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

In an important New Jersey policyholder decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently addressed New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) and ruled the CFA applies to an insurer’s deceptive claims handling practices as well as the sale of insurance policies.1
Continue Reading

In a recent op-ed article published in the Star Ledger, Rutgers Law Professor Jay Feinman debunked the myth that insurance companies have been using for decades to prevent good faith claims handling bills from passing through the legislature. As Feinman noted, insurance companies argue that the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) is unnecessary and would be harmful, suggesting the bill would dramatically raise insurance premiums.
Continue Reading