When the news of Tom Brady’s retirement spread in late January, eBay reported that its site saw a 198% increase in Tom Brady collectible sales. User searches for Brady rookie cards increased 273% as sports fans and collectors sought to get their hands on a “piece” of Brady as investments or collectibles. Continue Reading Is My $2.3 Million Tom Brady Rookie Card Covered by My Homeowners Insurance Policy?

When a tree fell on Nazila and Bijan Neman’s home and pool in July 2019, they had no idea that they would end up in trial with their homeowners insurance carrier State Farm two years later. They were shocked in August 2021 when a federal jury awarded them not only damages for the full amount to fix their home for $446,950.46 and their attorney’s fees, but also that the jury found State Farm acted with malice, oppression, and fraud during the investigation and adjustment of the claim. For this conduct, the jury awarded the Nemans $5,000,000.00 in punitive damages. Continue Reading Another Punitive Damages Award Struck Down by a California Court

Last week, I blogged about how California’s Department of Insurance issued a one-year moratorium to insurance companies to stop their practice of non-renewing and cancelling homeowner’s insurance coverage for policyholders living near major wildfires.1 But what if your carrier sent you a cancellation just prior to the moratorium – does the moratorium apply retroactively to restore your coverage? Continue Reading Is California’s Moratorium on Insurance Policy Non-Renewals or Cancellations Retroactive?

In California, insurance carriers seeking to avoid allegations of committing bad faith, whether in litigation or not, will often ask insureds if they are willing to enter into “White waiver” agreements. The purpose of such an agreement is to allow an insurance carrier to make offers of settlement without fear of the amount of the settlement being used as evidence against the carrier for bad faith, if the perceived amount of the settlement offer is too low. Continue Reading Should Policyholders Sign a “White Waiver” Agreement?

It can be hard enough for policyholders to get paid by their property insurance companies, but what happens when the mortgage company takes the money and holds the float? Continue Reading Legislatures and Congress Need to Control Banks and Servicing Companies Holding Property Loss Checks and Not Paying Interest on the Float

Even though California was running below its seasonal average for precipitation, a set of winter storms hit the state this week. California’s Department of Insurance (“CDOI”) timely released a Notice to all property and casualty insurance carriers who provide homeowners and commercial property insurance to California consumers about their obligations to cover mudslide events, specifically in areas recently impacted by wildfires. Continue Reading California Department of Insurance Reminds Carriers to Cover Mudslides Following Wildfires

New laws enacted last month provide further support for California wildfire claimants by requiring carriers provide additional coverages. Only a few years ago, California enacted laws requiring insurers to provide coverage for Additional Living Expenses (ALE) incurred due to a covered loss relating to a state of emergency – almost every massive wildfire – for a period of no less than 24 months. (California Insurance Code Section 2060(b)(1).) Continue Reading New California Law Require Insurers to Pay Up to 36 Months of Additional Living Expenses and Advance at Least Four Months of Payments Following Wildfires

Larry Bache, who will talk about Hurricane Sally claims in Florida, was debating with Derek Chaiken in our Los Angeles office about smoke residue claims versus char claims from the California Wildfires when I came up with the brilliant idea of holding an impromptu seminar with Merlin Law Group attorneys about all the ongoing catastrophes, on my Tuesdays at 2 With Chip. Deborah Trotter is licensed in Louisiana and will join us about Hurricane Laura claims. Ashley Harris is licensed in Alabama and will join us in about Hurricane Sally claims there. I am licensed just about everywhere but will concentrate on Texas claims from Beta. Continue Reading Beta in Texas, Laura in Louisiana, Sally in Alabama and Florida, and Wildfires in California—Do Not Miss Learning From Attorneys in All These Jurisdictions Today at Tuesdays With Chip at 2

“My broker told me….” is a common start to almost every caller who has contacted Merlin Law Group’s California office regarding a potential claim for business interruption damages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. California was the first state to issue a stay-at-home order on March 19, 2020, under Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-33-20. On that date, many non-essential businesses were forced to temporarily stop operations with the goal of limiting the spread of the novel-coronavirus and ensure healthcare systems were not overwhelmed. Continue Reading Insurance Commissioner Provides a Quick Reminder to Insurance Companies of Their Obligations to Fairly Investigate All Business Interruption Claims Caused by COVID-19