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Does a Residence Restriction Violate the Standard Fire Insurance Policy?

Homeowner property insurance policies usually cover the dwelling located at the “residence premises,” which is typically defined as the one, two, three, or four-family dwelling used principally as a private residence and where the insured resides. What happens if the insured is not residing in the dwelling at the time of a fire loss? Is … Continue Reading

Merlin vs Badger II – Gonna Be the Baddest Show in Orlando

The Windstorm Insurance Conference in Orlando will feature a debate re-match between yours truly representing the policyholder view and Steve Badger who represents insurance companies. Many of my policyholder friends often ask how I can have such a good professional relationship with Badger whom they view as somebody akin to Darth Vader. I am certain some … Continue Reading

Save the Date: First Party Claims Conference October 19-21, 2015 in Warwick, RI

The First Party Claims Conference (FPCC) will be hosting its annual meeting in Warwick, Rhode Island from October 19-21, 2015.  For those who are unfamiliar, “FPCC is a nationally recognized provider of education specifically designed for adjusters, public adjusters, attorneys and others in the first party property insurance claims community.”   They are also closely associated … Continue Reading

Federal Judge Hosts Kindergarten Party for Attorneys in Discovery Dispute

Austin, Texas Federal Judge Sam Sparks recently issued a novel Order in response to a fairly routine discovery dispute: Greetings and Salutations! You are invited to a kindergarten party on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1,2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 2 of the United States Courthouse, 200 W. Eighth Street, Austin, Texas. The party will feature many … Continue Reading

Site Problems with Posting Comments and Email Notification of New Posts

The hosting site for this blog is experiencing problems caused by a massive amount of comment spam generated by ‘spambots’ automatically posting random junk comments to their network. The hosting site has temporarily disabled comments on the blog while fixing the issue. They have also had to temporarily disable the email notifications that are sent out … Continue Reading

Alex Sink Reception on Monday

It is hard to imagine that I have insurance defense counsel friends going to a fundraiser for Alex Sink at an insurance company and then coming to my home next Monday for a fundraising reception we are hosting for her. Alex Sink has respect from many or she would not have that type of divergent support … Continue Reading

Merlin Law Group Has a New Website

I appreciate the kind comments and suggestions many readers express regarding the educational nature of this Blog. Our new law firm website also has many reference materials and some funny news videos of yours truly trying to comment on a variety of legal issues. If you have any comments or suggestions regarding our new website, … Continue Reading

Slabbed

My collegues and I coined a new term in 2004, following Hurricane Ivan. We became co-counsel with the prominent Pensacola firm of Levin, Papatonio, Thomas, Echner & Proctor. They brought a brilliant attorney, Bobby Loehr, out of semi-retirement to work with me on their insurance claim litigation. We referred to hurricane cases where nothing was … Continue Reading

A Work and Play Saturday

After a long day of work, I called a client at 11:38 on Saturday night to confirm the resolution of a long and hard-fought lawsuit. An attorney in our Houston office and my paralegal immediately emailed, thanking me that they could stop working around the clock to prepare the case for trial. My work day … Continue Reading

Another Hurricane Season

 June 1st starts another hurricane season.  USA Today quoted the Climate Prediction Center as saying, "there’s no reason to think that break [from hurricanes over the past two years] will continue."  In short, they think the probabilities are good (or bad, if you think about it) that a few times this year somebody, somewhere, is … Continue Reading

That’s 3 Billion, with a “B”

That’s the annual revenue of United Casualty parent, Unitrin, a company with a branded glass tower at One Wacker Drive in Chicago.  To put things in perspective, even if United Casualty had paid policy limits to our clients for damages caused to their homes by Hurricane Charley, it would have probably still been shy of … Continue Reading

The Insurance Lobby

If there is any question about whether consumers or insurance company officials have the power and control the legislative process, all one has to do is read the Linn’s Stamp News article of May 12, 2008.  It speaks for itself: Bill set to name post office for lobbyist By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent Nothing in … Continue Reading

“Deal, or No Deal?”

 Either the Governor of Florida or Allstate is not telling the truth. The lead front page story of the St. Petersburg Times stated the following:"Gov. Charlie Crist confirmed the Allstate offer was floated recently, and he promptly rejected it. Allstate officials said…..that no offer had been made." Which is it? Is Allstate accusing the Governor of … Continue Reading

Times Story Not Accurate

  The St. Petersburg Times ran a story regarding our firm’s involvement with influencing pro-policyholder legislation and regulation.  One would think that if the insurance industry was truly most interested in their customers, they would support our efforts. The exact opposite is what happens, and my impression of the worst offenders in Florida are Citizens, … Continue Reading
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