Since 1983, Chip Merlin has served as a plaintiff’s attorney with a focus on commercial & residential property insurance claim disputes and bad faith insurance litigation. Chip is a noted national authority on insurance bad faith, lecturing to national trade groups and publishing a number of papers and articles on the subject for organizations such as The American Association for Justice, The Florida Justice Association, The Windstorm Insurance Network, and Trial Magazine.

As founder and president of Merlin Law Group, Chip has dedicated his practice to the representation and advocacy of insurance policyholders in disputes with insurance companies nationwide.

Chip served as Chair for the Bad Faith Insurance Litigation Group and Secretary for the Fire and Property Insurance Litigation Group for the American Association for Justice (formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America). He was also Vice-Chair for the Subcommittee on Property Insurance Law for the American Bar Association.
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The title to this blog answers the question raised in a headline news article, Who Does The Proposed Property Insurance Bill Protect? Insurance companies cannot vote but that would be hard to determine based on this recent anti-policyholder bill filed in the Florida Senate. Policyholders are voters and they should be made aware when their elected officials are selling them out to the insurance industry lobby. Florida Senate Bill 76 may have been filed by an elected official, but the official had it written by lobbyists for the insurance industry. Continue Reading Proposed Property Insurance Bill In the Florida Senate Protects Insurance Companies Over Voters and Policyholders

Insurance companies in Florida can cause foreseeable harm to their policyholders and not be held accountable pursuant to a recent opinion by the Florida Supreme Court.1 Continue Reading Florida Supreme Court Issues Anti-Consumer Opinion and Holds Insurance Companies Are Immune From Foreseeable and Consequential Damages When They Breach Contracts

April Hall with Storm Consultants, LLC, & the Storm Restoration Contractor Summit (SRC Summit) joined Chip Merlin on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming SRC Summit event she is hosting in Frisco, Texas, on January 23rd – 25th. As many of you that follow our blog know, it is common this time of year for industry seminars and events to take place around the country. However, due to COVID, this year is quite different and the SRC Summit is the only in-person industry conference happening in the first quarter of 2021 that I am aware of. April Hall advises there are attendees coming from 29 states to attend the Summit, so there is going to be a great turnout. Continue Reading Storm Restoration Leaders Gather at SRC Summit on January 23rd-25th

A hybrid witness is a fact witness who also happens to have the requisite knowledge, skill, or expertise to provide opinion testimony and whose opinion is formed as a result of the witness’ involvement in the subject events.1 Continue Reading The Best of Both Worlds! Join me on Friday at 2 for a Brief Presentation on Hybrid Expert Witnesses

The battle regarding insurance surrogates is being waged in Washington state. Many insurance companies want the Department of Insurance to allow unlicensed non-adjusters determine how much policyholders deserve to be paid. Here is the what the Washington Department of Insurance states is a legislative priority: Continue Reading Insurance Surrogates and Insurers Delegating Those Duties Do Not Want Surrogates To Be held Accountable For Failing To Provide Honest and Good Faith Treatment In Washington

Governmental insurance pools or quasi-governmental entities offering insurance are often treated differently than typical private insurance companies. Since many of these insurance entities are set up to provide insurance to other governmental entities, especially municipalities and local school districts, it is important to recognize that state laws often treat these entities different than private insurers. Continue Reading Municipal and Local Government Insurance Claims With Governmental Insurance Pools Are Different

Lesser & Company have been pioneers and leaders in Florida public adjusting since 1944. It is Florida’s oldest public adjusting firm. I was stunned to learn from Mark Boardman that Steve Lesser passed yesterday morning. I felt a lump in my throat and wished that this horrible news was simply not true. Steve is my age. It is hard to accept that my friends and I are getting so much older that the things that cause older people to die are happening to us. My visual memories of him are always with a sly and happy smile, knowing he had a significant, quiet thought that he might only share if asked for. He was wise and thoughtful. True to the private person he was, his illness was kept secret except to a few. Continue Reading Steven Lesser- A Leader of Public Adjusters—Passes

In the legal world, there are generally two types of witnesses that you will see: (1) fact witnesses and (2) expert witnesses. Well, technically there are three, if you count hybrid witnesses. These types of witnesses serve both factual and expert purposes. Continue Reading Are Public Adjusters, Restoration Contractors and Other On Scene Experts Hybrid Expert Witnesses? What Rules Apply To Them?