In reviewing policies, I have noticed a scary trend for policyholders: Insurance companies are often making changes to policy language limiting insureds coverage or ability to recover when renewing the policy. If you are like many policyholders when you get your renewal every year and the declarations page shows that your limits went up and the premiums went up you assume you have the same coverage as last year.
Continue Reading A Policy Renewal May Cost Insureds

Merlin Law Group has agreed to host an OSHA 30 class being put on by 1 Life Safety in Houston on February 4th – 7th. This blog has repeatedly posted about how contractor costs to comply with OSHA on a job should be included in insurance estimates. This class is a great opportunity to get your certification and learn exactly what is required by law for contractor compliance.
Continue Reading Merlin Law Group to Host OSHA 30 Class in Houston

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection has released the results of its 2019 Survey of Travel Insurance. The results show that more and more people intend to purchase travel insurance in the upcoming year than in previous years. With the holiday season quickly approaching and children off of school that means holiday travel for many. Let’s look at what “travel insurance” really is and what should a travel consider when purchasing.
Continue Reading Do I Need Travel Insurance? What Should I Consider When Purchasing?

One question I get asked by clients after a storm has damaged their home is: “Can I start making repairs?” This can be a difficult question as the real-world factors of cost, time, availability of materials, and labor are important considerations. It is also important to understand how repairs can affect your insurance claim as most residential insurance policies I deal with include what appear to be contradicting duties to mitigate and the duty to allow the insurance company to inspect.
Continue Reading If I Start Making Repairs, Does It Affect My Insurance Claim?

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation recently released updated data on July 26, 2019, from Hurricane Michael.1 A review of the available data shows the damage for the Florida panhandle. Since my prior blog post, the damage in the Florida panhandle from Michael has continued to grow. Over one hundred and forty-eight thousand claims have been filed (148,347) totaling estimated insured losses at almost seven billion dollars ($6,906,918,311). These numbers come from the insurers directly reporting to the FOIR.
Continue Reading Hurricane Michael Claims Data Update: Part II

Current Justices of the Texas Supreme Court

The Texas Supreme Court recently answered the question above in two cases with different results depending on what type of insurance code violations the insured is alleging. The court addressed Texas Insurance Code chapter 542 violations (often called prompt payment of claims) in Barbara Technologies Corporation v. State Farm Lloyds.1
Continue Reading Does Payment of an Appraisal Award Wipe Out Claims Handling Insurance Code Violations?

With hurricane season fast approaching and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) the largest insurer of coastal property in Texas, now is the time to address one of the most common questions I receive from clients and public adjusters. This blog has previously addressed how the TWIA statute works in Texas and the dual paths of a claim that an insured must take. If TWIA accepts the claim, an insureds only remedy is appraisal, and if TWIA denies the claim, then the insured can file suit. Conceptually this sounds easy but in reality, can be difficult if TWIA accepts damage but doesn’t pay everything owed.
Continue Reading What Do I Do If My Claim is “Accepted in Full”