One of the strongest tools in an insured’s arsenal is a good public adjuster. If lucky, most insureds will only suffer a property loss once or twice in a lifetime. Not dealing with claims handling on a day to day basis, navigating the claims process can be not only confusing and tedious, but costly as well if the insured does not know when they are being treated unfairly.
Continue Reading Maine’s “36-Hour Rule” Deemed Unconstitutional

In July, 2016, what has been called a 200-to-500 year thunderstorm dropped between five and seven inches of rain in a two-hour period in Princeton, New Jersey. The heavy rain fall resulted in water pooling at the bottom of a stairwell below street level, next to a salon’s glass door entrance.
Continue Reading Even If You Don’t Live in a Flood Prone Area, You May Want a Flood Risk Policy in Place

Dave Jones, California’s insurance commissioner, has declared an emergency situation following the Camp and Woolsey wild fires. This will allow insurance companies to use out-of-state adjusters, in an attempt to handle the large volume of claims resulting from the fires.
Continue Reading California Issues an Emergency Declaration, Allowing Insurance Companies To Use Out-Of-State Adjusters

A ‘schedule of location’ lists property locations where insured assets are located. A homeowner’s policy will list the house, possibly an additional structure. A business policy, when drafted properly, will list all locations insured under the policy where a business loss can occur. Failing to include all such locations can result in denial of what would otherwise be a covered loss.
Continue Reading How Can the Schedule of Locations Affect Your Claim?

The photos from Hurricane Michael show catastrophic loss from not only the storm surge, up to fourteen feet in some areas, but from winds and rain as well. For those that live far enough inland where surge and flood was not an issue, but still sustained water damage from rain, you may think your homeowners policy will cover you. There is however an exclusion in most policies, commonly called the “wind driven rain exclusion” that insurers will use to disclaim coverage.
Continue Reading It’s Rain, Not Flood, Why Isn’t My Water Damage Covered?

If you’re a news junkie like I am, you have probably heard about the FBI recovering a pair of ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the filming of The Wizard of Oz. By way of background, the shoes were stolen from The Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota thirteen years ago. At the time of the theft, August 28, 2005, the shoes were owned by Michael Shaw, a collector out of Hollywood. Mr. Shaw purchased the shoes in 1970 for a mere $2,000. Following the loss, he was compensated $800,000 by the insurance company, which is now deemed to be their legal owner. The policy at that time valued the shoes at $1,000,000.00.
Continue Reading No Need to Seek a Wizard When You Have Merlin to Answer All of Your Ruby Slipper Questions

For the past few days, it’s been raining cats and dogs in New Jersey. Being stuck inside, I was scrolling through my social media feed and came across a video of multiple new cars being washed down what appeared to be a river from a car dealership. This led to a lively discussion on my reposting of the video as to whether the insurance company would pay for the loss of vehicles, which of course got me thinking, would this be a covered loss? What types of policies do car dealerships typically have?
Continue Reading Auto Dealer Insurance Policies

Merlin Law Group is closely monitoring a case pending before the South Carolina Supreme Court to see how it answers the question: “Does South Carolina law support application of the ‘at issue’ exception to the attorney-client privilege such that a party may waive the privilege by denying liability in its answer?”
Continue Reading Does An Insurer Waive Privilege for Attorney-Client Communications in the Claims File By Denying Bad Faith?

More states across the country are implementing legislation allowing for the legal use of cannabis. Currently 23 States and the District of Columbia allow for medical use with four of the states and D.C. also allowing recreational use. The conflicts between state and federal law have left businesses uninsured and often without access to bank accounts.
Continue Reading California Department of Insurance Has Approved the State’s First Cannabis Business Owners Policy