Surplus Lines Carriers Select Arbitration and Choice of Law in New York to Pay Less Coverage and Less on Claims

A Florida based insurance agent educator asked me for my thoughts about how arbitration clauses harm policyholders and provide less coverage. He was referencing my earlier post this week, Arbitration Clause Requiring New York Law and New York Arbitration Cited as Avoidance of Florida Lawsuit—Another Instance of Surplus Lines Insurer Abuse in Florida. Continue Reading

Arbitration Clause Requiring New York Law and New York Arbitration Cited as Avoidance of Florida Lawsuit—Another Instance of Surplus Lines Insurer Abuse in Florida

Insurance Law360 is part of my daily reading and it tipped me off to a case which raises the same problem about arbitration, I noted in Should Insurance Agents Get Sued for Selling Insurance Which Requires Arbitration in a Far Away Location and Deprives Their Customers of Consumer Protection Laws? and Arbitration Is an Increasing Trend Found Within Property Insurance Policies, and Arbitration is Not Appraisal. Continue Reading

Florida Investigative Report Highlights Florida Legislators Taking Away Policyholder Protections

Reporter Steve Andrews ran a televised story highlighting that some Florida legislators are listening to insurance company lawyers and lobbyists rather than taking care of their constituents in Consumers Would Take Hit If Insurance Lobby Gets Its Way, and Change in Insurance Law Would Take Away Consumers’ Day in Court. The story references Florida House Bill 751 filed by Representative Alex Andrade. Senate Bill 1464 filed by Senator Jeff Brandes from St. Petersburg is just as bad. It is obviously written by insurance company lawyers and lobbyists wanting to make it more difficult for policyholders to bring actions holding delaying, denying, and underpaying insurance companies accountable. Continue Reading

Are Market Conduct Examiners Listening to Common Property Insurance Claims Complaints?

Market conduct examinations of insurance company claims practices are important. Do you think that examiners are listening to the same repetitive complaints I hear from policyholders, contractors, roofers, public adjusters and other lawyers at the various seminars and trade shows I attend? Continue Reading

Insurance Agent Error and Omission—Merlin Law Group Wins Trial

Mike Duffy & Chip Merlin

An insurance agent has many responsibilities which to do correctly, requires a great amount of specific education and a lot of attention to detail. Insurance agents are important because they sell one of the most important financial products any of us can purchase. The entire purpose of the insurance product they sell protects us from financial calamity. Every now and then, a lack of attention to detail comes back to harm a customer. Continue Reading

Is A Licensed Public Adjuster Disqualified To Act As An Appraiser For Somebody Other Than A Policyholder?

Chip Merlin and Stephanie Lee

Public adjuster Stephanie Lee approached me at the Win The Storm conference with an intriguing question—could she be appointed by a contractor holding an Assignment of Claim as the contractor’s appraiser in an appraisal? My first thought, and I bet it is the same thought most reading this blog, was “why not?” Continue Reading

Can a Policyholder Litigate Bad Faith in the Breach of Contract Lawsuit?

Texas policyholders have been through somewhat of a drought lately when it comes to favorable opinions regarding the disposition of motions to sever and abate filed by Defendant insurers. A break in this dry spell, however, arrived with the recent decision of Donald v. Metropolitan Lloyds Insurance Company of Texas.1 Continue Reading

Insurance Regulation and the Attack on Admitted Insurance Carriers in Florida

Insurance regulation is important. Unlike other commercial products, insurance is a product that serves the public trust. Without regulation, history has proven that insurers cannot control themselves. They go broke just when we need them the most and their claims practices, if unchecked, can be atrocious.

States with a strong admitted marketplace should be encouraged. States without a strong admitted marketplace run the risk of outrageous rates, bankrupt insurers and the lack of an insurance market which meets the needs specific to that state. Florida, with its peculiar geographic risk to hurricanes, especially needs a strong admitted market. Continue Reading

The Protection Gap in Property Insurance—Why Nobody Should Buy Farmers Smart Plan Insurance

Professor Jay Feinman

Gaps in Insurance coverage are an increasingly significant issue. The Rutgers Center for Risk and Responsibility and the Rutgers Law School will hold a conference on The Protection Gap in Property Insurance, on Friday, March 29. This conference will address the protection gap in residential and commercial property losses and related types of losses in the United States. Continue Reading

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