(*Note:  This Guest Blog is by Jean Niven, an attorney in the Tampa office of Merlin Law Group).

Hurricane season is fast approaching, leaving coastal residences and businesses vulnerable to the whims of Mother Nature. Surviving natural disasters should not be just a warm up to the difficulties encountered in filing an insurance claim. The purpose of insurance is to provide peace of mind. When disaster strikes the insurer is tasked, pursuant to Florida law, with providing prompt assistance in the form of a competent adjuster who has the best interest of the insured as its first priority. Sadly, that scenario has become a fairy tale for many insureds. Instead of providing the friendly professional assistance advertised in TV commercials and on bill boards, the insured is frequently faced with obstructionist tactics designed to wear down even the most stalwart of personalities. This at a time when a person is most vulnerable and frequently has limited financial capability.

Continue Reading Insurers Using New Claims Handling Tricks To Deny Payment

Our clients often ask us the following question: "Is there a chance you can get back your attorney fees from the insurance company?" The short answer is yes. The long answer and accurate answer is: "We try to get back all the fees and costs, and may even have a chance through consumer protection statutes and bad faith claims to get back even more. The chances depend on the facts of the case."

For example, Kristin Demers-Crowell recently won an attorney fee Order against State Farm. Kristi represented a condominium on the East coast of Florida which had been hit by Hurricanes Francis and Jean. State Farm estimated the damages at approximately $716,000. The condominium’s public adjuster claimed more and demanded an appraisal to resolve the differences.

Continue Reading Attorney Fees Can Be Recovered For Policyholders In Many Cases