Merlin The Moose is a client favorite at the Chicago Merlin Law Group office. We won him at a charity auction last year. He also led me to some creative research uncovering a problem with market conduct studies and the transparency of property insurance claims procedures many insurers keep hidden from their customers and insurance regulators.
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Illinois’ solution to an insurance company’s delay, deny and defend tactics is section 155 of the Illinois Insurance Code, which provides an extra-contractual remedy to policyholders whose insurer’s refusal to recognize liability and pay a claim under a policy is vexatious and unreasonable.1 Section 155 of the Code is intended to aid the insured and to discourage insurers from profiting by their superior financial positions while delaying in the payment of contractual obligations.2
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Scott Johnson

Insurance lobbyist Scott Johnson is a bulldog advocate for the insurance industry. He usually is trying to make policyholders, their attorneys or anybody other than the insurance claims executives and adjusters look bad to support the insurance industry’s legislative efforts. I fell out of my chair when he described his own personal claim and why the insurance industry needs strong oversight and civil penalties to keep it in line.
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Suspicion runs rampant with some insurance companies when it comes to alleged arson. Even if they cannot prove the policyholder had anything to do with a fire, some adjusters cannot help to look for other ways to deny an insurance claim. In Hayes vs. Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company,1 an insurer was held liable for bad faith denial of an insurance claim even though the policyholder did not win the breach of contract action because the policyholder failed to file his lawsuit within the one-year statute of limitations.
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In a previous post, Insurance Company Acting in Bad Faith? Pennsylvania Protects Policyholders if Facts Are Plead, I discussed the importance of Pennsylvania’s insurance bad faith statute1 and how insurers routinely attempt to avoid litigating the substance of those bad faith claims by filing motions to dismiss alleging pleading deficiencies. Recently, the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania rejected an insurance company’s argument that an insured could not make a bad faith claim because, although low, its damages estimate was reasonable because it was based on inspections of the property…its own self-serving inspections.
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The Florida Advisory Commission on Arson Prevention was one of the first organizations I prepared a public presentation for while I worked with Paul Butler in the early 1980’s. Paul gave a speech about wrongful steps insurance adjusters should not make during a fire loss investigation and those where arson was suspected. One of those was wrongful actions was demanding a policyholder sign a Reservations of Rights or Non-Waiver Agreement before starting an investigation of a first-party insurance claim.
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During the recent Summer 2018 RMAPIA Conference, Larry Bache and I had an opportunity to discuss regulations and remedies available to first party policyholders within the RMAPIA states. Continuing that discussion, this post will review the legal remedies available to Idaho policyholders enduring the frustration of a delayed or denied insurance claim. Fortunately, Idaho provides several remedies to assist policyholders in their efforts to recover insurance benefits due and owing under an insurance policy.
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