Neither the Illinois Supreme Court nor the Illinois Appellate Court has weighed in on whether “causation” is appropriate for appraisal. Numerous Illinois federal district trial courts have, concluding that disputes as to (a) causation (whether the damage was caused by a covered peril), (b) the scope of damage (the extent or scope of the physical damage from the covered peril), (c) the scope of repairing or replacing the damage, (d) the cost of repairing or replacing the damage, (e) matching (the cost of repairing/replacing a physically undamaged building component to remedy a mismatch with a repaired/replaced damaged building component), and (f) whether the damage is extensive enough to require employing a general contractor are disputes as to the “amount of loss,” not coverage, and thus appropriate for appraisal.1 Continue Reading Another Illinois Federal District Court Rules That Causation Can Be Determined In Illinois Appraisals

Defining what constitutes a “collapse” under modern policy provisions is a highly litigated issue in Florida. Insurers have repeatedly amended/revised the definition of collapse to more precisely constrict coverage, leading to constantly evolving judicial interpretations of those provisions. Many exceptional blogs have been written seeking to clarify this confounding coverage, including Court Defines “Collapse” by Merlin Law Group attorney Shane Smith, and What Constitutes an “Abrupt Collapse”? by Merlin Law Group attorney Edward Eshoo. Continue Reading Partial Collapse – Collapse Coverage Does Not Require “Total Destruction”

Whether labor can be depreciated in arriving at an actual cash value property loss settlement has been a hot topic of debate over these past six years, and the subject of many Merlin lawyer blogposts, including the one I wrote last July discussing the Appellate Court of Illinois opinion in Sproull v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company.1 Continue Reading The Illinois Supreme Court Concludes That Labor Cannot Be Depreciated In Arriving At An Actual Cash Value Loss Settlement

In 2016, State Farm came out with a new appraisal provision for its homeowner insurance policy.1 This new provision makes the appraisal process extremely burdensome for policyholders. While I have always felt the new provision violates the Standard Fire Policy, a Michigan federal district court recently reached the same conclusion. Continue Reading State Farm’s Appraisal Provision Violates the Standard Fire Policy

Whether labor can be depreciated in arriving at an actual cash value property loss settlement has been a hot topic of debate over these past five years, and the subject of many Merlin lawyer blogposts. An Illinois appellate court recently weighed in on the issue in Sproull v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company.1 Continue Reading An Illinois Appellate Court Concludes That Labor Cannot Be Depreciated In Arriving At An Actual Cash Value Loss Settlement

After the death of George Floyd last month, riots followed peaceful protests in cities across the country, including Illinois, and many have been overwhelmed by the scale of property damage, looting, and vandalism. As a result, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued disaster proclamations for 14 counties. To ensure that Illinois insurance consumer rights are protected, the Illinois Department of Insurance implemented Bulletin 2020-15. Continue Reading Illinois Department of Insurance Requests Insurers Implement Protective Measures for Claims Due to Recent Vandalism and Looting

The litigation trickle regarding coronavirus coverage issues is turning into a flood as lawsuits seem to be filed every day and in many different jurisdictions. United Policyholders has established a COCID-19 Loss Recovery Advisory Team which included a stellar panel of insurance attorneys including Merlin Law Group attorney Ed Eshoo:

COVID-19 Loss Recovery Advisory Team
John Buchanan, Covington & Burling (DC)
John Ellison, Reed Smith (PA)
Edward Eshoo, Merlin Law Group (IL)
Peter Kochenburger, UConn School of Law (CT)
Lorelie S. Masters, Hunton Andrews Kurth (DC)
Jason Mazer, Cimo Mazer Mark (FL)
Sherilyn Pastor, McCarter & English, (NJ)
Holly Soffer, Kellis Soffer, Counsel to the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (PA) Continue Reading United Policyholders in the Lead Regarding Education of COVID-19 Loss Recovery and For Policyholders

As discussed in my blog post last week, the coronavirus may impact deadlines for property insurance claims, including deadlines in which to receive replacement cost benefits. To ensure that Illinois insurance consumer rights are protected and that Illinois consumers do not suffer unnecessary hardship during this pandemic, the Illinois Department of Insurance implemented Bulletin 2020-09. In that Bulletin, the Department requested that all insurers licensed or authorized to transact insurance business in Illinois consider implementing certain protective measures. Continue Reading The Illinois Department of Insurance Requests Property and Casualty Insurers Implement Various Safeguards Due to the Coronavirus Impact

The impact of the coronavirus virus on business interruption insurance coverage is a hotly debated topic. But other property insurance coverages may be impacted by this global pandemic as well. Many property insurance policies require actual repair/replacement of damaged/destroyed property to be completed within a certain time period in order to receive replacement cost benefits. Given the “stay-at-home” orders issued in many states, including here in Illinois, it may not be possible to meet the replacement condition within the requisite timeframe. Continue Reading The Impact of Coronavirus on the Replacement Condition