Americans hate to be told that we cannot do something. I think it is just in our DNA. Since the time we are little, we are taught to “never let somebody tell you that you cannot…..” Name the dream you want to accomplish because, in America, you can do it.
Continue Reading Adjusting and The Unauthorized Practice of Law—Thoughts About What Public Adjusters Can Do in Alabama

Brian Goodman is the very able General Counsel for the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. He also worked tirelessly to get public adjusting licensed in Alabama. He has properly corrected me that public adjusting is not “illegal” in Alabama. Mark the time, I am making a correction to this morning’s blog.
Continue Reading Stop the Presses and Mark the Time—Chip Merlin, The Wizard of Something, May Be Wrong!!!

In recent weeks we have been hosting seminars and community events in Lake Charles, Louisiana to educate policyholders of their potential rights and obligations under their insurance policies. Along with the concern that most insureds do not yet have a copy of their full policy—including all forms and endorsements—to guide them through the process, is that those insureds who do have copies of their policies may be misled by the standard terms and provisions of their policies.
Continue Reading Louisiana Catastrophe Related Deadlines Extensions: Filing Proof Of Loss and Replacement Cost Coverage

While many enjoy “smokey” notes in their wine, no one enjoys the flavor of an ashtray. But that is exactly what can occur to wine made with smoke-tainted grapes. Wildfires produce an excessive amount of smoke combustion byproducts, and currently many of the wildfires raging now are in wine country. Because wildfire season lines up with winery harvest season, smoke-tainted grapes are an unfortunate reality – especially this wildfire season.
Continue Reading When Wine Grapes and Wildfire Smoke Meet: The Smoke Taint Claim

Property insurance carriers seem to be in a war with contractors and their customers regarding the amounts to be paid for restoration construction. They use various tactics trying to eliminate overhead and profit margins. Many contractors either go out of business, do shoddy workmanship or fight to be paid what is fair. The contractors that give up and do shoddy workmanship for the lowered payments often do not have such work noticed by usually ignorant policyholders. The policyholder problems often show up years later leaving policyholders holding the bag caused by insurance company claims tactics and new policy language designed to pay as little contractor profit and overhead as possible.
Continue Reading Overhead & Profit—Do Not Miss April Hall’s Storm Consultants Seminar

The California Supreme Court emphasized that the notice-prejudice rule in first-party insurance contract is a fundamental public policy that can override a choice-of law provision in certain circumstances.
Continue Reading Is the California Notice-Prejudice Rule a Fundamental Public Policy For Purposes of Choice of Law Analysis?

Friday at 2 With Chip is going to be interesting today. The Executive Director from FAPIA, Nancy Dominguez, sent me a State Farm policy that I have confirmed was the policy used in an appraisal in Florida. Here is the relevant language:

Appraisal. If you and we fail to agree on the amount of any loss under SECTION 1-PROPERTY COVERAGES, either party can demand that the amount of the loss be set by appraisal. A demand for appraisal must be in writing. You must comply with SECTION I – CONDITIONS, Your Duties After Loss before making a demand for appraisal. At least 10 days before demanding appraisal, the party seeking appraisal must provide the other party with written, itemized documentation of a specific dispute as to the amount of the loss, identifying separately each item being disputed.
Continue Reading New Requirements for Being a Property Insurance Appraiser—Are Insurers Going to Change Appraisal With New Policy Language?

In New York they can! I’ve fielded many calls from public adjusters who are worried their client will be waiving their rights to further pursue insurance proceeds if they sign the proof of loss sent by the insurance carrier or cash the check issued by the carrier. The short answer to those questions is…it depends.
Continue Reading Can an Insurance Company Include a Release in a Proof of Loss Form?