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.

Appraisal panels have few rules to follow about what they can and cannot consider in determining the amount of the loss. In a case recently decided,1 a policyholder refused to continue in an appraisal because the panel was presented evidence of a subsequent loss. The policyholder argued that this breached the appraisal agreement. 

Continue Reading Appraisal Panel Can Hear Evidence of Damage Caused By Other Events

Statute of limitations and time periods to perform post-loss actions by policyholders are important. Some states hold these periods set out in policies as “can’t miss” deadlines. In some states, if you are late, you are out of luck collecting more money even if owed. 

Continue Reading Statute of Limitations Warning—Do Not Get Lulled Into Failing To File Suit When Claims Are Delayed

A number of attorneys, public adjusters, and roofers have been asking me questions about State Farm claims practice related to hail damage claims. Many insurers are not willing to fully explain to their customers how they instruct adjusters to handle claims—unlike the federal government, which published a manual regarding national flood insurance adjustments and invites the public to its claims certification training. As a result, it is often difficult to figure out what criteria an insurer uses to determine what is covered and what is owed. This is one problem regarding State Farm hail damage claims. 

Continue Reading Learning How State Farm Evaluates Hail Damage Claims

Can you imagine the glee on the face of the investigator for Florida’s Department of Financial Services as he walked in with the big news that Chip Merlin has no Florida Bar License? It probably went down something like this:

“Hey boss, you know that attorney who criticizes us and whom the insurance companies hate because he exposes them as well, Chip Merlin? Well, he has no Florida Bar license! Yep, I looked it up, and this guy is an imposter!”    

Continue Reading Chip Merlin Busted By Florida Insurance Investigators!

The 2023 Windstorm Insurance Conference has been great. The two gentlemen in the above photo taken on Monday night are whistleblower independent adjusters who testified during Florida’s Special insurance Session in December. Florida’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) investigators claim they could not track them down and speak with them following their testimony. It does not appear that these whistleblowers are “hiding out.” 

Continue Reading Are Florida’s Department of Financial Service Investigators Competent or Simply Refusing to Investigate Alleged Insurance Company Corruption?

Public adjusters need to double-check their licensing paperwork. That was my thought while reading an Order temporarily suspending many public adjusters from any public adjusting activities because the Georgia Department of Insurance claims that its paperwork does not reflect an approved contract. There are a lot of public adjusters named in the Order, including past Presidents of the Georgia Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (GAPIA) and one Past President of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

Continue Reading Georgia Insurance Commissioner Effectively Suspends Most Georgia Public Adjusting Activity—And Then Admits A Mistake Doing So!