About half of Washington’s 42.6 million land acres are forested. Nearly 37% are on privately owned land. Many urban areas are heavily forested or near forests. For example, Seward Park in eastern Seattle contains the 120-acre Magnificent Forest. An hour away is the beautiful Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. While Washington has not seen wildfires as destructive as in my home state, California, it seems inevitable.

Continue Reading Dan Veroff Discusses Washington Insurance Law

The first rule regarding insurance agent negligence in California is to hire experienced insurance agent professionals who are experts in the business, duties, and responsibilities of how insurance agents and brokers are supposed to conduct their business. This post is a promised follow-up to a recent post, The Nuts and Bolts of California Property Insurance.In addition to the materials Dan Veroff and Victor Jacobellis presented in their seminar, I want to share an example to prove my point about the need to hire an insurance agent expert to determine if a case is worthy.

Continue Reading The Nuts & Bolts of Insurance Agent Negligence In California

Dan Veroff and Victor Jacobellis are attorneys at the Merlin Law Group, based in our San Francisco office. Last week, they conducted a continuing education webinar sponsored by a program through the University of California. The webinar was titled “Nuts & Bolts of Property Insurance.” I will be sharing some of the insights from this webinar in two separate blog posts. The first will cover property insurance in general, while the second will delve into the responsibilities of insurance agents and brokers, as well as policy procurement.

Continue Reading The Nuts and Bolts of California Property Insurance

Agents and carriers don’t tell their customers that they’ll inspect to see if they ever wanted to insure them in the first place after issuing a policy. In California, the law gives this right to residential and commercial carriers. In residential claims, we often see carriers lure insureds away from a competitor with cheaper premium pricing, fail to fully investigate the adequacy of the risk during the application process, proceed to issue a policy, and then cancel after issuance and an underwriting inspection. By this time, the insured has typically already cancelled their policy with their prior insurer. Continue Reading Your Insurer Can Issue You a Policy While Planning to Underwrite it Later

Patrick Moffett was at the First Party Claims Conference in Marina Del Rey this week. Another speaker, Matt Blumkin, mentioned Moffett’s update in 2020 of a paper, Wildfire Impact Assessments Completed by an Industrial Hygienist and Other Qualified Experts. Those handling wildfire insurance claims should read and study. Continue Reading Wildfire Insurance Claims—Considerations From An Expert

Dan Veroff is an attorney with Merlin Law Group’s California practice. In addition to his expertise in property insurance, Dan has a wealth of knowledge and experience resolving disputed health, disability, and life insurance claims, individually and in class actions. When Dan joined Merlin Law Group in 2018 to help grow the firm’s California presence, Dan also started increasing the firm’s visibility in the health, disability, and life insurance sphere nationwide. Dan obtained his expertise in these areas prior to joining Merlin Law Group when he worked for one of the top California law firms in these practice areas. Continue Reading A Break from Property – Dan Veroff Leads Merlin Law Groups Health, Disability, and Life Practice

United Policyholders (“UP”), a non-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to be a trustworthy and useful information resource and a respected voice for consumers of all types of insurance in all 50 states, launched its national Restoring the Insurance Safety Net Coalition (RISC) initiative in 2020. The purpose of this initiative is to reverse the trend of insurance policy re-writes that are shrinking coverage for damage to homes. One of its stated approaches is to identify wording that is causing protection gaps. I encourage you to read more about the initiative at uphelp.org/risc. Continue Reading Beware of Avoidable Coverage Gaps with California FAIR Plan Companion Endorsements

What are additional living expenses?

Additional living expenses are typically included as a coverage in homeowner property insurance policies under “Loss of Use.” In a recent blog post, Is Your Insurance Company Threatening to Prematurely Terminate Loss of Use Benefits, Merlin Law Group attorney Dan Veroff discussed Loss of Use benefits and what carriers are doing to curtail those benefits prematurely. As stated in that blog post, Loss of Use benefits are intended to cover the cost of temporary placement when the insured premises suffers a covered loss that renders it unusable until repaired. Continue Reading Additional Living Expenses: What Does Your Policy Cover and For How Long?

California statutory law known as the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) bars “any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice” and gives courts the powers to fashion relief where money alone won’t be sufficient. Of course, this begs the question: Can an insured sue their insurer for violating the UCL? A recent federal district court ruling says no, at least when the case is a straightforward breach of contract and bad faith case. Continue Reading Can I Sue My Insurer under the California Unfair Competition Law?