Tag Archives: Hurricane Michael

Wind Versus Water Causing Insurance Payment Delays? The Sad Song Remains The Same For Michael Victims as In Other Storms

The Tampa Bay Times ran an excellent story, Hurricane Michael Destroyed Their Homes Then The Insurance Heartache Began, which tells a sad but familiar theme about insurance company denials and delayed payments following hurricane losses. I was quoted in the piece: Chip Merlin, a Tampa insurance lawyer, said the same conflict happened in the last … Continue Reading

Substantial Damage, Substantial Structural Damage, Wind Damage, Flood Damage…. Damage Anyway!

Hurricane Michael has left a familiar mark on the Florida Panhandle. Much like Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, Hurricane Michael brought devasting winds followed by wind and flooding and more wind. Battered homes and businesses are assessed in the aftermath in an attempt to determine the extent and cause of damage resulting from the multiple perils … Continue Reading

Attorneys’ Fees and Costs for the Prevailing Insured

It has been almost eight months since Hurricane Michael devastated the eastern side of the Florida Panhandle. Not surprisingly, many residents and business owners are exhausted. Exhausted in the deepest sense—exhausted from waiting, exhausted from hoping, exhausted from failed promises made by their insurer, which benefited from premiums faithfully paid, only to find out that … Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael Victims Should Not Be Shaken Down By Unlicensed Contractors Selling AOB’s To Third-Party Crooks

A public adjuster alerted me to a Hurricane Michael policyholder being “shaken down” by a third party who allegedly purchased an AOB from an unlicensed contractor. What makes it worse is that the policyholder is being confronted by the third party and a person holding himself out to be an attorney.… Continue Reading

Panama City Attorney Jeff Carter Joins Merlin Law Group to Help Hurricane Michael Policyholders

Panama City attorney Jeff Carter has joined Merlin Law Group in its Panama City office. While I lived in Panama City and attended Mosley High School, I have always found that it helps to have local attorneys with fine reputations in our firm who team up and use Merlin Law Group’s longstanding experience and dedication only … Continue Reading

Cancellation of Property Insurance Policies in Florida after Hurricane Michael

After Hurricane Michael, on October 15, 2018, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued an Emergency Order No. 234790-18-EO, that affected insurers writing insurance in the following counties affected by Hurricane Michael: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington Counties.… Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael Claims Data Update

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation recently released updated data from Hurricane Michael.1 A review of the available data shows the damage for the Florida panhandle. While we all know that Michael did substantial damage in the Florida panhandle the numbers have continued to grow. Over one hundred and twenty-five thousand hurricane claims have been … Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael Flood Proof of Loss Extension

Last month the Assistant Administrator for Insurance, Paul Huang, extended the deadline for submitting a Proof of Loss for flood insurance claims. The Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) provides that a proof of loss must be submitted within 60 days of the loss. However, FEMA Bulletin W-18026 waived the 60-day proof of loss deadline, extending … Continue Reading

Hurricane Michael May Trigger Civil Authority Coverage For Businesses In Florida Panhandle

As the Category 4 Hurricane Michael approached Florida, many areas evacuated in preparation for the storm. During a catastrophic event, such as Hurricane Michael, governmental authorities often order evacuation and prohibit access to certain areas due to public safety. The evacuation orders in Florida forced many businesses to shut down their operations until further notice. … Continue Reading

Adjusters and Insurance Companies Should Not Pressure Hurricane Florence Policyholders To Use Favored Contractors

Managed repair is the rage of many insurance companies. To reduce claims costs and better compete on low price, some insurance company adjusters use various techniques to steer or pressure policyholders into using contractors the insurance company wants the policyholder to hire. Independent restoration contractors and public adjusters have legions of stories about how adjusters … Continue Reading

Are Property Insurance Appraisers Regulated? – A Reminder of Recently Enacted HB 911 for Those Heading to Florida to Assist with Hurricane Michael

House Bill 911, effective January 1, 2018, was filed by Representative Sean Shaw and enacted by the Florida Legislature to amend Fla. Stat. § 626.854, which protects policyholders through the regulation of public adjusters. Chip Merlin discussed this new law in detail in his post on July 2, 2017. In requiring public adjusters to be … Continue Reading
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