Archives: Insurance

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Can My Insurance Company Deduct Labor Costs When I Have A Replacement Cost Policy? What Allstate Does Not Say In Its Ads

Can you imagine Allstate Insurance Company running an advertisement explaining that it tries to deduct labor costs as depreciable items when you make a homeowners claim? Allstate runs television ads trying to warn against “cheap” insurance but fails to disclose that it instructs its claims adjusters to cheapen its insurance product when it comes to … Continue Reading

Can An Insurer Waive Its Right to Appraisal?

The purpose of Section 627.7015, Florida Statutes titled “Alternative procedure for resolution of disputed property insurance claims” is to encourage insurance companies and policyholders to resolve their disagreements regarding disputed property insurance claims without the necessity of litigation or appraisal. The statute requires, in part: (2) At the time a first-party claim within the scope … Continue Reading

Surplus Lines Carriers Select Arbitration and Choice of Law in New York to Pay Less Coverage and Less on Claims

A Florida based insurance agent educator asked me for my thoughts about how arbitration clauses harm policyholders and provide less coverage. He was referencing my earlier post this week, Arbitration Clause Requiring New York Law and New York Arbitration Cited as Avoidance of Florida Lawsuit—Another Instance of Surplus Lines Insurer Abuse in Florida.… Continue Reading

Getting the Xactimate Construction Price Right!

Xactimate construction price expert Steve Shannon told me that Merlin Law Group should make a seminar called, The Price is Right! I was listening to him and OSHA expert witness, Kevin Dandridge, discuss various issues of construction worker and site safety and where those costs should show up in insurance claim estimates.… Continue Reading

Arbitration Clause Requiring New York Law and New York Arbitration Cited as Avoidance of Florida Lawsuit—Another Instance of Surplus Lines Insurer Abuse in Florida

Insurance Law360 is part of my daily reading and it tipped me off to a case which raises the same problem about arbitration, I noted in Should Insurance Agents Get Sued for Selling Insurance Which Requires Arbitration in a Far Away Location and Deprives Their Customers of Consumer Protection Laws? and Arbitration Is an Increasing … Continue Reading

The Protection Gap in Property Insurance—Why Nobody Should Buy Farmers Smart Plan Insurance

Gaps in Insurance coverage are an increasingly significant issue. The Rutgers Center for Risk and Responsibility and the Rutgers Law School will hold a conference on The Protection Gap in Property Insurance, on Friday, March 29. This conference will address the protection gap in residential and commercial property losses and related types of losses in the … Continue Reading

Insurance Recovery for Condominium Policyholders

Condado is a diverse community in San Juan, Puerto Rico, that is 7 miles long but well known by tourists for hotels, restaurants and beaches. For the locals this area it is also known for its numerous condominiums, which were greatly affected in 2017 by Hurricane Maria. To this date, many of the insurance companies … Continue Reading

Can My Recovery be Limited to Actual Cash Value When the Insurer’s Failure to Pay Prevented Compliance with My Policy Condition on Recovering Replacement Cost?

Insurers often try to limit damages once they are found liable for breach of the insurance contract by claiming that the insurance policy limits the insured’s recovery to the actual cash value because the insured did not comply with the policy’s condition on recovering replacement cost.1… Continue Reading

Statutory Penalties Plus Punitives and No Caps

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Tennessee recently ruled and reaffirmed that a Tennessee policyholder is not limited to the statutory extracontractual remedy for an insurer’s bad faith refusal to pay on a policy. She may also be awarded punitive damages under common law. And, further, the Tennessee legislative cap on punitive damages is … Continue Reading

United Policyholders Warns Floridians About Bad Proposed Insurance Laws

Amy Bach is on the side of angels when it comes to fighting for policyholder rights. She is the Executive Director of United Policyholders which is the nation’s largest not for profit advocacy. She and her staff have spent considerable time in Florida educating the public and Florida lawmakers about insurance and sound public policy … Continue Reading

Church vs. Church – Court Uses Dictionary to Define “Decay”

Easthampton Congregational Church submitted an insurance claim to Church Mutual Insurance Company when their roof suddenly collapsed. Church Mutual denied coverage for faulty construction after they sent their engineer, Joseph Malo, out to inspect the property. Mr. Malo noted, and the insured agreed, there was “progressive failure of the fasteners used to attach the layers … Continue Reading

Statutory Interest Series: Michigan

Michigan policyholders are entitled to timely payment of property insurance benefits. Many insurers take extraordinary measures to delay, deny, and underpay claims leaving policyholders in vulnerable positions. An insurance company’s statutory responsibility to pay interest on delayed claim payments incentivizes insurers to promptly settle viable property insurance claims.… Continue Reading

How to Stop Delay, Deny, Defend

Rutgers insurance law professor Jay Feinman wrote a book, Delay Deny Defend: Why Insurance Companies Don’t Pay Claims and What You Can Do About It, which exposed many insurance company unfair claims practices. In the last chapter of the book, he discussed how we can stop insurance claim wrongful delays and denials.… Continue Reading

Grand Opening of Merlin Law Group’s Oklahoma City Office

The South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce gave Merlin Law Group a wonderful ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the Grand Opening of our new Oklahoma City Office. Drew Houghton, Larry Bache and I were thrilled by the outpouring of wishes for success. I am certain that insurance companies delaying, denying and underpaying Oklahoma claims are not … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Allows New Jersey Policyholder’s Consumer Protection Claims Against Insurer for Deceptive Claims Handling

In an important New Jersey policyholder decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently addressed New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) and ruled the CFA applies to an insurer’s deceptive claims handling practices as well as the sale of insurance policies.1… Continue Reading
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