Today‘s 2 p.m. EST Livestream features two former insurance company adjusters turned “good guy” policyholder attorneys. Merlin Law Group attorneys Javier Delgado and Etienne Font worked as insurance adjusters in a prior life. Their practical understanding and appreciating what insurance companies and independent adjusters have to do to resolve claims helps in their practice today

The Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) has reissued Directive 173 (Revised and Reissued)1 to remind insurers of La. R.S. 22:868(A) and to advise of recent amendments, effective August 1, 2020, made in Louisiana’s Regular Session 2020, which adds “venue” to subsection (A)(2):

Please take note that, pursuant to La. R.S. 22:868(A)(2), arbitration and appraisal provisions that attempt to deprive Louisiana courts of jurisdiction or venue are not permitted in insurance policies or insurance contracts delivered or issued for delivery in Louisiana.
Continue Reading Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Binding Arbitration and Binding Appraisal Provisions Are Prohibited in Louisiana

Arbitration has been showing up as a requirement more frequently in some property insurance policies. A past President of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) recently asked me ‘what exactly is arbitration and how is it different than litigation or a trial?’ I figure that it may be a good time to have a Tuesday at 2 With Chip Merlin session to go over the various dispute resolutions involving trial, litigation, arbitration, appraisal, mediation and department of insurance sponsored mediation.
Continue Reading What Are the Differences Between Mediation vs Arbitration vs Appraisal vs Litigation When It Comes To Resolving a Property Insurance Claim?

Texas law is currently silent on the issue of whether insurance companies may sell insurance policies that require policyholders to bring coverage disputes to an arbitrator rather than the courts. Texas has no statute or regulation in force that prohibits or restricts mandatory arbitration.1
Continue Reading Can Nonsignatories to an Insurance Policy Enforce its Arbitration Provision?

If you have ever appraised a loss in Minnesota, chances are it was more akin to an arbitration than a traditional appraisal under an insurance policy. That might change given the recent opinion by the Minnesota Supreme Court in Oliver v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Company., 2020 WL 1041113 (Minn. March 4, 2020).
Continue Reading The Uniform Arbitration Act Does Not Apply to Appraisal

A few years ago, I asked Merlin Law Group attorney Doug Grose, “How did we end up in arbitration in London, England with policy delivered in Texas, a loss in Houston, Texas and our client from Houston, Texas?” He told me there was an arbitration provision and the federal court ordered us to go to arbitration in London because that is where the policy required the arbitration take place. I asked Doug: ”Geez, forgetting the extraordinary increased cost to our client do this, what chance do you think we have in arbitration in London against Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London?”
Continue Reading Choice of Law and Arbitration Provisions in Texas—Beware of These Provisions Which May Apply Laws of Another State

In Florida, certain first-party property cases are being ordered to non-binding arbitration. Under the statute and the State’s procedural rules, a Florida court may refer a civil case to arbitration before going to trial.1 While every case is different, resolving a case before trial can sometimes be favorable (e.g., through mediation). Participating in a non-binding arbitration is one way for early resolution. However, despite its name, a non-binding arbitration is not inherently devoid of risk and can have repercussions.
Continue Reading What Can You Expect at a Court Ordered Non-Binding Arbitration?

In an historic win for American consumers and workers, on September 20, 2019, the U. S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1423, the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal or FAIR Act,1 by a vote of 225 to 186. This groundbreaking bill could be the beginning of the demise of the remedy-stripping, rights-stomping, forced arbitration clauses in contracts of adhesion. Arbitration is often referred to an alternative dispute resolution—meaning an alternative to the litigation of a dispute.
Continue Reading Is It the Beginning of the End for Forced Arbitration Clauses? Let’s Hope

Hurricane Michael policyholders, public adjusters, contractors and agents must check their policies to make certain that there is not a one-year deadline to start arbitration. The above photo is Lloyds at London. Lloyds is a place where surplus lines insurers do business and it is not an insurance company. Many of the Lloyds Underwriters have placed obscure arbitration provisions into their policies which mandate that New York law with a one-year limitation to start the arbitration.
Continue Reading Hurricane Michael Policyholders, Public Adjusters, Contractors, and Agents Warning About Some Policies With One Year Limitations To File Arbitration

“Oh, Boy!” was my first thought after reading a case which holds that those arbitration agreements requiring policyholders to arbitrate in far-away places could not be stopped by state law. Congress should stop this, and state legislators should write laws to ban those insurance carriers who sell such policies.
Continue Reading Arbitration Provision In Insurance Policy Applies Because Federal Arbitration Act Supersedes State Law Making Such Clauses Illegal