Chip Merlin

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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Adjusters and Insurance Companies Should Not Pressure Hurricane Florence Policyholders To Use Favored Contractors

Managed repair is the rage of many insurance companies. To reduce claims costs and better compete on low price, some insurance company adjusters use various techniques to steer or pressure policyholders into using contractors the insurance company wants the policyholder to hire. Independent restoration contractors and public adjusters have legions of stories about how adjusters … Continue Reading

Being on The Side of Angels—Public Adjusters Will Lose If They Fail to Follow This Philosophy

The interests and needs of policyholders is why public adjusters get to make a living adjusting claims. The financial interests of the public adjuster are not paramount to the policyholder. The public interest is paramount over the public adjuster trade. So long as public adjusters properly serve policyholders, serve the public interest, and strive to … Continue Reading

Rene Sigman Appointed to Committee Determining Model Disaster Litigation Case Management Orders

Rene Sigman of Merlin Law Group has been appointed to an elite group of attorneys and judges working on Model Case Management Orders designed to streamline insurance cases following natural disasters. The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System issued a press release which stated in part: IAALS, the Institute for the Advancement … Continue Reading

Florida Department of Insurance Says Anybody Hired By a Licensed Public Adjuster Can Participate in Preparing an Insurance Claim By Writing the Insurance Estimates of Damage

The Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued an email authorizing Florida licensed public adjusters to hire anybody to make estimates of damage. This email corrects my latest two blogs which indicated that the OIR wanted to prevent those not licensed from working on insurance claims by determining valuations of loss and estimates of damage.… Continue Reading

Writing Estimates or Aiding in the Preparation of a Hurricane Michael Claim Requires a Public Adjuster License

Florida Attorney General Candidate Sean Shaw and I collaborated and drafted language that made people making the values, numbers, scopes of loss or directly or indirectly, helping determine an insurance claim amount, have an attorney license or a public adjuster license. We wanted to better protect consumers and help stop allegations of or actual insurance … Continue Reading

Rene Sigman is a Rebel with a Cause—Stopping Laws and Regulations That Harm Policyholders

Last week at the Texas Association of Public Insurance Adjuster (TAPIA) Fall Conference, Rene Sigman made the most dramatic speech ever at a public adjuster conference—and did it twice in one day. She stood up to a Texas politician railing about his constituents being harmed by bad laws and bad faith insurance companies. She called … Continue Reading

Georgia Public Adjusters Have It Going On!

Anita Taff and the entire GAPIA public adjuster Board of Directors should be congratulated for their success. I have the pleasure and the frustration of being in many different geographic areas where public adjuster organizations are having difficulties maintaining cohesiveness within their ranks. This is a relatively new development because just getting organized as a … Continue Reading

Insurance Company Adjuster Training Scripts and Role Paying

Insurance companies spend time training their insurance adjusters. Training is a very important. It sets the tone and culture of how the claims department functions. Training can be ethical and professional as discussed by Ken Brownlee in Insurance Companies Must Perform in Good Faith Regardless of Their Customer’s Imperfect Actions. It can also lead into … Continue Reading

Insurance Companies Must Perform in Good Faith Regardless of Their Customer’s Imperfect Actions

Insurance companies routinely argue for immunity from their wrongful actions because acts of their customers are not perfect following a loss. Policyholders are not claims specialists. Policyholders generally are not in the insurance claims business much less the civil litigation business which the insurance industry is the number one participant by far.… Continue Reading

How Does a Flood Insurance Claim Work? Tips to Get Your Florence Flood Claim Quickly Paid

Flood insurance claims are different than regular property insurance claims because virtually all flood insurance claims have to follow federal regulations. The vast majority of all flood insurance policies are written through the National Flood Program. Even if a private company known as a Write Your Own (WYO) is listed as the insurer on the … Continue Reading

Your Hurricane Florence Insurance Claim: Tips From an Experienced Policyholder Lawyer For Business and Homeowner Insurance Hurricane Claims

Hurricane Florence insurance claims are the headache that starts after Florence damages your business or home. There is nothing easy about having your property destroyed—either emotionally or financially. It is going to hurt. I and a number of Merlin Law Group lawyers have been doing this work full time for as long as anybody in … Continue Reading

Total Loss and Constructive Total Loss in Florida

Total loss and constructive total loss concepts in Florida are often confused with automobile total loss situations and exclusions and coverages related to Ordinance or Laws. We recently were asked about building law and ordinances which required a building to be demolished per building codes. The cause of the damage was by a covered peril … Continue Reading
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