Mississippi unfair claims practice law and bad faith actions are unique. Following Hurricane Katrina, I took the Mississippi Bar and represented hundreds of Mississippi businesses and residents with insurance disputes arising from Hurricane Katina. I was honored to represent the grandparents of my co-author in this blog post. As a kid, I lived for three years in Waveland, Mississippi. Merlin Law Group is still being retained on property insurance disputes in Mississippi. Since her interest in property insurance law started with our firm’s work in Mississippi, I look forward to working with Kathryn on those cases after she gets the results from her bar examination.
Continue Reading Understanding Mississippi Unfair Claims Practice and Bad Faith Cases Based on Delay

The Iowa Insurance Division (IID) “supervises all insurance business transacted in the state of Iowa.”1 It does this by investigating consumer complaints against insurance companies, agents, and adjusters to ensure compliance with Indiana state law been delayed, wrongly denied, deliberately underpaid, or otherwise improperly managed, you can file a complaint with IID requesting an investigation into the matter.
Continue Reading How to File a Complaint with the Iowa Insurance Division

Recently, the Houston Merlin team has encountered several cases that turn on notice to policyholders, or rather, the lack thereof, when an insurer makes “material changes” to a policy renewal. A hypothetical example of this situation might be if a policyholder has a homeowners’ policy that did not exclude cosmetic damage to the policyholder’s roof and the next year, the renewal policy, unbeknownst to the policyholder, contains a cosmetic damage exclusion. Thinking the “renewal” policy was the same as the prior policy, except for coverage dates, the policyholder accepts it and pays his premium. Along comes the typical Texas hail/windstorm, and the policyholder’s metal roof suffers hundreds of unsightly dings. Policyholder files a claim with his insurance company only to find out that his current renewal policy has a new endorsement excluding what the insurance industry labels as “cosmetic” damage to his roof. His insurer denies the claim based on the “new” cosmetic damage exclusion in his renewal policy. Policyholder contacts Merlin Law Group for help. Given these facts, the information below regarding Texas law and renewal policies may be helpful to this hypothetical policyholder, and now Merlin client, and his case.
Continue Reading Upon Renewal of a Policy, Insurers Must Give Policyholders Advance Notice of “Material Changes”

The Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI) mission is to “protect consumers from illegal insurance practices by ensuring that insurance companies and producers. . . act in accordance with State insurance laws.” One way it accomplishes this is by investigating consumer complaints against insurance companies, agents, and adjusters. If you think that your insurance claim or policy has been delayed, wrongly denied, deliberately underpaid, or otherwise improperly managed, you can file a complaint with IDOI and request an investigation into the matter.
Continue Reading How to File a Complaint with the Indiana Insurance Department

(Note: This guest blog is by Liberty Ritchie, a Licensed Legal Intern in our Oklahoma City office)

The Arizona Department of Insurance (ADI) “helps insurance consumers resolve disputes that are within the Department’s jurisdiction, and…investigate apparent violations of Arizona law.”1 Specifically, the Investigations Division of the ADI investigates consumer complaints of wrongdoing by insurance companies, agencies, and agents, and the Market Oversight Division more broadly examines companies’ marketing and claim settlement practices. If you think that your claim has been delayed, unfairly denied, or otherwise poorly handled, you can file a complaint with the ADI requesting an investigation.
Continue Reading How to File a Complaint with the Arizona Department of Insurance

(Note: This guest blog is by Liberty Ritchie, a Licensed Legal Intern in our Oklahoma City office)

In Washington State, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) exists to “oversee Washington’s insurance industry…protect consumers, and make sure companies and producers follow the rules.” One of the ways that the OIC does this is by investigating complaints against agents, agencies, and other insurance licensees. According to their website, the office answers questions and investigates complaints of over 100,000 consumers every year.
Continue Reading How to File a Complaint with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner in Washington State

This updates new California legislation in anticipation of another season of devastating wildfires. California is in drought once again. Summer has just begun and there has already been record-setting heat. Although California has been spared so far, wildfires are expected to continue to run rampant through California as it continues to heat up and dry out. The anticipated wildfires are expected to bring an influx of for out-of-state insurance adjusters into California to handle the insurance claim volume. It is safe to assume that out of state adjusters will not be up to speed with 2021 changes in California insurance law. As a policyholder advocate, you can add value to any claim by simply staying current on the rapidly changing California Insurance Code and applying it to your claim representation.
Continue Reading 2021 California Legislative Update: Senate Bill 872

(Note: This guest blog is by Liberty Ritchie, a Licensed Legal Intern in our Oklahoma City office)

Insurance companies took over $6 billion in premiums from Oklahomans last year.1 That money should be working for you, but too often it feels like you are being ignored or strung along by your company instead. The process of submitting an insurance claim is a daunting maze of bureaucracy, fine print, adjuster shuffling, and endless “on hold” phone calls. The claims system seems designed to be confusing, leaving policyholders frustrated and, all too often, underpaid.
Continue Reading How to File a Complaint with the Oklahoma Insurance Department

Paul Handerhan has been a long-time leader regarding Florida’s insurance industry. Paul Handerhan carries the CPCU designation and is a Past President of the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. I have seen him testify in Tallahassee on insurance issues and he truly has a pulse on various legislative issues facing those involved with Florida’s legal scheme of property insurance law and regulation. He currently serves as the President of the Federal Association of Insurance Reform (FAIR) which used to known as the Florida Association of Insurance Reform. This is what FAIR says about itself:
Continue Reading Contractors and Public Adjusters Beware! More Details and Analysis of SB 76 and SB 1598 By Paul Handerhan on Tuesday @2 With Chip Merlin