Photo of Chip Merlin

Since 1983, Chip Merlin has served as a plaintiff’s attorney with a focus on commercial & residential property insurance claim disputes and bad faith insurance litigation. Chip is a noted national authority on insurance bad faith, lecturing to national trade groups and publishing a number of papers and articles on the subject for organizations such as The American Association for Justice, The Florida Justice Association, The Windstorm Insurance Network, and Trial Magazine.

As founder and president of Merlin Law Group, Chip has dedicated his practice to the representation and advocacy of insurance policyholders in disputes with insurance companies nationwide.

Chip served as Chair for the Bad Faith Insurance Litigation Group and Secretary for the Fire and Property Insurance Litigation Group for the American Association for Justice (formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America). He was also Vice-Chair for the Subcommittee on Property Insurance Law for the American Bar Association.
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The President of the United States and the Insurance Commissioner of Louisiana have come out publicly asking insurance companies to pay for customers’ increased living expenses under their homeowners policies. The editors of the FC&S recently published an opinion supporting these requests.
Continue Reading Hurricane Ida Additional Living Expense Coverage Supported By FC&S Editors

Anybody who joined me for our Hurricane Ida webinar yesterday could tell that Steve Mullins is an aggressive and experienced property insurance advocate. Steve was born in New Orleans and is the eldest son of Louisiana parents. Steve grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Ocean Springs. He is a proud graduate of Ocean Springs High School, where he was active in football, student government, and all sorts of fun that is available when you live along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I know about those fun things because I lived in Waveland, Mississippi, for three of my best formative years.
Continue Reading Steve Mullins With Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama Ties Joins Merlin Law Group

In a Puerto Rico Hurricane Michael case involving a Zurich Insurance Company providing a policy to a Louisiana policyholder, an alleged delayed payment resulted in attorneys for Zurich arguing that they could delay owed payments for various excuses. The first issue was what a proof of loss meant under Louisiana law.
Continue Reading Proof Of Loss is Different Under Louisiana Law—Should You Be Insured by a Slow and Underpaying Insurance Company?

Lucas H. Morehouse has joined Merlin Law Group’s New Orleans office. Morehouse is a native of Louisiana and originally from New Orleans. He received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University, where he double-majored in History and Political Science. Then, he stayed in Baton Rouge and received his Law Degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. Lucas is a proud Louisiana Tigers fan.
Continue Reading Louisiana Attorney Lucas Morehouse Joins Merlin Law Group

Louisiana policyholders have suffered through their share of destructive storms, hurricanes, and floods over the past five years. Many of these policyholders need the services of quality restoration contractors and great public insurance adjusters. Recently, Hurricane Ida has led to a number of public adjusters asking for advice about doing work in Louisiana. I tell public adjusters “do not do business as usual and do not have a contingent agreement.
Continue Reading Louisiana Public Adjusters Should Not Have Any Form of a Contingent Agreement

A number of insurance law treatises are relied upon to provide guidance to lawyers and judges regarding the general state of insurance law. One of those is Couch on Insurance (Couch) published by Thomson Reuters. Merlin Law Group subscribes to a number of services providing treatise information on insurance law, including Couch in our Westlaw subscription. This service and information is not cheap. Thomson Reuters publishes a onetime purchase of the treatise for $18, 493.00. The Internet advertisement for Couch states:
Continue Reading Can Judges Trust the Couch Insurance Law Treatise When It Comes To Physical Loss or Damage Analysis?

I was speaking with an attorney from Jefferson Parish in Louisiana about Hurricane Laura claims. He told me that the word that best fit insurance company payments for that storm is “putrid.” If that is the case, insurance companies that wrongfully delay payment of claims in Louisiana for greater than thirty days can be subject to an automatic penalty.
Continue Reading Insurance Companies Have 30 Days to Pay or Be Subject to Penalties in Louisiana

The reaction and calls from those involved with appraisal to the post, Is Appraisal Governed Under the Federal Arbitration Act? have generated a great deal of concern. The emotion was near panic from those who make a living as appraisers asking how to get approved as an arbitrator. Others simply asked what does this practically mean—will the process change
Continue Reading If Appraisal Is Governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, What Is the Process?