The First Party Claims Conference in Providence, Rhode Island was very much a success. I was late to the event and missed hearing a presentation where a sponsor said that meeting with legislators and insurance regulators is a waste of time. Ironically, I was late because I was in Tallahassee testifying as an invited panelist to represent the policyholder’s viewpoint before the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. Obviously, I could not disagree more with this sponsor and I believe their viewpoint is simply wrong and dangerous. The one person and organization that has been taking action, getting pro-policyholder laws passed, and stopping bad proposed legislation with more success than anybody is Amy Bach of United Policyholders.
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Last night at the Thousand Points of Light banquet Garth Brooks stated, “If you do not have love in your life, you have to look at yourself about why” I became involved with this organization following Superstorm Sandy and still remain an active supporter because the basic philosophy is so fundamental to whom we should strive to be.
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Chip Merlin & Guy Cohen

Public adjuster Guy Cohen and I discussed various issues of property insurance and adjustment at a recent lunch. He raised a very serious topic of coverage gaps being created in the small print of property insurance policies which Florida insurance regulators are allowing to be sold. He thinks that these coverage gaps are the most serious issues facing insurance consumers. He is not alone.
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The San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association is the largest and oldest Association of consumer attorneys in the San Francisco Bay area. Every year they honor a member as the Trial Lawyer of The Year, the Judge of The Year, and a New Lawyer of the Year. The Association’s past presidents include some of the best American trial lawyers to have ever practiced in the courtroom.
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Amy Bach

Amy Bach is on the side of angels when it comes to fighting for policyholder rights. She is the Executive Director of United Policyholders which is the nation’s largest not for profit advocacy. She and her staff have spent considerable time in Florida educating the public and Florida lawmakers about insurance and sound public policy impacting the Florida insurance landscape.
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Chase Mathis

Chase Mathis called me on Tuesday morning as soon as my plane touched down in New Jersey to ask if he could be interviewed by a San Francisco radio station about the insurance issues those suffering from the California wildfires were facing. He explained the radio station called and wanted him to answer certain questions about insurance issues facing California wineries and policyholders. While Chase is a young star attorney in the Merlin Law Group, he is also located in New Jersey and has not litigated losses in California. So, I said “sure, but be certain to pull all the research our firm has been doing over the last couple of weeks regarding this disaster before the interview.”
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Amy Bach of United Policyholders and Paula Palozzi, Associate Director of the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, Insurance Division, held a seminar at the First Party Claims Conference and called on aggrieved policyholders to file written complaints with departments of insurance. Palozzi explained that when insurance companies pay too little, a written complaint about a low paying claims adjuster may allow a new set of eyes to set the matter straight and call attention to the possibility of a market conduct study if insurers are repetitively making the same claims handling mistake.
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