Photo of Beaujeaux de Lapouyade

A few recent events prompted me to write about boat insurance policies, and what you should know if you are a new or seasoned boat owner. Chip Merlin and the Merlin Yacht Racing team recently competed in an offshore race from St. Petersburg to Pensacola. My own recent sailing adventure took an exciting yet unexpected turn as we sailed downwind in 16-knot breeze. One of my close friends recently became the new sailboat owner of Melges 24, Firewater, owned by the late George Haynie – a sailing mentor, legend, and dear friend to all at Davis Island Yacht Club.
Continue Reading What Do I Need to Know About My Boatowners Insurance Policy?

Hurricane and Tropical Storm Eta caused intense flooding with 13 inches of rainfall and storm surge along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Eta also prompted flash flooding, road closures, and water rescues as it moved across the state into the Carolinas. I know a few of the folks who experienced flooding in their homes on Davis Island, Florida, where I race sailboats in my spare time.
Continue Reading My Home Flooded During Tropical Storm Eta: What Do I Do?

On August 10, 2020, Merlin Law Group hosted Hurricane Irma Public Adjuster Seminar: One Month Before Claim Submission Deadlines for public adjusters to earn 4 CE credits on hot topics for discussion related to Hurricane Irma. Don’t forget the deadline to submit claims for property damage from Hurricane Irma is September 10, 2020.
Continue Reading When Can Ordinance or Law Coverage Be Appraised?

The 2020 hurricane season began June 1, 2020. It is important for adjusters to prepare themselves now on state-specific policy provisions and statutory language that can impact coverage in the event of another hurricane or named storm this season.
Continue Reading North Carolina Department of Insurance Provides Guidance on Procedures for Catastrophic Adjusters

People’s Trust Insurance Company (“PTIC”) is well-known for invoking the “election to repair” policy provision once it determines a covered cause of loss occurred to property by a peril insured against under the policy.

In conjunction with the “election to repair” clause, PTIC offers Endorsement E023 – “Preferred Contractor Endorsement” in exchange for a premium credit. This is a trap for many homeowners.
Continue Reading Declaratory Judgment Action May Be Forthcoming If An Insurer Invokes Its Right To Repair

Yes. The answer is yes, you need it. I won’t give you that lawyer “it depends” answer on this one.


This paragraph is often contained at the forefront of property insurance policies. Essentially, it pays for additional costs and loss of income resulting from any application of local, state or federal regulation affecting the rebuild of a covered structure.
Continue Reading Ordinance or Law Coverage: Do I Need It?

This reminds me of a well-known phrase my mother used to say to ensure I knew I could never get away with well-organized mischief without her knowing. The saying goes: “You can’t pull the wool over the wool puller’s eyes.” Many carriers try their darndest to do just that: pull the wool over their own policyholders’ eyes without raising an eyebrow. Not that policyholders are the wool pullers, but you catch my drift.
Continue Reading My Insurance Company Denied My Claim for Loss of Business Income Because My Property Damages Were Caused by Both Wind and Flood – Can They Do That?

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. My favorite policy exclusions carriers cite to deny property damage claims are wear, tear, and deterioration, improper workmanship, and construction defect. Do you know whether your state is a concurrent causation state? This could mean the difference between coverage and no coverage for a loss.
Continue Reading North Carolina – Concurrent Causation