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.”
Continue Reading California Wildfire Insurance Questions, Claims and Recovery

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.
Continue Reading Hurricane Irma Policyholders Should File a Written Complaint About Slow, No or Low Paying Claims Insurance Adjusters

Amy Bach of United Policyholders was honored as the Consumer Champion by the Florida Association for Insurance Reform. I was privileged to deliver the introduction for Amy as seen in the above video. Merlin Law Group has been an active and long-time financial and pro bono supporter of United Policyholders. We also applaud the efforts of the Florida Association for Insurance Reform (FAIR), led by Jay Neal.
Continue Reading Amy Bach Honored by the Florida Association for Insurance Reform

Truthfully, we asked Amy Bach of United Policyholders to help request an immediate extension. As the oldest and largest non-profit organization dedicated solely to advocating for policyholders, she has a lot of pull and respectful working relationships with those administrating the National Flood Program.
Continue Reading Federal Insurance Administrator Responds to Merlin and Provides Hope For Fair Claims Process

When you have a claim for property damage under your homeowners insurance, you should not be penalized by your carrier. You should not be slapped with an increase in premium or slammed with a non-renewal notice because you had a claim and had to actually use your insurance. Professor Jay Feinman, the author of Delay, Deny, Defend, has prepared a new report to help state lawmakers ban the practice known as “Use It and Lose It” and calls-out this harmful practice. This report is part of a series that my colleague Rob Trautman discussed in, Rutgers Law School and United Policyholders Launch Essential Protections for Policyholders Project.
Continue Reading New Report from Rutgers Calls Out Insurance Companies and Asks States to Help Policyholders

Transparency is what FEMA officials publicly proclaim they desire regarding its Superstorm Sandy claims processes. They need to do a better job of getting that message out to their attorneys as evidenced in the post, WYO’s Want Release From Criminal Liability and WYO Attorneys Warned of Sanctions. They need to get that message out to their WYO partners as evidenced by a WYO company invoking the Fifth Amendment as discussed in Insurance Executive Pleads Fifth Over Altered Reports During Superstorm Sandy Hearing. They need to get the message out to the vendors who make critical opinions about loss and damage as evidenced in Authorities Raid New York Engineering Over Superstorm Sandy Fraud. Finally, those officials need to emphasize the necessity for honesty and transparency by those working in Washington as evidenced by a lawsuit filed yesterday against FEMA by United Policyholders.

Continue Reading United Policyholders Sues FEMA Over Withheld Sandy Claims Documents

Often without being aware, many policyholders could be paying more for their homeowners insurance than their neighbors, even if both properties maintain identical coverage with the same insurance carrier. How could this be true, you might ask? A recent study reports that homeowners with poor credit typically pay 91% more for homeowners’ insurance than people with excellent credit.1 Moreover, many consumers aren’t even aware their credit history is being used this way in most states. According to a 2007 survey conducted by consumer advocacy organization Consumer Federation of America, just 57% of people surveyed were aware their credit score could affect what they pay for home insurance.2

Continue Reading Homeowners’ Credit Rating Can Make Insurance Premiums Significantly Higher