Insurance advocates for policyholders should always share and help others with similar problems and common issues. Collegial cooperation is what I have preached as a game changer for policyholders trying to change the status quo versus insurance companies. 

I received the following from a lawyer in a different law firm yesterday:

Mr. Merlin,

I hope this email sheds more light on something you are undoubtedly aware of:  Your office in Oklahoma City has some of the best policyholder advocates in the nation. I am proud to be their peers and dear friends.

For the last thirty years, my firm has exclusively pursued insurance companies for the bad faith adjustment of insurance claims in Oklahoma. My practice, and much of our firm, solely litigates property claims. In your words, there are many pretenders and very few contenders in this arena. While you may know your Oklahoma team is exceptionally competent, you should know they are true advocates for the greater good of policyholders. When I pick up the phone, these attorneys always answer and generously provide their time and efforts to my cause.

I want to share particularly shining examples of the goodwill freely given by your attorneys. I briefly met you at Win-the-Storm this year. While you fumbled with your admission ticket, I approached you in line and told you I was working with Mr. Houghton on a coinsurance penalty issue. 

When the insurance company was faced with unbeatable arguments it had miscalculated the coinsurance penalty, it shifted its position to claim it was the policyholder’s burden to prove the building was insured to value….Unfortunately, we came up flat on the law regarding the burden of proof regarding coinsurance penalties. This shortcoming was likely due to our limiting our work to the state of Oklahoma.

I called Mr. Houghton and asked if he had any experience with the issue, and he said he would see if there was precedent in your nationwide practice on the matter. Like many things in this profession, time passed, and my conversation with Mr. Houghton was forgotten. Then, without prompt, out of the blue, and timely for my pretrial submission filings, I received a full memorandum from Drew – that was drafted by Liberty, a promising young attorney at your Oklahoma City firm. The thorough memo outlined a nationwide analysis of the most relevant case law and rulings across the nation. I utilized this law in my pretrial submissions. Shortly after, Liberty published her findings to your famous Property Insurance Coverage Blog:

The blog was attached to a Motion to Supplement Persuasive Authority (attached). The judge denied the bad faith MSJ and confirmed the jury could consider punitive damages. During the pretrial conference, the judge hinted she was heavily persuaded by the notion the burden would be on the insurance carrier to prove the coinsurance limitation. Just four (4) days before the trial, my client received an offer…After three years of litigation, your office provided us the ace on the river card. 

In another instance: Micah Cartwright obtained a scathing sanction order against Amguard in Nebraska (attached). Over coffee, I told Mrs. Cartwright I had a case against Amguard. Without hesitation, she shared her briefing. During my Amguard case, I filed a Motion to Compel seeking hundreds of thousands of pages of documentation. Again, your attorneys provided outstanding aid for an insured they never met.

As you know, you are an icon in the insurance industry. Writing blog posts and books claiming to be a policyholder advocate is one thing. Anyone could open several law firm locations and post on the internet claiming they contribute to the greater good of homeowners and building owners. But walking the walk is entirely different and requires much more. While you and I met briefly, I continually see the lessons and views you publicly share in your Oklahoma team. I know that is a culture instilled by you. You should be proud to have three outstanding attorneys in Oklahoma under your banner.

I am proud of every staff member in our firm. They are our bedrock. The attorney superstars carry that effort to greater heights and levels of success. But it all starts with a culture of people working as a team trying to help in a specific field all over the country. We have a deep bench of people who are 10,000-hour experts representing policyholders. 

The truth is that we need more of these people in the industry. We are always happy to see long time public adjusters giving their time to mentor others. We are happy to see insurance industry adjusters switch sides to help policyholders as public adjusters. 

If you find that you love representing policyholders or have excellent skill sets and want to do so and play well in the sandbox with people who find the law practice fun when helping people, and fit the type of person I describe in Why Does Merlin Law Group Exist? Why Do We Give Our Time, Money and Effort to United Policyholders and The American Policyholders Association?, please think about contacting me and our team about joining our law firm. 

We are dedicated to excellence and need world-class team members to beat the insurance companies wrongfully denying claims. 

Thought For The Day 

Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.

James Cash Penney