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. Read More...

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Insurance Adjuster Makes You Scream in Frustration? Complain About Poor or Unethical Treatment From Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are supposed to have insurance adjusters that are empathetic, professional and ethical when dealing with policyholders and claimants. The first chapter in the insurance treatise, Claims Handling Principles and Practices, has multiple lessons about these obligations. Claims adjusters should not make policyholders scream out of frustration about the service you receive.… Continue Reading

Wind Versus Water Causing Insurance Payment Delays? The Sad Song Remains The Same For Michael Victims as In Other Storms

The Tampa Bay Times ran an excellent story, Hurricane Michael Destroyed Their Homes Then The Insurance Heartache Began, which tells a sad but familiar theme about insurance company denials and delayed payments following hurricane losses. I was quoted in the piece: Chip Merlin, a Tampa insurance lawyer, said the same conflict happened in the last … Continue Reading

Delayed Insurance Payment? Texas Does Not Allow Insurers To Profit From Nonpayment During Appraisal

Rene Sigman of Merlin Law Group’s Houston office was getting some pretty good results for clients this week when she sent me a Texas Supreme Court appraisal case which makes delaying insurers more accountable for inaccurate or plain wrongful estimates of the benefits owed to policyholders. All this Texas good news had me thinking “Yippee-Yi-Yo-Ki-Yay!”… Continue Reading

Contractors Beware Taking AOB Contracts For Restoration Work: New Policy Forms Restricting AOB Contacts Discussed By Recent Insurance Bulletin

Assignment of benefits contracts for property damage claims may be going the way of the dinosaur in Florida. A recent Florida Insurance Bulletin notes that the new statute allows insurance companies to issue policies preventing an assignment of benefits if insurers offer a premium discount.… Continue Reading

Best Insurance Lawyers in Chicago?

Mike Duffy, Ed Eshoo, and Christina Phillips head up Merlin Law Group’s Chicago office. As far as I am concerned, they are the best insurance lawyers in Chicago, and we are very lucky to have them hitching their stars to the Merlin Law Group wagon.… Continue Reading

Property Insurer Wrongly Denies You Coverage? Victor Jacobellis and Chip Merlin Discuss How Exceptions to Exclusions Win Coverage

Victor Jacobellis left his job in San Francisco representing insurance companies to join Merlin Law Group and help policyholders obtain insurance coverage benefits. He asked me to speak with him about exceptions to exclusions of coverage which are often overlooked and lead to wrongful denials of coverage. The photo above shows yours truly speaking with Victor … Continue Reading

Colorado Not Replacing Contractor Overhead and Profit Bulletin

The Colorado Department of Insurance will not be repealing its longstanding bulletin requiring that contractor overhead and profit be a part of a calculation to determine actual cash value at tomorrow’s stakeholder meeting in Denver. This is fantastic news for all Policyholders and the correct decision by those dealing with this issue in the Colorado … Continue Reading

Am I Covered For Water Loss To My Home? Don’t Trust Advertising Lawyers and Find Quality Professionals To Help If Your Insurer Says “No” To Coverage

The recent blog post, My House Has Suffered Water Damage, Am I Covered? suggested to hire a licensed public adjuster, or an attorney if the claim was denied, to help you with a water loss claim. This led me to question, “how anybody would find a quality public adjuster or attorney?” The common answer in today’s … Continue Reading

Arbitration Provision In Insurance Policy Applies Because Federal Arbitration Act Supersedes State Law Making Such Clauses Illegal

“Oh, Boy!” was my first thought after reading a case which holds that those arbitration agreements requiring policyholders to arbitrate in far-away places could not be stopped by state law. Congress should stop this, and state legislators should write laws to ban those insurance carriers who sell such policies.… Continue Reading

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Indicted By Federal Government For Fraudulent Insurance Scheme

I had barely finished my speech with Nicole Vinson at the Georgia Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (GAPIA) Spring Conference this morning when news broke that Jim Beck, Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner had been indicted in a 38-count criminal complaint for a fraudulent scheme involving insurance inspections and invoices. It alleged that Beck, a former insurance company … Continue Reading

Why Do I Have To Pay A Large Named Windstorm Deductible? Confusion With Named Windstorm Deductibles Versus Flood Deductibles In Hurricane Scenarios

Named Windstorm deductibles are fairly common in areas prone to hurricanes. Instead of a policyholder being responsible for deductibles which can regularly rise to several thousand dollars, in the event of a named storm, which tropical storms and hurricanes become, a higher Named Windstorm Deductible applies and usually results in a very high deductible. Many … Continue Reading

How To Adjust Actual Cash Value and Overhead and Profit in Colorado—Colorado To Hold Public Forum For Comments

The Colorado Division of Insurance will hold a public stakeholder meeting at the Colorado Division of Insurance in Denver on May 21, 2019, regarding its proposal to eliminate one of its long-standing bulletins requiring insurance companies to pay contractor overhead and profit rather than deduct the amount until incurred.1 We discussed this in Colorado Overhead … Continue Reading

Interesting Public Adjuster Contract Required By Michigan Director of Insurance

The Michigan Director of Insurance recently issued the following bulletin: MICHIGAN INSURANCE BULLETINS AND RELATED MATERIALS BULLETINS Bulletin 2019-07-INS April 17, 2019 FROM: Anita G. Fox Director Of Insurance DATE: April 17, 2019 RE: RESIDENTIAL PUBLIC ADJUSTER CONTRACT This bulletin supersedes Bulletin 2018-22-INS, dated November 20, 2018. The Director has approved a new residential public … Continue Reading
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