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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PayUp! A Policyholders Guide to Insurance By Forbes Books

Merlin Law Group cares about insurance consumers’ interests. Insurance company lawyers only care about their profits and profits for their insurers. I mentioned in David Berardinelli Was a Policyholder Advocate, that I would be completing a book with ForbesBooks about insurance policyholders and this book, Payup!, is about to be published this November.… Continue Reading

Coverage Gaps Plague Policyholders! Merlin Law Group and AAPIA Host Webinar Explaining What Is Being Done To Fight This Problem

Holly Soffer is General Counsel to the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (AAPIA). Strangely enough, we met and started a dialogue about Insurance Coverage Gaps at a half-day leadership conference hosted by the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA).… Continue Reading

Restoration Contractor Revenue and Profit Is Important If Policyholders Are Going To Get Quality Work

Steve Patrick is a guru for those estimating property insurance losses. He made a suggestion on Level The Playing Field, for a construction book, Markup & Profit: A Contractor’s Guide, Revisited. His suggestion caught my eye since Merlin Law Group keeps this work in our reference library. This book is an excellent reference which contractors, property loss … Continue Reading

The Emotional Toll of Hurricanes

Brian Malone is a dear friend and a Bahamian whose immediate family is about to have a horrific experience caused by Hurricane Dorian. Brian’s parents and relatives live in Hope Town on the Abaco Islands which is part of the Bahamas. Category 4 and 5 hurricanes are terrible freaks of nature, but living through 24 … Continue Reading

Are Insurance Company Adjusters Really Working Around the Clock and Making Accurate Estimates?

“Not with Hurricane Michael claims” is the answer to these questions being screamed by policyholders, contractors and public adjusters. The blog title and questions were plucked from CJW’s website which also says most adjusters have a difficult time making accurate estimates but CJW does not because their adjusters “work ‘round the clock” to make accurate … Continue Reading

Closed Claim File Statistics Following Hurricanes

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable. —Mark Twain Closed claim file statistics reported by various departments of insurance following hurricanes seem absurd to those in the impacted areas and those working in the insurance claim business. The root of the problem is that most departments of insurance put pressure on insurance companies to … Continue Reading

Reflections on Superstorm Sandy Along the Jersey Shore Almost Seven Years After the Catastrophe

Larry Bathgate was my co-counsel on 23 municipal insurance claims Following Superstorm Sandy and countless commercial and residential claims as well. We spoke on Friday evening and Saturday morning about our former clients, the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore and our law practices. From my view, there has been an amazing transformation and it was … Continue Reading

Insurance Claim Payment Delay Following Expected Disasters is Epidemic

Crawford has acknowledged that the insurance industry it serves is not living up to its good faith claims obligation in a recent publication. Here is the confession about the 2017 Hurricane season which it reported in Today’s Large & Complex Claims Landscape: Preparing for the Perfect Storm: To adequately respond to today’s evolving catastrophe landscape, … Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael Policyholders, Public Adjusters, Contractors, and Agents Warning About Some Policies With One Year Limitations To File Arbitration

Hurricane Michael policyholders, public adjusters, contractors and agents must check their policies to make certain that there is not a one-year deadline to start arbitration. The above photo is Lloyds at London. Lloyds is a place where surplus lines insurers do business and it is not an insurance company. Many of the Lloyds Underwriters have … Continue Reading

Insurance Agents Play An Important Role In Everyday Life

David Thompson of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA) is a premier insurance agent educator who spends most of his time on the road teaching insurance agents how to ply their trade. This morning, I was on a panel moderated by Thompson, with insurance agent defense attorney Jessica Kirkwood-Alley and insurance expert Brent Winans. … Continue Reading

The Policyholder’s Public Adjuster Cannot Be the Policyholder’s Appraiser

The Florida Third District Court of Appeals recently held that the policyholder’s public adjuster cannot be the policyholder’s appraiser.1 This decision will have a major impact on appraisals because many public adjusters act as their own appraisers. It should be assumed that the insurance company’s adjusters cannot act as appraisers as well. The decision should … Continue Reading
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