Who has the burden of proof in a typical all-risk insurance policy which is now often referred to as an “open perils” policy? What does a policyholder typically have to prove to make a claim for property damage? These are fairly basic questions with answers that can become confusing when the burdens switch.
Continue Reading Who Has the Burden to Prove the Cause of Property Damage? Those Burdens of Proof Can Switch!

Defining what constitutes a “collapse” under modern policy provisions is a highly litigated issue in Florida. Insurers have repeatedly amended/revised the definition of collapse to more precisely constrict coverage, leading to constantly evolving judicial interpretations of those provisions. Many exceptional blogs have been written seeking to clarify this confounding coverage, including Court Defines “Collapse” by Merlin Law Group attorney Shane Smith, and What Constitutes an “Abrupt Collapse”? by Merlin Law Group attorney Edward Eshoo.
Continue Reading Partial Collapse – Collapse Coverage Does Not Require “Total Destruction”

Homeowner clients of Merlin Law Group prevailed and received a winning jury verdict yesterday in Lee County, Florida. In a weeklong trial against Avatar Property and Casualty Insurance Company, represented by insurance defense attorney Curt Allen, Merlin Law Group attorneys Dennis Bailey, Amy Currotto, and Anthony Orlando made the winning presentation and closing argument before the jury retired to answer a 16-question verdict form. I mentioned that this trial was ongoing while commenting on another trial in yesterday’s post, Insurance Company Lawyer Tells Jury Insurance Companies Cannot Be Expected to Know Building Codes.
Continue Reading Trial Win Over Curt Allen and Avatar Property and Casualty Insurance Company

A federal court ruling earlier this year discussed a fairly common scenario of an insurer claiming that no roof damage occurred and even if it did, the policyholder failed to introduce evidence of actual cash value because it only had a replacement cost estimate.1 The point of this post is to show that the safest way to present a property insurance claim in Florida is with a combined replacement cost estimate and an actual cash value estimate. However, fully understanding those concepts and Florida statutes on the subject is important.
Continue Reading Do You Have a Florida Property Insurance Dispute Over Valuation? Understand the Differences Between Replacement Cost Value, Actual Cash Value and How the Broad Evidence Rule Works