There are two great things about making fifty-one. First, I do not think I am any longer going to hear, "so, you made it to the BIG FIVE-O!" Second, it beats the alternative.

My life insurers are certainly happy that death has been cheated again. Some property and casualty insurers are probably wondering why I could not be a member of the actuarial unfortunate statistics. To those carriers chagrin, I am helping my chances for future survival by buying more life insurance.

As I indicated last year in Chip Merlin Turns Fifty Years Old, I have some wonderful friends. The Almighty must be significantly amused by my predicaments because he has blessed me with so many that come to my rescue just when the brink of disaster is imminent. I am truly thankful for everybody who comes into my life. I have been the better for it and truly feel this is a wonderful life because of those human encounters-even the difficult ones.

Unlike last year when I was able to write Reflections on Insurance Disputes and Adjustments After Two Weeks in Italy, I am at Amelia Island, Florida, to celebrate my birthday. The sound of surf and seagulls are in my ears. The glistening sunbeams on the water and warming my cheeks have made for a glorious spring morning. For a tanned, blue eyed boy that spent so much of his youth on the water or with sand between his toes, this is a heavenly place to spend the day.

Rutgers Law Professor Jay M. Feinman provided me an advance copy of his new book, Delay, Deny, Defend: Why Insurance Companies Don’t Pay Claims and What You Can Do About It.  I was hoping the part of the book, "What You Can Do About It," would have been short and provided a link to The Merlin Law Group. I have read enough of Feinman’s latest work to suggest that if you own an insurance policy, you should read this book. It is being released today and I will follow up with a review after this birthday weekend.

To celebrate and get this weekend off to the right start, how about a classic from Sir Paul McCartney: