Our law firm library is brimming with insurance company chronicles from books published long ago by the insurance industry. In these, company executives of yesteryears boasted about the swiftness with which they compensated their claimants. They painted pictures of drained company treasuries and the extraordinary efforts of their claims staff, working overtime to ensure prompt payments. These tales often shined a light on a business ethic that put the policyholder first.

Continue Reading Why the Property Insurance Industry Is Dominated by Bean Counters —Why Is Your Hurricane Ian Claim Underpaid and Delayed

It has been one year since Hurricane Ian. If you have not completely resolved your claim, you need to see a lawyer about your rights. Public adjusters and contractors working on Hurricane Ian claims should say the same thing. One year is just too long for a settlement not to have been made, and insurers have had enough time to work with non-legal professionals to get their jobs done right. 

Continue Reading The One Year Anniversary of Hurricane Ian—What Do Policyholders Now Face? 

Cooperation does not equal “slavish obedience.” Property claims adjustments overseen by insurance company counsel come in various tones and methods. Some are professional and truly in good faith regardless of the decision. On the other hand, some insurance companies have failed to tell their dogs-on-a-leash counsel to treat their client’s customers the same way the insurance company did before the loss when the customer was not seen as the enemy.  

Continue Reading Examinations Under Oath – Insurer Requests Have to Be Reasonable and Made Before the Claim Is Denied

An active bad faith lawsuit in Maryland has raised some crazy allegations worthy of consideration. A claims manager for State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company allegedly refused to settle a claim because he wanted to teach the public adjusting firm retained by the policyholder a lesson and leverage this case with other cases in which the public adjusting firm was involved. Here are the facts recited in an Order by a federal judge:1

Continue Reading Insurance Claims Manager Tries to Teach Public Adjusting Firm a Lesson—Does State Auto Have an Ethical Claims Problem?

An interesting brochure published by Marsh McLennan, Preparing For And Handling A Property Loss–Managing The Property Insurance Claim Process, caught my attention. I would suggest that commercial policyholders, public adjusters, and restoration contractors read this publication to gain a perspective on property insurance claims from the world’s largest insurance broker.

Continue Reading How Marsh McLennan Views A Property Insurance Claim

The Windstorm Insurance Network (Wind) is a one of a kind organization where representatives of insurers and policyholders collaborate in a professional exchange of information and learning about wind damage claims. A recent notice about flat roof claims issues caught my attention. Tara Stone is on the Wind board of directors and has organized this event. I think it is worth your attendance if you handle claims involving wind damage to flat roofs. 

Continue Reading Wind Damage to Flat Roofs—Prove It! – Tara Stone and The Windstorm Insurance Network Set Flat Roof Wind Damage Webinar

The Merlin Law Group is often approached by individuals wishing to make insurance claims on policies where they are not the named insured. These are typically shareholders or members of a corporate insured seeking to make claims for bad faith or emotional damages due to an insurer’s denial of benefits. A recent unpublished case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit shed light on which parties have the right to make a claim or sue on a commercial insurance policy.

Continue Reading Who Has a Right to Sue the Insurance Company? A Recent Case Suggests Standing Requires a Policyholder or the Holder of a Valid Assignment