For a crash course in right to repair issues, one need only perform a brief search of cases involving People’s Trust Insurance Company (“People’s Trust”). When it comes to policies issued by People’s Trust, there seems to be only one thing that people can trust—a Preferred Contractor Endorsement will be included in exchange for a “premium discount.” For various reasons, the Preferred Contractor Endorsement issued by People’s Trust has been labeled a “trap for many homeowners” (see Beaujeaux de Lapouyade’s blog post, Declaratory Judgment Action May Be Forthcoming If An Insurer Invokes Its Right To Repair). In fact, I challenge Florida homeowners to ask their insurance agent to procure a People’s Trust policy that does not have the Preferred Contractor Endorsement—do not be surprised if your agent cannot find such a policy. Continue Reading Right to Repair: How People’s Trust Insurance Company’s Preferred Contractor Endorsement Leaves Policyholders Over a Barrel

A few recent events prompted me to write about boat insurance policies, and what you should know if you are a new or seasoned boat owner. Chip Merlin and the Merlin Yacht Racing team recently competed in an offshore race from St. Petersburg to Pensacola. My own recent sailing adventure took an exciting yet unexpected turn as we sailed downwind in 16-knot breeze. One of my close friends recently became the new sailboat owner of Melges 24, Firewater, owned by the late George Haynie – a sailing mentor, legend, and dear friend to all at Davis Island Yacht Club. Continue Reading What Do I Need to Know About My Boatowners Insurance Policy?

While researching how the Tar Heel State interprets insurance policies, I came across two helpful sources that set out how the policyholder is favored. The first is a blog post from Merlin’s own resident expert in North Carolina law, Beaujeaux de Lapouyade. You can read her blog post here. Continue Reading A Refresher on Interpreting Insurance Policies in North Carolina

One of my favorite aspects of being a first-party property insurance attorney is being able to pick apart an insurance policy and take a position on the way a certain provision should be interpreted. Continue Reading Interpreting the Plain and Ordinary Meaning of an Ordinance or Law Insurance Provision; What Does it Mean to “Incur” and When Does this Happen?

Hurricane and Tropical Storm Eta caused intense flooding with 13 inches of rainfall and storm surge along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Eta also prompted flash flooding, road closures, and water rescues as it moved across the state into the Carolinas. I know a few of the folks who experienced flooding in their homes on Davis Island, Florida, where I race sailboats in my spare time. Continue Reading My Home Flooded During Tropical Storm Eta: What Do I Do?

On August 10, 2020, Merlin Law Group hosted Hurricane Irma Public Adjuster Seminar: One Month Before Claim Submission Deadlines for public adjusters to earn 4 CE credits on hot topics for discussion related to Hurricane Irma. Don’t forget the deadline to submit claims for property damage from Hurricane Irma is September 10, 2020. Continue Reading When Can Ordinance or Law Coverage Be Appraised?

The 2020 hurricane season began June 1, 2020. It is important for adjusters to prepare themselves now on state-specific policy provisions and statutory language that can impact coverage in the event of another hurricane or named storm this season. Continue Reading North Carolina Department of Insurance Provides Guidance on Procedures for Catastrophic Adjusters