It did not take long for part of the recent anti-policyholder legislation to be declared illegal. Last Friday, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker heard arguments in a lawsuit filed by Gale Force Roofing and Restoration, LLC, that claims the portion of SB 76 that prevents contractors from advertising to encourage property owners to file roof-damage claims violated free speech protections. Judge Walker ruled in favor of Gale Force Roofing and issued an injunction stopping Florida officials from enforcing part of the bill.
Continue Reading Contractors and Roofers Can Advertise! Part of SB 76 Already Found Unconstitutional

Appraisal clauses, a common component of property insurance policies, set forth an alternative dispute resolution process by which the parties to an insurance contract can resolve disputes concerning the amount of a covered loss. While most property insurance policies’ appraisal clauses do not expressly set forth a time period to demand appraisal, waiver of the appraisal clause can occur if not timely invoked. Courts tasked with determining whether an appraisal clause was waived focus on whether the demand for appraisal was made within a “reasonable time.”
Continue Reading How Long Is Too Long To Demand Appraisal?

Policyholders should remain vigilant in confirming their property insurance policies are aligned with their current coverage needs – before disaster strikes. Tropical Storm Elsa will certainly not be the last bit of potentially threatening tropical activity during this year’s hurricane season. While Elsa was certainly not the strongest storm Florida has ever seen, it was another reminder of the heavy rains and winds these tropical storms and hurricanes can bring.
Continue Reading Tropical Storm Elsa Serves As Reminder To Address Any Coverage Gaps

Merlin Law Group supports the work public adjusters do for policyholders in helping them obtain justice on property insurance claims. As part of being The Policyholder’s Advocate™, our firm has developed several guides for individual states that public adjusters can reference for information on statutes and procedures.
Continue Reading Merlin Guides – Helpful State-By-State Resource for Public Adjusters

While Florida’s political leaders have taken away policyholders’ traditional rights and protections by passing recent anti-policyholder laws, as discussed in Florida’s New Anti-Policyholder SB 76 Signed Into Law By Governor DeSantis, Louisiana has doubled down on traditional policyholder rights which are standard throughout the country by passing Louisiana Act 345 (fka HB 591).
Continue Reading “No” to Managed Repair, “Yes” to Overhead and Profit And “Yes” to Appraisal—Louisiana Takes Steps to Maintain Traditional Rights Afforded To Policyholders

The National Flood Insurance Program is a tough federal insurance program. There is a recent case which was thrown out of court because the policyholder tried to do it himself. [1] It is another example that when FEMA officials say the government Is there to help with your flood claim, you will find out differently very quickly if you disagree with them on anything.
Continue Reading Policyholders Should Immediately Get Professional Help if they Have Any Problems with their National Flood Insurance Claim

Initially, it is beneficial to define just what exactly is meant by the phrase “regulatory estoppel” in the context of insurance policies. This theory is a form of equitable estoppel whereby insurers are prevented, or “stopped,” from asserting an interpretation of an insurance policy provision that is contrary to the insurer’s explanation of that provision to state insurance regulators when the insurer originally sought approval of the policy form from the state department of insurance. In layman’s terms, the insurance company is prevented from arguing that a specific policy provision has a different meaning than the meaning originally presented to an insurance agency or during a judicial proceeding.
Continue Reading Regulatory Estoppel – What is it and How Can it be Successfully Pleaded in New York?