There is a major supply and demand imbalance for construction materials right now and policyholders that are trying to repair or replace any damage to their property are being forced into a holding pattern because of it. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is urging policyholders that are living in high-risk areas to prepare for the season’s catastrophes. Mitigating potential losses by taking appropriate measures now will save a lot of strife and waiting in the future.
Continue Reading The Supply and Demand Imbalance for Construction Materials

As a Merlin Law Group Texas attorney, I have the distinct privilege of working directly with Rene Sigman, the Regional Litigation Manager running the firm’s Texas operation. As a mentor, Rene has gone above and beyond to show me the complex ropes for handling first-party property insurance cases in Texas. Rene’s unparalleled work ethic coupled with her passion for our clients’ best interest was more than apparent recently when we recovered multiple favorable settlements for commercial and residential policyholders. During this time, we noticed something interesting about one of the insured’s contracts with her public adjuster. The contract was incomplete and did not comply with the Texas Administrative Code, which governs public insurance adjuster contracts.
Continue Reading Texas Public Insurance Adjuster Contract Requirements

About two months ago, Winter Storm Uri left millions of Texans stranded in the cold without water, electricity, or heat. This tragic and historic event arrived abruptly, but it left lingering effects for many. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared this event as a major disaster. Thousands of homeowners and renters incurred property damage or other storm-related costs. FEMA offered assistance to 126 of the 254 counties1 in Texas with an application deadline of April 20, 2021. However, the application deadline has now been extended to May 20, 2021.
Continue Reading FEMA Extends Application Deadline for Texas February Winter Storm Assistance

Although 2017 feels like decades ago, insureds are still in courtrooms battling out their Hurricane Harvey claims with their insurance companies. Earlier this month, on March 5th in Playa Vista Conroe v. Insurance Company of the West,1 the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision in favor of a Texas condominium association, requiring the insurance company to pay $190,827.50 for the damage plus $50,000 for the insured’s legal fees.
Continue Reading Victory for a Texas Condo Association in its Hurricane Harvey Claim

Some of you may have heard the age-old adage, knowledge is power. This phrase is especially relevant when it comes to your homeowners policy because knowing what is and is not covered under your policy can save you a lot of strife in the event of a loss. In order to know and understand your policy, you first have to read it. As Bill Wilson emphasizes in his book, When Words Collide: Resolving Insurance Coverage and Claims Disputes, you need to Read The Full Policy!
Continue Reading Comparing Various Types of Homeowners Insurance Forms

There are differing opinions circulating right now about whether Texas public insurance adjusters can write notice letters under Chapter 542A of the Texas Insurance Code. It is important to emphasize the difference between whether they can and whether they should. There is limited case law supporting that Texas public insurance adjusters can write these notice letters (which is a discussion for another time).1 However, just because someone can do something does not mean they should. To understand why public adjusters should not write 542A notice letters, we will walk through what the “practice of law” in Texas means, who can practice law in Texas, what Chapter 542A requires in the notice letter, and why public adjusters should not write them.
Continue Reading Chapter 542A Notice Letters: Why Texas Public Adjusters Should Not Write Them

Generally, insurance policies in Texas are construed according to the same rules that govern the construction of contracts.1 Insurance policies must be interpreted by reading all sections of the document together.2 This stems from the primary concern of the courts—to enforce the parties’ expressed intent.3 “No one phrase, sentence, or section [of the policy] should be isolated from its setting and considered apart from the other provisions.”4 If part of a policy was read separately from the rest of the document, it would defeat the parties’ intent by excluding the other provisions.
Continue Reading Ambiguity in Texas Insurance Policies