I own a number of insured boats. Amy Currotto and I are representing boatowners on several boat insurance disputes. Marine insurance policies are often thought of as being under admiralty law, but is it? It is important for the policyholder to analyze which law is applicable in order to properly evaluate coverage.
Continue Reading Boat & Yacht Insurance Claims: Does Federal Admiralty or State Law Apply?

Insurance applications are important. A Florida trial court recently held that an unsworn and unsigned telephonic statement made during an application for insurance does not qualify as former testimony or a business record under the Florida Rules of Evidence, thereby making it inadmissible as summary judgment evidence.1
Continue Reading Statements Made During an Application for Insurance are Important

The biggest news stories and issues involving property insurance will be raised quickly by me tomorrow at 2 PM. The Friday afternoon format is being changed so that this will be no more than a quick 15 minutes. I intend to have attachments for each of the issues and hope that these will be primarily of interest to public adjusters, adjusters, and insurance restoration contractors.

Here is a link for tomorrow’s discussion.
Continue Reading Friday At 2 With Chip Regarding Quick Discussion of Biggest Property Insurance Claims Issues and News

After the death of George Floyd last month, riots followed peaceful protests in cities across the country, including Illinois, and many have been overwhelmed by the scale of property damage, looting, and vandalism. As a result, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued disaster proclamations for 14 counties. To ensure that Illinois insurance consumer rights are protected, the Illinois Department of Insurance implemented Bulletin 2020-15.
Continue Reading Illinois Department of Insurance Requests Insurers Implement Protective Measures for Claims Due to Recent Vandalism and Looting

In a previous post, I discussed a case that found that damage to a dwelling from a broken municipal water main was covered under a homeowners insurance policy. In that case,1 the New Jersey Appellate Division concluded that the term “surface water” in the insurance policy’s water exclusion was ambiguous and that the water main break’s water did not qualify as surface water under both definitions of the term.
Continue Reading Is Damage From a Broken Water Main Covered By My Insurance Policy?

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
—Robin Williams

Carefully reading your insurance policy is crucial because the interpretation of just one word can impact whether a policy provides coverage for your loss. Sometimes coverage can turn on a simple conjunction such as the word “and.”
Continue Reading Every Word Matters in a Property Insurance Policy

Corey Harris and I will present a final discussion about proofs of loss, analyze a case about forfeiture of insurance benefits, and discuss claim implications from impending Tropical Storm Cristobal. This discussion will be held at 2 pm EST today.
Continue Reading Proofs of Loss, Avoiding Forfeiture of Coverage Benefits, and Tropical Storm Cristobal — Check In with Chip Merlin and Corey Harris at 2PM