Imagine you are walking around your house one night, and the lights suddenly flicker. You immediately investigate the issue, open a living room wall, and determine that the electrical wiring behind the wall is burned due to water leaking down from the bathroom above. You shut the main valve to the bathroom right away and call an electrician. Prior to this, there were no signs of any plumbing or wiring issues that would have tipped you off that you had a problem in your home. It is subsequently determined that the wax ring on your toilet, which is hidden and not visible, failed and has been leaking. You submit an insurance claim only to be told that the loss is excluded.
Continue Reading Merlin Law Group Overturns Coverage Denial Over Interpretation of the Term “Sudden”

The Louisiana Department of Insurance established a voluntary mediation program for residential claims less than $50,000 in dispute that went into effect yesterday. The bulletin announcing this program explained the historical basis for this program:

In the wake of property devastation caused in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (‘LOI’) issued Emergency Rule 22, which established a mandatory mediation program. The mediations conducted pursuant to Emergency Rule 22 resulted in the mediation of approximately 12,000 property damage disputes with a very high success rate. Given the success of that mediation program, the LOI is optimistic that a similar mediation program, to be known as the “Hurricane Ida Mediation Program” (the ‘Program’), could yield similar success.

Continue Reading Hurricane Ida Voluntary Mediation Program For Residential Claims

The quick answer to this post is to “hire a really good and experienced property insurance bad faith attorney and file a proper Civll Remedy Notice.” It is clearly not business as we used to do it in the first-party good faith claims practice field. What I taught just several years ago as the proper way to complete civil remedy notices (CRNs), which is a requirement for a bad Faith lawsuit, is no longer the best method to do so. Policyholders should not attempt to do this themselves. It has become extraordinarily complex. The Florida legislature has made it that way with newly enacted laws.
Continue Reading What Does a Property Insurance Policyholder Have To Do To File a Bad Faith Lawsuit In Florida?

United Policyholders provides a forum to help advocate for and educate about the need for policyholder rights. As a result of United Policyholders, I and others with Merlin Law Group have been able to help support the legal rights of our current and future clients. To me, it would just seem natural that a law firm and its lawyers who say they are dedicated to the rights of policyholders would support with their time and money the activities of United Policyholders (UP). Otherwise, are you just doing it for the money?
Continue Reading Lifetime Achievement Award From United Policyholders

During the First Party Claims Conference last week, New York attorney Jonathan Lerner and I discussed the new public adjuster regulations that had just come into effect in New York on October 8. The New York Department of Financial Services listed the following in a press release announcing these new regulations:
Continue Reading New York Public Adjusters Have New Consumer Protections To Follow

The Rocky Mountain Public Insurance Adjuster Association (RMAPIA) will hold its Fall Meeting starting on Wednesday, November 3, in Denver. Yours truly will have two special Merlin Law Group attorneys, Larry Bache and Jon Bukowski, explaining what we see as the top property insurance claims trends throughout the Rocky Mountain states and the coverage gaps issue causing more problems for policyholders.
Continue Reading Rocky Mountain Public Insurance Adjusters Meet on November 3 & 4 in Denver

Whether it is referred to as a “fraudulent insurance act” or just plain “insurance fraud,” each state prohibits certain acts or omissions that it considers fraudulent. In Georgia, the legislature has enacted Ga. Code § 33-1-16, which defines what it considers to be a “fraudulent insurance act.” In addition, Ga. Code § 33-1-16 imposes varying degrees of reporting requirements on those who have knowledge of a fraudulent insurance act being committed
Continue Reading Reporting Fraudulent Insurance Acts in Georgia: Is There a Requirement to Report?