As a Merlin Law Group Texas attorney, I have the distinct privilege of working directly with Rene Sigman, the Regional Litigation Manager running the firm’s Texas operation. As a mentor, Rene has gone above and beyond to show me the complex ropes for handling first-party property insurance cases in Texas. Rene’s unparalleled work ethic coupled with her passion for our clients’ best interest was more than apparent recently when we recovered multiple favorable settlements for commercial and residential policyholders. During this time, we noticed something interesting about one of the insured’s contracts with her public adjuster. The contract was incomplete and did not comply with the Texas Administrative Code, which governs public insurance adjuster contracts.
Continue Reading Texas Public Insurance Adjuster Contract Requirements

It’s been a few months since we endured Winter Storm Uri. The storm had people stranded in the cold with no electricity, heat, or running water. Families were huddling around each other for warmth in parked cars and boiling water in their homes to drink. At the time of the storm, much of the focus was on the electric grid of Texas and why the infrastructure failed us in a time of need. Now, as claims come in, we are seeing an abundance of damage that is left unrepaired, unresolved, and overall unappreciated.
Continue Reading The Cold Truth About the Texas Winter Storm

The case found closest to the fact pattern above is Ironwood Building II. Ltd. v. Axis Surplus Insurance Company.1 Read further to find out who prevails in the end—the insured or the insurer.
Continue Reading In Texas, Who Prevails When There Is: 1 Damaged Property Caused By 2 Weather Events, And 2 Damage Claims Filed Under 2 Different Policies From 2 Different Carriers?

About two months ago, Winter Storm Uri left millions of Texans stranded in the cold without water, electricity, or heat. This tragic and historic event arrived abruptly, but it left lingering effects for many. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared this event as a major disaster. Thousands of homeowners and renters incurred property damage or other storm-related costs. FEMA offered assistance to 126 of the 254 counties1 in Texas with an application deadline of April 20, 2021. However, the application deadline has now been extended to May 20, 2021.
Continue Reading FEMA Extends Application Deadline for Texas February Winter Storm Assistance

Commissioner’s Bulletins issued by the Texas Department of Insurance (“TDI”) do not have the force of law of a statute, but they do express and declare TDI’s interpretation or position on certain issues and existing laws. These bulletins also contain recommendations and help insurers and consumers understand how the business of insurance should be conducted in Texas. A review of the most recent Commissioner’s Bulletin B-0010-21 issued on March 9, 2021, provides a good example of a bulletin’s purpose.
Continue Reading Texas Department of Insurance Commissioner’s Bulletins Re: Severe Winter Weather Claims

It has been a chilling sight over the past week in Texas. While not going into work may seem cool, it was the cold that kept everyone from going anywhere. It all started in my hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. At least six people died and dozens were taken to hospitals after an accident involving more than 100 vehicles on a Fort Worth interstate. A pileup that was the most staggering of the crashes that dotted ice-slicked roads across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.1
Continue Reading Frozen Pipe and Water Claims—Are Grid and Power Operators Facing Liability and Subrogation Lawsuits?

Texas water loss claims from a non-hurricane event are going to be historic. I have lived in Texas my entire life and this statewide catastrophe is a scene out of an apocalyptic movie. Texas is a mess right now. The system has failed its residents. The energy capital of the USA can’t keep residents clean, warm, or informed because for many, there is no water, electricity, or WiFi/cable.
Continue Reading Frozen Pipe Water Loss Catastrophe in Texas —Blunt Advice from an Experienced Texas Policyholder Attorney About the Need to Contact Your Insurance Company About Your Frozen Pipe Claim

There are differing opinions circulating right now about whether Texas public insurance adjusters can write notice letters under Chapter 542A of the Texas Insurance Code. It is important to emphasize the difference between whether they can and whether they should. There is limited case law supporting that Texas public insurance adjusters can write these notice letters (which is a discussion for another time).1 However, just because someone can do something does not mean they should. To understand why public adjusters should not write 542A notice letters, we will walk through what the “practice of law” in Texas means, who can practice law in Texas, what Chapter 542A requires in the notice letter, and why public adjusters should not write them.
Continue Reading Chapter 542A Notice Letters: Why Texas Public Adjusters Should Not Write Them

Insurance is your safety net. It is a contract made between you and your insurance company guaranteeing that, if anything were to happen to you, the agreed safety net will be provided. Insurance companies have a right to investigate the legitimacy of claims. However, insurance companies in Texas cannot reject legitimate claims, misrepresent policy terms, or engage in other specific “bad acts.”
Continue Reading Understanding Your Rights Under Chapter 542 of the Texas Insurance Code: Why it is Beneficial to Allow an Attorney to Assist You in the Process