricane work with our firm since 2005. He quickly replied … Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael Victims Should Not Be Shaken Down By Unlicensed Contractors Selling AOB’s To Third-Party Crooks

A public adjuster alerted me to a Hurricane Michael policyholder being “shaken down” by a third party who allegedly purchased an AOB from an unlicensed contractor. What makes it worse is that the policyholder is being confronted by the third party and a person holding himself out to be an attorney.… Continue Reading

Panama City Attorney Jeff Carter Joins Merlin Law Group to Help Hurricane Michael Policyholders

Panama City attorney Jeff Carter has joined Merlin Law Group in its Panama City office. While I lived in Panama City and attended Mosley High School, I have always found that it helps to have local attorneys with fine reputations in our firm who team up and use Merlin Law Group’s longstanding experience and dedication only … Continue Reading

Cancellation of Property Insurance Policies in Florida after Hurricane Michael

After Hurricane Michael, on October 15, 2018, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued an Emergency Order No. 234790-18-EO, that affected insurers writing insurance in the following counties affected by Hurricane Michael: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington Counties.… Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael Claims Data Update

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation recently released updated data from Hurricane Michael.1 A review of the available data shows the damage for the Florida panhandle. While we all know that Michael did substantial damage in the Florida panhandle the numbers have continued to grow. Over one hundred and twenty-five thousand hurricane claims have been … Continue Reading
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