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.

A number of federal class action cases involving businesses shut down from the COVID-19 crisis have resulted in requests for federal cases to be consolidated to one court The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will decide if that will happen.
Continue Reading What is Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) and Will It Impact Virus Business Income Claims?

Can you imagine your 85-year-old grandmother or your uncoordinated friend who has never climbed a ladder going up on a slanted roof and inspecting it for wind or hail damage after a storm? Most insurance company lawyers argue the position that their client’s customers have to do this to satisfy the requirement that a loss must be reported “promptly.”
Continue Reading Arkansas Insurance Department Recognizes That Policyholders Do Not Normally Climb on Roofs To Inspect For Damage

The litigation trickle regarding coronavirus coverage issues is turning into a flood as lawsuits seem to be filed every day and in many different jurisdictions. United Policyholders has established a COCID-19 Loss Recovery Advisory Team which included a stellar panel of insurance attorneys including Merlin Law Group attorney Ed Eshoo:

COVID-19 Loss Recovery Advisory Team
John Buchanan, Covington & Burling (DC)
John Ellison, Reed Smith (PA)
Edward Eshoo, Merlin Law Group (IL)
Peter Kochenburger, UConn School of Law (CT)
Lorelie S. Masters, Hunton Andrews Kurth (DC)
Jason Mazer, Cimo Mazer Mark (FL)
Sherilyn Pastor, McCarter & English, (NJ)
Holly Soffer, Kellis Soffer, Counsel to the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (PA)
Continue Reading United Policyholders in the Lead Regarding Education of COVID-19 Loss Recovery and For Policyholders

If you watched our Coronavirus Coverage discussion, you would never forget the answer to the title question of this post. Property insurance claims and analysis can be a lot of fun when you are passionate and knowledgeable about it. There are always questions that arise from unique circumstances of loss and changing policy language which may afford or may not afford coverage.
Continue Reading Tuesdays at 2 with Chip Merlin—What Does a Cat on a Toilet Have to Do with Property Insurance?

If there was one kid watching a slower-than-ice-age-clock count down high school days before the sailing weekend started, it was me. I love practicing insurance law to help people collect their benefits, but anybody doing what I do needs a break from arguing with those ingenious and creative insurance company lawyers.
Continue Reading Friday Night Is Almost Here! Forget Insurance and Your Problems—Join Me and a Bunch of My Friends on the Best Racing Sailboat of All Time on a Remote Merlin Sailing Party Tonight

As proof that I try to be fair and balanced, a big BRAVO! to all the insurance companies who recognize that those doing automobile repairs deserve a safe working environment. The vast majority of all the insurance companies are paying the extra costs to sanitize automobiles from the coronavirus before repair.
Continue Reading Safeco and Geico Put Money Over Car Repairmen’s Safety When It Comes to COVID-19

The next Tuesdays at 2 With Chip Merlin will discuss the topic of umpire selection during a property insurance claim appraisal. This appraisal topic came about from questions written to us following last week’s discussion.
Continue Reading How Do You Properly Select and Vet an Umpire For An Insurance Appraisal? Tuesday at 2 with Chip Merlin Will Discuss This Important Topic

Oklahoma insurance law recognizes that insurance companies have a good faith duty to their customers. Merlin Law Group attorneys in Oklahoma work on what are called “bad faith” cases all the time. These cases should be called “lack of good faith” cases because there is no proof requirement that somebody was bad–just that they were not acting in the utmost of good faith and fair dealing.
Continue Reading Wrongful Denial or Delay by Your Insurance Company in Oklahoma? Insurance Companies Have Good Faith Obligations and Can Be Held Accountable

Indiana House of Representative member and National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Matt Lehman announced today in a webinar hosted by Rutgers University that NCOIL would oppose any retroactive legislation changing the business income and civil authority portions of the commercial property insurance policies. Lehman is an insurance agent:

Matt has been with Bixler Insurance, Inc since 1991 and became a partner in 1995. He specializes in commercial insurance ranging from main street merchants, to large manufacturing. He also works closely with small and large agribusiness exposures, as well as all aspects of personal lines insurance. He received his Certified Insurance Counselor certification in 1995. Matt also currently serves in the Indiana House of Representatives and currently chairs the House Insurance Committee….
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update April 24-–NCOIL Against Retroactive Insurance Legislation and Small Business Policyholders Are Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

When I saw my colleague Mike Pappitoninio, who sponsors Mass Torts Made Perfect, started advertising for what must have been his first ever seminar on the intricacies of a property insurance policy, I knew it was only a matter of time before the Mass Tort Lawyers would start to file their lawsuits and ask the Federal Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate the litigation.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update April 22–Here Come The Mass Tort Lawyers!