April Hall with Storm Consultants, LLC, & the Storm Restoration Contractor Summit (SRC Summit) joined Chip Merlin on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming SRC Summit event she is hosting in Frisco, Texas, on January 23rd – 25th. As many of you that follow our blog know, it is common this time of year for industry seminars and events to take place around the country. However, due to COVID, this year is quite different and the SRC Summit is the only in-person industry conference happening in the first quarter of 2021 that I am aware of. April Hall advises there are attendees coming from 29 states to attend the Summit, so there is going to be a great turnout. Continue Reading Storm Restoration Leaders Gather at SRC Summit on January 23rd-25th

A hybrid witness is a fact witness who also happens to have the requisite knowledge, skill, or expertise to provide opinion testimony and whose opinion is formed as a result of the witness’ involvement in the subject events.1 Continue Reading The Best of Both Worlds! Join me on Friday at 2 for a Brief Presentation on Hybrid Expert Witnesses

The battle regarding insurance surrogates is being waged in Washington state. Many insurance companies want the Department of Insurance to allow unlicensed non-adjusters determine how much policyholders deserve to be paid. Here is the what the Washington Department of Insurance states is a legislative priority: Continue Reading Insurance Surrogates and Insurers Delegating Those Duties Do Not Want Surrogates To Be held Accountable For Failing To Provide Honest and Good Faith Treatment In Washington

Governmental insurance pools or quasi-governmental entities offering insurance are often treated differently than typical private insurance companies. Since many of these insurance entities are set up to provide insurance to other governmental entities, especially municipalities and local school districts, it is important to recognize that state laws often treat these entities different than private insurers. Continue Reading Municipal and Local Government Insurance Claims With Governmental Insurance Pools Are Different

Lesser & Company have been pioneers and leaders in Florida public adjusting since 1944. It is Florida’s oldest public adjusting firm. I was stunned to learn from Mark Boardman that Steve Lesser passed yesterday morning. I felt a lump in my throat and wished that this horrible news was simply not true. Steve is my age. It is hard to accept that my friends and I are getting so much older that the things that cause older people to die are happening to us. My visual memories of him are always with a sly and happy smile, knowing he had a significant, quiet thought that he might only share if asked for. He was wise and thoughtful. True to the private person he was, his illness was kept secret except to a few. Continue Reading Steven Lesser- A Leader of Public Adjusters—Passes

In the legal world, there are generally two types of witnesses that you will see: (1) fact witnesses and (2) expert witnesses. Well, technically there are three, if you count hybrid witnesses. These types of witnesses serve both factual and expert purposes. Continue Reading Are Public Adjusters, Restoration Contractors and Other On Scene Experts Hybrid Expert Witnesses? What Rules Apply To Them?

This year, United Policyholders celebrates a tremendous milestone – 30 years of successfully providing information to and advocating on behalf of policyholders nationwide.

In their own words:

United Policyholders (UP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to be a trustworthy and useful information resource and an effective voice for consumers of all types of insurance in all 50 states.

Continue Reading United Policyholders: A Brief Look Back at the Past 30 years

Massachusetts has adopted a version of the model Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act and recognizes a cause of action for bad faith against a first-party insurer.1 Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 93A § 9 establishes a statutory cause of action for any person who has been injured by another person’s use or employment of any method, act, or practice declared to be unlawful by Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 176D § 3(9), a violation of which may give rise to civil liability under 93A § 9.2 While each state generally has their own specific bad faith statute outlining what constitutes a “unfair” or “deceptive” act by an insurer, Massachusetts law includes conduct typically found throughout the country. Continue Reading Bad Faith Conduct and Foreseeable Damages in Massachusetts

One of the most painful decisions I have to make as an attorney in private practice is turning away potential clients because the cost of litigation dwarfs the value of their claim. I am certain that the public adjusters I know experience the same pain. But it is inevitable in the private sector, at least in states that lack consumer-friendly automatic attorney-fee laws, like California, where I practice. But no matter where you are, the number of mistreated policyholders vastly exceeds the caseload capacity of capable bad faith attorneys and public adjusters. I try to at least offer helpful tips to those I can’t formally represent, but I know that is often not enough. Continue Reading Just Because You Can’t Get a Lawyer or Public Adjuster Does Not Mean You Are Out of Options

Dogs and cats harmoniously together? It happens at the Windstorm Insurance Conference where insurance company representatives and policyholder advocates analyze property insurance claims handling trends. Jonathan Held, Steve Badger, and I will present and analyze some of the most cutting-edge issues surrounding appraisals of property insurance disputes. This year’s Conference will be held virtually February 1-4. The live Conference will be held May 24-26. Continue Reading Jon Held, Steve Badger, and Chip Merlin Discuss the Hottest Appraisal Trends and Controversies At The Windstorm Conference