A class action lawsuit filed against Allstate in South Carolina raises the newly raised practice by some insurers of depreciating labor when repairs are made.1 I thought that the lawsuit was very well plead and was surprised to see citations to a law review article written in part by public adjuster Don Wood, and another citation to the Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog.
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I read Law360 five days a week for insurance law, class action matters, and California cases. One article, Insurer Says Condo’s Engineer Padded $30M Hurricane Claim,1 caused me to ask our Merlin Law Group Knowledge Manager, Ruck DeMinico, to get me more of the pleadings and reports from the case since it involved an engineering report which was allegedly changed in a wrongful manner to support a policyholder’s position rather than an insurance company’s position.
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The vast majority of my adult professional career has been advocacy for policyholders trying to convince their own insurance companies to pay for claims their customers have made. After hearing countless stories and knowing the various battles fought, a number of my colleagues and friends kept pushing me to write a book on the topic and what I have learned.
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Deception during solicitation and “twisting” in the insurance marketplace is becoming much more common. We see it with television insurance advertising comparing price without honest comparing of coverage. The internet is worse. My recent post, Can Insurance Companies Send Declaration Pages Which Indicate Enhanced Coverage Yet Deliver Diminished Coverage In The Fine Print In The Back of Endorsements? had me thinking about the concept of unfair and deceptive advertising by insurance companies while I was studying the case and writing about the different views of how insurance contract descriptions are made before delivery of the product with differing terms.
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Electric Scooters (“E-Scooters”) are electric motor powered “stand-up” scooters often reaching speeds exceeding 15 or 20 mph and usually do not require a driver’s license to operate.1 They are classified as a form of micro-mobility2 and are designed with two wheels and a base deck in the center on which the rider stands.
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Merlin Law Group has agreed to host an OSHA 30 class being put on by 1 Life Safety in Houston on February 4th – 7th. This blog has repeatedly posted about how contractor costs to comply with OSHA on a job should be included in insurance estimates. This class is a great opportunity to get your certification and learn exactly what is required by law for contractor compliance.
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The title to this post would almost certainly be answered “no” by any insurance regulator or consumer advocate. But Liberty Mutual Insurance Company argues this is exactly what it can do with no consequence because the fraudulent and deceptive statements in the declarations should have been found by the policyholder reading the fine print in the policy endorsement—which is anything other than an enhanced product.
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The “Suit Against Us” provision is typically found in the “Conditions” section of a homeowners insurance policy. This provision explains to an insured when he or she can initiate a lawsuit against the insurance carrier. However, the timeline reflected in the provision may not be enforceable as certain states do not allow the insurance policy to conflict with the state’s Statute of Limitations for Breach of Contract Actions.
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In the last two weeks, Puerto Rico has experienced earthquakes that have caused significant damage to homes and buildings, especially in the southwest area of the island closest to the earthquake epicenters. Many of these properties have collapsed and others are under dangerous conditions. The government has asked the people to abandon homes that are not safe, and the Governor declared a State of Emergency due to the seismic activity continues in Puerto Rico.
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