The Western District of Pennsylvania recently had to answer the question of whether a raccoon’s actions in destroying a property can be considered vandalism or malicious mischief under an insurance policy. The trial court found that “raccoons and their companions in the animal kingdom cannot formulate the intent needed to engage in vandalism, malicious mischief, or any other criminal or actionable conduct.”1
Continue Reading

I currently have an hour and forty-five minute commute (until my house sells and I can move closer to the office). As you can imagine, listening to the same songs on the radio over and over can get old after a while. Thankfully, Mike Buonocore from our Red Bank office introduced me to the world of podcasts, and I stopped listening to the radio. I have since assembled my go-to political, fantasy football, sports/MMA, and mystery podcasts for the work commute.
Continue Reading

I recently had my second child. So, when my paralegal, Regina, came in my office the other day with a large box I assumed that it was more gifts over and above the abundance of gifts that Chip, the Tampa office, and the Red Bank office had already showered my growing family with. Although I was correct as to the contents, the box was from a client whose case I had recently settled.
Continue Reading

Back on March 29, 2019, every attorney in the Merlin Law Group Red Bank office attended the “Protection Gap in Property Insurance” seminar that was hosted by Professor Jay M. Feinman and held at Rutgers law school. This was the first time that I had observed Mr. Feinman speak on issues pertaining to insurance and I ended up buying one of his books, Delay, Deny, Defend, after the seminar.
Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman

The last thing an insured should do with regards to a homeowners insurance claim is to sit back and wait for the insurance company to do the right thing. There are many ways in which an insured can combat a delaying, denying, and bad treating insurance company with the most obvious being retaining a public adjuster. However, another way an insured can push the insurance carrier is to file an Insurance Complaint with the State’s Department of Insurance.
Continue Reading

If an insured in Ohio (“Ohioan”) is being mistreated by a delaying, denying, and bad treating insurance company, the Ohioan always has the option of voicing his or her displeasure to the Ohio Department of Insurance (“ODI”) via Complaint. The submission of a Complaint to ODI prompts an investigation by ODI into the insurance carrier’s handling of the Ohioan’s loss.
Continue Reading