When it comes to insurance law, the Florida legislature epitomizes Florida Man. Wikipedia describes Florida Man as follows:

Florida Man is an Internet meme first popularized in 2013, referring to an alleged prevalence of people performing irrational, maniacal, illogical, delusional, insane, and absurd actions in the U.S. state of Florida. Internet users typically submit links to news stories and articles about unusual or strange crimes and other events occurring in Florida, with stories’ headlines often beginning with ‘Florida Man…’ followed by the main event of the story. Because of the way news headlines are typically written, they can be creatively interpreted as implying that the subjects of the articles are all a single individual known as ‘Florida Man.’

Continue Reading Florida Man—Appraisal in the Brand New World of Initial, Additional, Supplemental, and Re-Opened Claims

Yesterday’s post, The Race Technically Started—But Merlin Is At The Dock! Understanding Florida’s Anti-Technical Statute Regarding Marine Insurance, was the result of a case originally reported in The Captain and Crew Warranties in a Yacht Policy Are Important. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a judgment for the policyholder last week and further discussed the law regarding Florida’s anti-technical statute:1

Continue Reading Florida’s Anti-Technical Statute Sinks Travelers Denial 

Isn’t it great when people work collaboratively on a noble cause and grand success happens? 

Merlin Law Group attorneys Drew Houghton from Oklahoma and Dan Ballard from Redbank, New Jersey, worked with policyholder attorney Jason Liss from Michigan to obtain a significant ruling yesterday in the Southern District of New York.1

Continue Reading Blockbuster New York Appraisal Decision Impacts Causation and Period of Restoration Determinations

Florida used to have a statute of limitations for insurance lawsuits that was five years from the date of the breach of contract. As a result, some cases would be filed nearly a decade after the loss. Not anymore, as one condominium and its lawyers learned in a federal court decision last week.1  

Continue Reading New Florida Statute of Limitations Law Costs Condominium $13 Million

Happy Post Super Bowl Day!

Property insurance appraisal has become the “go-to” method of property adjustment resolution. The number of cases involving insurance appraisals has exploded. My computer search found over 20 property insurance cases decided since this New Year. Since appraisal is being invoked on more claims than ever, legal issues have arisen. One carrier, State Farm, has an entire claims department overseeing its claims placed into appraisal.

Continue Reading Property Insurance Appraisal Law Is Dynamic

Insurance agent negligence cases typically come to me with the following question: “Chip, I think the agent messed up. What do you think about bringing an action against the insurance agent for errors and omission?” My first two thoughts on this question are:  

1. Do you know how complex agent negligence cases are?  

2. In what state did this happen?

Continue Reading Insurance Agent Negligence Cases Are Complex—A Texas Example

Appraisal panels have few rules to follow about what they can and cannot consider in determining the amount of the loss. In a case recently decided,1 a policyholder refused to continue in an appraisal because the panel was presented evidence of a subsequent loss. The policyholder argued that this breached the appraisal agreement. 

Continue Reading Appraisal Panel Can Hear Evidence of Damage Caused By Other Events

In June, we noted in Louisiana Appellate Court Finds Coverage For Covid Business Losses, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal opinion1 reversing a trial court’s judgment against an insured business affected by COVID-19. The case, Cajun Conti LLC, Cajun Cuisine 1 LLC, and Cajun Cuisine LLC d/b/a Oceana Grill v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London and Governor John B. Edwards in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Louisiana, and the State of Louisiana, involves a popular New Orleans restaurant, known as Oceana Grill, which requested the trial court declare Business Interruption coverage existed under their policy. This type of request is referred to as a “Petition for Declaratory Relief,” as opposed to a request that a court compels another party to pay for losses that were caused by that party (referred to as a “Petition for Damages”).
Continue Reading The Difference in the Outcome of Your COVID-19 Business Interruption Suit May Depend on Which Court You File In