The Washinton Post published a story, Survivors of Hurricane Michael In The Florida Panhandle Fear They Have Been Forgotten. The story is excellent, and it is obvious that the reporter, Joel Achenbach, was at the scene early after the catastrophe because he noted the “towering” debris stored along the roadways. It is always amazing to me after major hurricanes how there are canyons of piled up debris over ten to fifteen feet on both sides of roads in some devastated neighborhoods. This occurred in Panama City, Florida, as well following Michael.
Continue Reading Florida Leaders Must Remember Hurricane Michael Policyholders

Jeff and Jessica Carter

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 to policyholders. Unlike other law firms that advertise and practice many areas of law, representing policyholders is all we do. Merlin Law Group is known as The Policyholder’s Advocate® for a reason.
Continue Reading Panama City Attorney Jeff Carter Joins Merlin Law Group to Help Hurricane Michael Policyholders

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 Cancellation of Property Insurance Policies in Florida after Hurricane Michael

I grew up in a United States Coast Guard family. One of the fondest two years of my life was when my father was stationed on the USCG Dependable and we lived in Panama City, Florida. I sailed in every nook and lagoon of St. Andrews Bay and raced sailboats like my life’s existence depended upon me winning races.
Continue Reading Hurricane Michael Brings Back Memories of Living in Panama City, Florida, and a Tip About Damaged Photograph Claims

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 filed (125,356) totaling estimated insured losses at over three billion dollars ($3,430,014,424).
Continue Reading Hurricane Michael Claims Data Update

In the wake of Hurricane Michael, some policyholders are starting to see a response from their insurance companies for their home and business losses. The extent and the magnitude of the damages that Hurricane Michael caused has been captured by some media outlets but down played by others. Many of those dealing directly with the destruction and the devastation are resilient and taking it one day at a time but had placed a sense of hope on the premium dollars they had spent paying for insurance coverage and have long awaited the insurance company’s response and action.
Continue Reading What Every Policyholder Has To Know About Their Hurricane Michael Loss

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 the deadline to submit a proof of loss to 365 days (one year) from the date of loss:
Continue Reading Hurricane Michael Flood Proof of Loss Extension

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. As a result, the businesses affected by the evacuation orders may bring a claim for business interruption claim under coverage provisions for Civil Authority.
Continue Reading Hurricane Michael May Trigger Civil Authority Coverage For Businesses In Florida Panhandle

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 achieve these low-ball payment goals through pressure techniques of innuendo or threats of non-payment.
Continue Reading Adjusters and Insurance Companies Should Not Pressure Hurricane Florence Policyholders To Use Favored Contractors

The photos from Hurricane Michael show catastrophic loss from not only the storm surge, up to fourteen feet in some areas, but from winds and rain as well. For those that live far enough inland where surge and flood was not an issue, but still sustained water damage from rain, you may think your homeowners policy will cover you. There is however an exclusion in most policies, commonly called the “wind driven rain exclusion” that insurers will use to disclaim coverage.
Continue Reading It’s Rain, Not Flood, Why Isn’t My Water Damage Covered?