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.

Ever get so curious about something that is not so meaningful, but you just have to know the answer to satisfy your curiosity? I have been on a very nerdy quest about older appraisal clauses in property insurance policies because I challenged a commentator to this blog about not simply repeating what others have said about the origin of appraisal found in property insurance policies.
Continue Reading Were Older Appraisals Arbitration? One Older Appraisal Clause Clearly Was Not an Arbitration Clause

Steve Badger claimed that many more insurance companies will be placing managed repair options into insurance policies. During our debate at the Lloyd’s Property Insurance Claims Group Conference last week, Badger seemed confident that managed repair is coming to many states. Since I have had private discussions with insurance industry insiders telling me that insurers in “hail states” are planning to follow Florida’s lead and seek approval for forms allowing insurers to designate “preferred vendors” to make repairs, Badger’s comments and prediction should be taken seriously.
Continue Reading Will Managed Repair Be Found in Most Property Insurance Policies?

The first standard fire insurance policy was mandated by Massachusetts in 1873.1 For those interested in the older standard insurance policies, Rough Notes published a book briefly discussing the early history of standard fire insurance policies called The Standard Fire Policy.2
Continue Reading The First Standard Fire Policy—Did It Contain an Arbitration Clause Rather Than an Appraisal Clause?

The two people on the right of this picture are happy Merlin Law Group policyholder clients following a jury trial verdict this week. The verdict amount was greater than the public adjuster’s estimate. I would be smiling as well with that result. Attorneys Dennis Bailey and Anthony Orlando along with paralegal Genevib Bertoncini were the trial team achieving this result.
Continue Reading Jury Trial Win For Policyholders

Steve Badger thought I was dead on the ropes. He left himself wide open when he admitted that the first three things he does when he wakes in the morning is to get a cup of coffee, open the news, and read Chip Merlin’s blog. The conservative Lloyd’s crowd laughed heartily when I replied that Steve’s life needs a little more excitement if reading this blog is making his first three things he does every morning list.
Continue Reading Lloyd’s Property Insurance Claims Group—Badger v. Merlin IV

Many readers know that yours truly was appointed as the insurance coverage counsel for the class of victims at the Champlain Towers collapse in Surfside, Florida. A settlement was announced in open court yesterday for nearly a billion dollars. I am certain the final amount of insurance coverage recovered will be over one billion dollars—all within a year from the catastrophe.
Continue Reading Champlain Towers Catastrophe Reaches $997M In Settlements