A recent insurance contract case came down to the step of determining which state law applied.1 While it is a liability contract case, the issue is the same and a very important one that is not often discussed. Property insurance adjusters often overlook what state law applies when interpreting insurance contracts and generally use the state law where the loss happens. While this is often the case, different state laws may apply in more complex commercial and surplus written policies.
Continue Reading Are You Interpreting An Insurance Contract? The first step is to determine which state law applies so you know what interpretation rules to use—Tuesday @2 With Chip Merlin will Discuss this Often Overlooked Step

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

Insurance policies are complicated enough without getting into what law from what state will apply. Some policies have a special “choice of law” or “governing law” provision that allows the parties to agree that a particular state’s laws will be used to interpret the agreement even if the insured lives in a different state.
Continue Reading New York Choice of Law

As discussed in the first part of this series, sometimes there is a question of which state law will apply to an insurance dispute in litigation. Policyholders could be domiciled in one state; fill out an application for insurance in another state for a property located in another state. This question is called choice of law.


Continue Reading Which State Law Applies to My Insurance Claim? – Part 2

It may depend… At least that is the short and simple answer. We constantly deal with people from different states who may have contacts all over the country, properties in various places, insurance agents in different states and receive policies of insurance in various places from insurance carriers located anywhere in the world. Sometimes questions may arise about which State law will apply to a particular insurance dispute. This is often referred to as a choice-of-law rule.


Continue Reading Which State Law Applies to My Insurance Claim?

Many policyholders’ insurance policies are provided by out-of-state insurance carriers. This can lead to issues when a dispute arises regarding which state’s laws apply to a given action. Generally, the parties are free to include a choice of law clause (a provision that provides for the governing jurisdiction), and this type of clause is typically valid. However, if the parties do not include a choice of law provision, courts vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction as to which laws will govern.


Continue Reading Choice of Law: Which Laws Govern in Missouri in Insurance Disputes? – Not as Clear as it Should Be