Hurricane season has begun early this year, with the first named storm of the season, Alberto, making its appearance just days before the official season start date, which is June 1st. Tropical Storm Alberto is headed for the Gulf Coast and is expected to bring tropical storm conditions, including flooding rains, coastal storm surges, and high winds over the holiday weekend. Alberto is expected to strengthen within the next 72 hours, and may intensify to hurricane strength. Alberto’s winds have the capability of producing tornados. Additionally, the risk of flooding is heightened due to the heavy rain that has occurred over the past couple weeks.
Continue Reading The First Named Storm of the Season Has Formed – What Do I Need to Know?

With Harvey still in our rear-view mirror, many Houstonians and coastal Texans are fearing what the 2018 Hurricane and storm season will bring. Many policyholders are still fighting their insurance carriers to recover on their Hurricane Harvey claims. With numerous claims being denied or underpaid—several policyholders have not moved back into their homes due to the need for extensive repairs, leaving homes uninhabitable in the current condition. Others however are, for one reason or another, still living in their home although it is in dire need of repair. In either situation, many are left wondering if they will recover from Harvey in time to brace themselves and their home for the next storm.
Continue Reading Have You Recovered from Hurricane Harvey? Are You Ready for the 2018 Hurricane Season? Follow These Practical Tips to Guide You from One Hurricane to the Next

On Friday, I took a deposition from our Tampa office via video conference questioning an adjuster in Charlotte. At about 1:45 pm, Erin Dunnovant rushed in our boardroom to tell me the office building and our entire area was being evacuated. I had to suspend the deposition and grab my computer. Opposing counsel said they would help in any way possible and took my cell number. He already sent a message about staying safe.
Continue Reading Hurricane Irma Mandatory Evacuations Taken Seriously by Tampa Bay Area and Merlin’s Tampa Office

One lesson I learned from Hurricane Katrina was to take your insurance papers with you when you leave. If a major storm surge hits, the local insurance agency is going to get hit as well. It may wash away or not open for weeks. Owners of property may find their own property washed away along with the insurance papers carefully tucked away. The National Guard and police may prevent you from going back to your property for weeks. While many—but not all—can remember their insurance carrier, which Write Your Own flood carrier is on the declarations sheet is usually a guess without the paperwork.
Continue Reading Key West Takes Direct Hit From Irma—Take Insurance Papers With You

Most Floridians are making their last minute preparations for Hurricane Irma and protecting their property from potential damage. In addition to having enough batteries, flashlights, bottled water, food, medications, and pet supplies, you want to make sure your important documents are in a safe, waterproof and easy to access location. This includes your homeowners insurance policy and flood insurance policy. If you only have a hard copy of your policy, make pictures or scan the policy and save it to the cloud.
Continue Reading Last Minute Preparations for Hurricane Irma

Over the years, the Merlin Law Group’s Blog has provided hurricane advice and assistance. I wrote a blog in advance of Hurricane Matthew, Quick Tips and Useful Links – Hurricane Matthew. My colleague, Nicole Vinson, posted a blog, Don’t Ignore Warnings of Tropical Systems.
Continue Reading Hurricane Irma – Useful Tips and Important Resources Including Websites and Phone Numbers