From left to right, JL Evans, Donice Krueger, Chip Merlin, Ron Delo, James and Rene Howard

Hurricane Michael insurance claims continue to take up a lot of time with Merlin Law Group attorneys. The photograph above is from dinner last night in Panama City, Florida, where the issues and problems of getting insurance claims resolved fully were the hot topic of discussion. Hurricane Michael has a lot of slow and low paying claims where insurers are wrongfully reporting to the Office of Insurance Regulation that the claim is administratively “closed” when it is anything other than being over from the policyholder’s view.
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Under some policies, appraisal is a post-loss condition. I have written about appraisal in prior posts. This post addresses the issue of whether appraisal moots a Civil Remedy Notice (“CRN”) or tolls the CRN’s sixty day cure period, allowing an insurer to circumvent bad faith litigation in most instances.

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Insurers and their policyholders are more frequently clashing over sinkhole claims, and the Florida Legislature seems to be weighing in on the insurers’ side. In this case, the policyholder won; his insurer paid the policy limits after a Civil Remedy Notice, and his claim for damages caused by the insurer’s lack of good faith in handling the total loss claim has survived the first gauntlet: the insurer’s motion to dismiss.


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A recent and significant Order by Judge Stanley Mills discussed claims resolved through appraisal and complaints of improper claims conduct made through formal Civil Remedy Notices. The matter involved a sinkhole claim that took nearly three years before full payment was made. The State Farm policyholders spent thousands of dollars on experts and appraisal costs because State Farm did not pay the full amount of the claim.


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Dennis Wall‘s weekend post, Florida Civil Remedy Notice Insurer Violation Holding: "Sufficiently Specific" Requirement, raises an important issue concerning bad faith cases in Florida. While the Florida Supreme Court ponders common law obligations of good faith in a first party context, as discussed in A Confusing Oral Argument in QBE vs. Chalfonte Baffles the Florida Supreme Court Regarding First Party Bad Faith, a raging legal battle ensues in many statutory bad faith actions because insurance companies complain that civil remedy notice of violation is not sufficient.


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