This course, presented by Nicole Vinson of Merlin Law Group, will cover issues Florida business owners have faced in the wake of hurricane claims and other catastrophic losses that impact not only their business property but also their business income losses. The course will provide an understanding of basic insurance issues that any business owner can learn from reviewing the coverages on their current policy, and also explain certain additional coverages that may be available.
The second part of the course will cover more detail of the claims process under a business policy and the presentation of the claim. Topics include the duties under the policy, submission to an examination under oath, understanding proof of loss requirements, and the mitigation of the damages requirement. Finally, issues relating to valuation of losses will be addressed including replacement cost value and actual cash valuations but also a discussion of appraisal of business losses.
As a 6th generation attorney, Nicole Vinson prides herself on always taking the extra time needed to really focus on the details of her clients and their claims, in order to provide a strategic and detail-orientated approach to expedite the claim and the litigation.
Ms. Vinson handles claims caused by windstorm, hurricane, hail, sinkhole, fire, smoke, water damage and flood, freeze damage, collapse, theft, and vandalism. Ms. Vinson has also helped policyholders recover benefits for life insurance claims, business income losses, extra expense coverage claims, and matters of unfair claims handling and bad faith.
Ms. Vinson is extremely proud of each person and business that she has represented, and feels a great sense of gratitude for the ability to assist her clients in getting a just result.
“I know many of my clients would have eventually thrown in the towel if they had to face the carriers alone. This is an area of the law where you know you are truly helping someone receive something that was promised to them under an agreement. While the work we do is based on a contract, the material that is at stake is very important—it is someone’s home or business. Next to family, our clients’ most important assets have been compromised, and the depth of what it is like to lose your home to a fire or your business to hurricane is personal. My clients purchased insurance and contemplated that, should something bad happen, they would be covered and paid. Now, they have lost what is precious to them and are not receiving the assistance and the response from the insurance company that they deserve. Insurance companies shouldn’t judge people but they do, and often people are judged harshly by insurance companies and don’t receive their benefits. It is my job to show the breach of the promise and the improper actions of the insurance company…the result is very rewarding, my clients often get their lives back.”
Since June 2010, Ms. Vinson has posted a Saturday blog on the Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog on breaking news and fresh insurance and adjusting topics. Ms. Vinson frequently meets with representatives and political leaders about property insurance rates, laws and proposed changes. She has testified to the legislature on topics related to property insurance, sinkholes and the protection of policyholder rights.
As you can see, Ms. Vinson is truly passionate about her advocacy for her clients and Merlin Law Group is very fortunate to have such a hardworking, dedicated, and energetic attorney on the team.
Nicole C. Vinson Selected as a Member of the Insurance Consumer Advocate’s Homeowner’s Policy & Claims Bill of Rights Working Group in Tallahassee.
Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Robin Smith Westcott, appointed by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, brought together representatives from all aspects of the insurance claims process to launch the Homeowners’ Policy & Claims Bill of Rights Working Group in July, 2013. Nicole Vinson was invited to be a part of this group because of her work with Merlin Law Group where she represents policyholders against insurance companies for property damage claims. During the live televised meetings, Nicole was able to voice the concerns of Florida’s policyholders based on her experience and extensive knowledge of the nightmare claim situations that plague policyholders during both the insurance buying process and claims handling process endured during a loss.
Blogs on point:
Florida’s Homeowners’ Policy & Claims Bill of Rights Working Group Meets Tomorrow
Reporting Live from Tallahassee’s Policyholder’s Working Group
Consumer Advocate Meetings Continue with the Mission to Help Floridans with Insurance Problems
Update on Florida’s Homeowners Property Insurance Bill of Rights
Great practical advice for insureds. I would love a further class on particular policy provisions to watch out for and changes to negotiate. But this was fun and an obviously passionate presenter really showed through.