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Chip Merlin's Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog

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THE POLICYHOLDER'S ADVOCATE®
Updated: 1 year 9 weeks ago

The Danger of Soot and Debris in Fire Damaged Buildings

Mon, 2017-12-11 00:10
California wildfires are prominent in the news. Many are rightfully concerned about the dangers posed from flames, heat and active smoke. However, soot and debris left in fire damaged buildings pose a significant and often overlooked danger. I was in a condominium on Saturday which suffered significant fire damage. I was astonished that nobody had...… Continue Reading

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Entitlement to Overhead and Profit on an Actual Cash Value Estimate

Sun, 2017-12-10 00:47
In the New York class action suit, Mazzocki v. State Farm, 1 A.D.3d 9 (N.Y. 3rd Dept. 2003), the Appellate Court for the Third Department finally clarified the question regarding overhead and profit in actual cash value and replacement cost value claims. Plaintiffs in the class action sustained storm damage to buildings on their respective...… Continue Reading

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Is a Door Part of a Wall When It Comes to Hurricane Damage, and Who Gets to Decide?

Sat, 2017-12-09 00:10
In a recent appellate decision out of the Court of Appeals of Texas in Beaumont, the appellate court affirmed a jury verdict for the Defendant insurance company.1 The case centered on damage from Hurricane Ike that resulted from water entering the home from separations between a door and its frame, specifically, the wind from the...… Continue Reading

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Court Finds You Must Submit a Contract for Sinkhole Repairs as a Precondition to Payment of a Judgment

Fri, 2017-12-08 00:10
Previously, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal found that homeowners who had their sinkhole claim denied by their insurance company, but who ultimately prevailed at a jury trial could not be paid their $168,000.00 judgment until they entered a contract to repair their home.1 The court reasoned that because the policy and Florida sinkhole statutes...… Continue Reading

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2017 Hurricane Season Recap

Thu, 2017-12-07 11:50
The Ruskin National Weather Service in conjunction with the Port Heavy Weather Advisory Group, which covers West Florida, published the attached recap of the 2017 Hurricane Season. I thought it was a great summary of what happened and discusses the major storms we faced during the 2017 Hurricane Season. The summary warns that La Niña...… Continue Reading

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Is Water Damage Caused by a Burst Water Main Covered?

Thu, 2017-12-07 00:10
An Illinois homeowner recently contacted me regarding an insurer’s denial of a water damage claim. The facts were: An underground pipe which was part of a municipal water supply system (“the water main”) burst and water was released from the water main. The pressure from the water cracked the street pavement and water flowed onto...… Continue Reading

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California Wildfires Declared State of Emergency – How Does That Impact My Additional Living Expenses?

Wed, 2017-12-06 00:10
The buzz amongst policyholders about what insurance owe for additional living expenses due to the Northern California Wildfires is still going strong as Southern California braces this week for Santa Ana winds. With predicted gusts up to 70 mph, Southern Californians are in real danger of the potential for wildfires. Recently, I’ve received quite a...… Continue Reading

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The Skinny on Policy Endorsements

Tue, 2017-12-05 00:10
Many homeowners buy their insurance policy, read it over, then stick it in a drawer with other important documents until it’s needed again. The policy could sit in that drawer for years. Meanwhile, that policy may change as often as twice a year. Most insureds are familiar with the declarations section of their policy: that...… Continue Reading

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What the Heck Was Uber Thinking: Non-Disclosure and Other Missteps After a Data Breach Are Prime Triggers For Regulatory Scrutiny (Part I)

Mon, 2017-12-04 00:10
This is the first post in a two-part series about cybersecurity regulations and breach notification requirements. Recent headlines of high-profile cyber-attacks confirm the maxim that the cover up usually causes more trouble than the event itself. The latest attack and damaging cover-up is a hack on Uber that exposed personal data of 57 million riders...… Continue Reading

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“Like Kind and Quality” Is an Appraisable Issue

Sun, 2017-12-03 00:10
Following a loss, the issue of replacement with “like kind and quality” often arises whether it be with the replacement of personal property or building materials. The phrase “like kind and quality” is typically not defined in an insurance policy, so whether construction is of “like kind and quality” can easily become a dispute. But...… Continue Reading

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