Writing a book is not easy. While writing PayUP!, I had the idea that what I wrote about involving insurance disputes and representing policyholders did not fully explain some of my philosophies about being a policyholder advocate and why I like the competition of being a litigator—standing up for people against a well-funded and sophisticated opponent. Continue Reading Mavericks and Merlins Book Launch on November 16

With every coverage afforded under a property insurance policy, there comes a laundry list of conditions that attach for the policyholder to be able to recover. These are usually called something along the lines of “Post Loss Obligations” or “Duties After Loss.” Continue Reading Failure to Comply with Post-Loss Obligations: Affidavits by Themselves May Not be Enough to Win Summary Judgment Under Florida Rule 1.510

Since 1999, the Oklahoma Insurance Department (“OID”) has provided free mediation services for policyholders who find themselves at odds with their insurance company.1 The program is called “E.A.G.L.E. Mediation,” which stands for “Ending Arguments Gently, Legally, and Economically.” Per the OID website, E.A.G.L.E.’s purpose is to “reduc[e] the amount of litigation that ultimately costs policyholders money” by helping “citizens and insurance companies settle disputes early enough to avoid becoming embroiled in lawsuits.”2 Continue Reading Does Oklahoma EAGLE Mediation Help Policyholders?

The mission of the Nevada Division of Insurance (“NDI”) is to “protect the rights of Nevada consumers in their experiences with the insurance industry.”1 Its Consumer Services Section responds to approximately 25,000 consumer inquiries every year and has recovered millions of dollars for Nevada policyholders.2 One of the core functions of the NDI’s Consumer Services Section is to investigate consumer complaints about insurance companies, agents, and adjusters. If your claim has been delayed, wrongly denied, deliberately underpaid, or otherwise improperly managed, you can file a complaint with NID requesting an investigation. Continue Reading How to File a Complaint with the Nevada Division of Insurance

The Marina Del Rey Hotel is a hidden gem in Southern California. It is nestled among thousands of sailboats and is a perfect setting for a conference. The California Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (CAPIA) will hold its Annual Convention there this coming Thursday. Continue Reading The California Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (CAPIA) Annual Convention on Thursday in Marina Del Rey

California statutory law known as the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) bars “any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice” and gives courts the powers to fashion relief where money alone won’t be sufficient. Of course, this begs the question: Can an insured sue their insurer for violating the UCL? A recent federal district court ruling says no, at least when the case is a straightforward breach of contract and bad faith case. Continue Reading Can I Sue My Insurer under the California Unfair Competition Law?

The Rocky Mountain Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (RMAPIA) had a great meeting with a candid and positive discussion of current insurance issues being faced by the Colorado Division of Insurance. The photo above is Merlin Law Group attorney Larry Bache asking Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway.1 Continue Reading What is the Appraisal Process in Arizona?

Like many states, California law makes it difficult to sue for being “underinsured.” The law places the primary responsibility for securing enough coverage and the right kinds on the insured. An insurance company, agent or broker has no duty at law to recommend any particular coverages or limits. However, they are liable if they fail to procure the agreed upon coverage, make a misrepresentation about how the coverage works, or fail to fulfill some other “special duty” they voluntarily undertook. Continue Reading California Court Rejects Another Half-Baked Underinsurance Case

While I was researching the nerdy topic of what circumstances law and ordinance coverage pays for pre-existing building code violations discovered as a result of an insured peril, I came across a court order from an Indiana case,1 which shows many of the usual excuses insurance company defense attorneys raise in lawsuits. I suggest the order and the insurer’s motion for summary judgment are good learning lessons for those involved with helping policyholders because it has become typical that insurers, even after they pay a portion of the claim, will have their attorneys argue every conceivable basis for denial afterwards. Continue Reading The Usual Cast of Excuses Raised for Denial of Property Claims in Litigation

Material shortages and supply chain problems are wreaking havoc among those trying to repair and replace property following recent hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other catastrophes. While the adjustment of property insurance claims is always a dynamic field, this covid supply chain problem is very new. One veteran public adjuster told me at the FAPIA conference last week that the property insurance claims business keeps him young because there is “a lot more new than old” and change is always occurring. Continue Reading What About Price Increases Affecting My Insurance Claim? Replacement Cost Evaluation in An Age of Material and Supply Chain Shortages