Jean Niven recently wrote a blog post about insurance coverage cases being won or lost based on expert witnesses and the preparation of their reports and testimony.

Mama Jo’s, Inc. d/b/a Berries, has now petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling1 that the restaurant is not entitled to coverage under an “all risk” commercial insurance policy for business income losses and expenses caused by construction dust and debris that migrated into the restaurant.
Continue Reading Restaurant Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Eleventh Circuit’s Ruling on “Direct Physical Loss”

The California Supreme Court emphasized that the notice-prejudice rule in first-party insurance contract is a fundamental public policy that can override a choice-of law provision in certain circumstances.
Continue Reading Is the California Notice-Prejudice Rule a Fundamental Public Policy For Purposes of Choice of Law Analysis?

My colleague, Jason Cieri, in a recent blog post, Prejudgment Interest, What Is It and How Does It Help Me, explained what prejudgment interest is and how it helps a policyholder:

In jurisdictions that don’t have attorney fee shifting statutes, insured are left with very few tools to level the playing field against the behemoth insurance companies. Depending on your jurisdiction, prejudgment interest could be used to help level that playing field.
Continue Reading Not Awarding Prejudgment Interest For Time Before And After Arbitration Award Would Lead To Absurd Results

My husband and I moved from New York City to Florida. Almost every summer we traveled back to New York for wedding season and this summer was no different for us. Just as the wedding season is getting into full swing, so are event cancellations due to COVID-19 pandemic. Last weekend alone, I received several calls from friends and family cancelling their weddings and baby showers until the COVID-19 outbreak has subsided. The novel coronavirus has caused major events around the world to be cancelled or postponed, further exacerbating the economic hardship.
Continue Reading Tis the Season – Cancelled Due To COVID-19!

Merlin Law Group has consistently tracked Hurricane Michael claim information provided by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR). Insurance companies reported the total number of claims for Hurricane Michael to be 149,773 with more than $7.4 billion in estimated insured losses as of October 25, 2019. For the latest reporting period, we anticipate the number of new claims filed to increase as many policyholders had hoped their insurance companies would do right by them during the initial adjustment and investigation stage of their claims. It is important to note that Florida Statutes §627.70132, allows policyholders to file a claim within three years of the hurricane’s initial landfall or when the windstorm caused the covered damage, in accordance with the terms of the policy.
Continue Reading Status of Hurricane Michael Claims: Estimated Insured Losses Exceed $7.4B

On October 2, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled that a dispute between an insurance company and its policyholder should proceed to appraisal despite insurance company’s allegations that it had discovered what it called evidence of fraud.
Continue Reading An Insurer’s Potential Fraud Claim Against Insured Was “No Reason to Stop or Stay Appraisal,” Court Rules

A business interruption claim does not always end up in litigation. There are basic techniques that an insured may consider expediting and presenting a claim that may result in a fair resolution of a business interruption claim. The Business Interruption Book: Coverage, Claims, and Recovery,1 is a great source for information on business interruption issues and it provides a non-exclusive checklist to facilitate claims handling.
Continue Reading Business Interruption: Strategies for Resolution

Business Interruption coverage protects the potential earnings of the insured business while its operations are suspended as a result of damage caused by a covered peril. The period of restoration has a direct effect on the actual loss suffered. A typical definition in most ISO forms of the “period of restoration” is:
Continue Reading Can My Business Recover Additional Income Loss If Code Upgrades Are Delaying the Time to Complete Repairs?

The Office of the Lieutenant Governor Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation has a dual responsibility of regulating the insurance industry and protecting consumer interest in the U.S. Virgin Islands. As of January 30, 2018, the most recent data on insurance claims provided by the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation (“Division”) indicated the following:1
Continue Reading How to File A Complaint With The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Insurance About Your Delaying, Denying and Bad Treating Insurance Company