The Colorado Division of Insurance got an earful from Colorado policyholders dealing with insurance claim problems at a virtual town hall meeting last night. The event, Insurance Town Hall – Partial Losses in the Boulder Fires & Straight Line Winds, had panelists discussing the issues of soot, ash, and char claims following the recent Marshall Fire. Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway was obviously frustrated hearing how Coloradans are being treated with their claims. He stated that “his blood pressure was going up” and that he intended to call Liberty Mutual and Travelers. The event was recorded and will be on the Division’s website.
Continue Reading Soot, Ash, and Char Claims Are Hot Topic At Colorado Insurance Commission Virtual Town Hall Meeting

United Policyholders (“UP”), a non-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to be a trustworthy and useful information resource and a respected voice for consumers of all types of insurance in all 50 states, launched its national Restoring the Insurance Safety Net Coalition (RISC) initiative in 2020. The purpose of this initiative is to reverse the trend of insurance policy re-writes that are shrinking coverage for damage to homes. One of its stated approaches is to identify wording that is causing protection gaps. I encourage you to read more about the initiative at uphelp.org/risc.
Continue Reading Beware of Avoidable Coverage Gaps with California FAIR Plan Companion Endorsements

The Marina Del Rey Hotel is a hidden gem in Southern California. It is nestled among thousands of sailboats and is a perfect setting for a conference. The California Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (CAPIA) will hold its Annual Convention there this coming Thursday.
Continue Reading The California Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (CAPIA) Annual Convention on Thursday in Marina Del Rey

United Policyholders provides a forum to help advocate for and educate about the need for policyholder rights. As a result of United Policyholders, I and others with Merlin Law Group have been able to help support the legal rights of our current and future clients. To me, it would just seem natural that a law firm and its lawyers who say they are dedicated to the rights of policyholders would support with their time and money the activities of United Policyholders (UP). Otherwise, are you just doing it for the money?
Continue Reading Lifetime Achievement Award From United Policyholders

Last month, United Policyholders was kind enough to invite me to participate in one of the plethora of webinars/seminars/workshops it hosts, one of many free resources it offers for insurance consumers. The main topic of the presentation was homeowners’ personal property claims. This topic has a special place in my heart since my first exposure to the insurance industry was doing contents inventories with my father growing up. The webinar was a great opportunity to hear lingering questions from policyholders impacted by California wildfires in previous years.
Continue Reading Tips for Tackling Your Personal Property Claim

Many of us appreciate misdirection, deception, and technical play on words in brainteasers and riddles. The same is not usually the case when an insurer is explaining your legal rights following a devastating loss. While this blog showcases California claims, laws, and regulations, the principle for policyholders and policyholder advocates applies across the country – it pays to know your insurance claim rights.
Continue Reading Don’t Believe Everything You Read on the Internet – or Even in Your Claim Letter

Arbitration clauses primarily found in surplus lines policies with a choice of law provision generally selecting New York law and a shortened statute of limitations are a trap for unwary public adjusters and attorneys. A recent federal appellate court case upheld such a clause despite a state law making it illegal. The holding of the case suggests just how complicated of a legal issue this is:

This appeal presents an issue of first impression in this circuit that lies at the intersection of international, federal, and state law: whether the McCarran-Ferguson Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1011–15, allows a Washington statute to reverse-preempt the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, a multilateral treaty. We conclude that the relevant provision of the Convention is self-executing, and therefore not an “Act of Congress” subject to reverse-preemption by the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s order compelling arbitration.1


Continue Reading Public Adjusters Beware of Arbitration Clauses Changing State Law

Amy Bach is the Executive Director of United Policyholders. Last week, I had breakfast with her at the world-famous Sears Fine Food restaurant in San Francisco’s Union Square. We discussed a number of the projects United Policyholders is involved in, including the Covid Loss Recovery Initiative and Amicus Curiae Project. An “amicus curiae” brief is often called a “friend of the court” brief filed by a non-party to a lawsuit. This is part of what United Policyholders says about its ongoing Amicus Curiae Project:
Continue Reading United Policyholders Files An Amicus Brief Regarding Covid Lost Income Claims In Ohio Supreme Court

United Policyholders has sent a letter to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis calling on him to oppose the current pending legislation founds in SB 76 and HB 305. Here is part of the letter written by Amy Bach to Governor DeSantis:
Continue Reading United Policyholders Calls on Governor DeSantis to Oppose Harmful Bills to Florida’s Policyholders

Since 1991, United Policyholders has been a voice for policyholders and an organization that has taken action in legislative, judicial, and consumer venues to assist policyholders and promote policyholders’ best interests. One example is their Amicus Project. They have written appellate briefs in 42 states and in more than 450 cases. United Policyholders briefs have been cited by numerous state supreme courts and the United States Supreme Court. Last week, United Policyholders filed an amicus brief in the Mama Jo’s case. The case and the Petition for review to the United States Supreme Court was recently discussed by Iris Kuhn in, Restaurant Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Eleventh Circuit’s Ruling on “Direct Physical Loss.”
Continue Reading United Policyholders Notes How the Mama Jo’s Case Was Wrongly Decided and Now Harming Proper Legal Analysis of Business Interruption Coverage Cases