NOTE: This guest blog post is by Holly Soffer, Esq., a policyholder attorney and General Counsel to the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

Much has changed in the world since my blog on March 24th. Not only are there new phrases in our lexicon such as “Zoom happy hour,” but also the legislative response to COVID-19 Business Interruption claims has taken a new tone. At first, a few states1 offered bill similar to the New Jersey2 one, but then, as Chip has commented, the insurance industry has made its views known—as we knew they would.
Continue Reading Through the Rabbit Hole—Update on proposed COVID-19 Business Interruption Legislation

Pennsylvania has followed five other states to propose legislation eradicating the “virus” exclusion for small businesses having commercial business income policies. Insurance company lobbyists are fighting this legislation in numerous ways. One is the argument that such legislation, if passed, would be unconstitutional.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update April 8—Pennsylvania Files Proposed Legislation, An Official “Trickle” of Lawsuits is Filed and Is There A Test That Finds Covid-19 on Property?

Louisiana is the newest state to introduce legislation which would mandate coronavirus business income coverage. No state legislature has taken a final vote on these bills. One has to wonder if these are made for political pressure or could simply be political opportunism.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update April 1—Louisiana Introduces Legislation and An Optimistic Article Supporting Coverage

New Jersey started the coronavirus business insurance legislation, but just like a virus, it is spreading to other jurisdictions. Ohio and Massachusetts filed very similar bills to what was filed in the New Jersey Assembly.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Law Update March 26—Ohio and Massachusetts File Proposed Legislation Requiring Retroactive Removal of Virus Exclusion To Coronavirus Business Income and Civil Authority Claims

Holly Soffer wrote a guest blog yesterday, COVID-19 and The New Jersey Assembly Bill 3844, which concerned a bill that would retroactively void the “virus” exclusion and potentially open up the business income loss, extra expense, and civil authority coverages under commercial policies to those businesses with less than 100 employees. I summarily dismissed this bill in, Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update—Politicians Becoming Involved. But this involves New Jersey, and as one great sports commentator reminds us about our opinions, “not so fast, my friend.”
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Law Update March 25—New Jersey Anti-Virus Bill and Civil Ex Post Facto Laws

NOTE: This guest blog post is by Holly Soffer, Esq., a policyholder attorney and General Counsel to the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

While many of us are working at home, we have more time to spend analyzing and contemplating the roles of the government and the insurance industry in responding to the coronavirus crisis. This blog post is an extension of that opportunity.
Continue Reading COVID-19 and The New Jersey Assembly Bill 3844

Back in November of 2019, Chip, Jesse Sipe, Brett Rosen and I met with New Jersey Commissioner Marlene Caride and her team in Trenton. The meeting was very informative and a good start to hopefully a long-standing relationship between the Professional Public Adjusters Association of New Jersey, the plaintiff’s Bar, and the Commissioner’s office.
Continue Reading New Jersey Insurer’s Propaganda Machine Alive and Well

Javier Delgado worked his way through law school as an independent insurance claims adjuster with Merlin Law Group attorney Etienne Font as his boss. Javier has had great success with our firm after joining us shortly after Hurricane Ike in Texas where he represented hundreds of slabbed clients on the Bolivar peninsula. He has testified to the Texas legislature, taught judges and federal mediators in New Jersey and New York following Superstorm Sandy, and last week testified in front of the Florida legislature.
Continue Reading Javier Delgado—A Policyholder Advocate and Leader of Policyholder Attorneys

Wildfires have ravaged California the last several years. In addition to the devastation caused, the wildfires have also brought unfair property insurance terms and insurance carriers’ claim practices to light. Fortunately for California policyholders, the legislature has addressed some of these issues, which we have featured in prior blog posts. The California Assembly has already, in 2020, introduced some new legislation that will be friendly to policyholders. It is contained in Assembly Bill No. 182 and is summarized as follows:
Continue Reading California Assembly Introduces More Policyholder Friendly Legislation

Last year, I wrote about a New Jersey federal court decision that involved an insurance policy’s anti-concurrent causation clause. An anti-concurrent causation clause bars coverage when two identifiable causes-one covered and one not covered-contribute to a single loss. In that case, the court dismissed the insured’s claim for damages to certain portions of the property, noting that federal and state courts in New Jersey have applied and enforced anti-concurrent causation provisions.
Continue Reading New Jersey Introduces Legislation That Prohibits Anti-Concurrent Causation Clauses In Homeowners Insurance Policies