NOTE: This guest blog post is by Holly Soffer, Esq., a policyholder attorney and General Counsel to the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

While many of us are working at home, we have more time to spend analyzing and contemplating the roles of the government and the insurance industry in responding to the coronavirus crisis. This blog post is an extension of that opportunity.
Continue Reading

Back in November of 2019, Chip, Jesse Sipe, Brett Rosen and I met with New Jersey Commissioner Marlene Caride and her team in Trenton. The meeting was very informative and a good start to hopefully a long-standing relationship between the Professional Public Adjusters Association of New Jersey, the plaintiff’s Bar, and the Commissioner’s office.
Continue Reading

Last year, I wrote about a New Jersey federal court decision that involved an insurance policy’s anti-concurrent causation clause. An anti-concurrent causation clause bars coverage when two identifiable causes-one covered and one not covered-contribute to a single loss. In that case, the court dismissed the insured’s claim for damages to certain portions of the property, noting that federal and state courts in New Jersey have applied and enforced anti-concurrent causation provisions.
Continue Reading

What exactly is a Named Windstorm? Many policyholders ask this very question following hurricanes, tropical storms, tornados, and other storms with high winds. A New Jersey Appellate panel recently questioned parties about the purpose of a “named windstorm” definition in insurance policies. This is just the most recent update to the continued saga of New Jersey Transit’s attempt to receive $400 million in insurance coverage under their policies with Lloyd’s of London and other insurance companies stemming from a Superstorm Sandy loss.
Continue Reading

New Jersey Merlin Law Group attorney Jason Cieri was married last week. It was a fantastic wedding. It also provided me a chance to catch-up with some Jersey Shore public adjusters, discuss the upcoming PPAANJ seminar on November 14 and write this blog which includes a case discussion involving post loss misrepresentations made prior to an examination under oath.
Continue Reading

Larry Bathgate was my co-counsel on 23 municipal insurance claims Following Superstorm Sandy and countless commercial and residential claims as well. We spoke on Friday evening and Saturday morning about our former clients, the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore and our law practices. From my view, there has been an amazing transformation and it was gratifying to see the American patriotism in Bay Head, New Jersey, with hundreds of American flags everywhere.


Continue Reading

I recently had my second child. So, when my paralegal, Regina, came in my office the other day with a large box I assumed that it was more gifts over and above the abundance of gifts that Chip, the Tampa office, and the Red Bank office had already showered my growing family with. Although I was correct as to the contents, the box was from a client whose case I had recently settled.
Continue Reading

When engaged by a member of the public to obtain insurance, an insurance broker is expected to possess reasonable knowledge of the types of policies, their different terms, and the coverage available in the area in which their insured seeks to be protected. If the insurance broker neglects to procure the insurance or if the policy is void or materially deficient or does not provide the coverage they undertook to supply because of their failure to exercise the requisite skill or diligence, the insurance broker may be liable to their insured for the loss sustained.
Continue Reading

In a recent court opinion,1 the New Jersey Appellate Division interpreted a homeowner’s insurance policy’s water damage exclusion and determined whether damage from a broken municipal water main under a public street was covered under the policy. In that case, a homeowner brought an action against his insurer for breach of contract after the insurer disclaimed coverage on the basis that damage to his real and personal property resulting from a broken water main was excluded under the policy as flood, surface and ground water intrusion.
Continue Reading