Yahoo News reported that a senior white house advisor recently appeared on CNN’s Don Lemmon Tonight, to speak on the devastation from Hurricane Ida and the need for insurance companies to take care of their policyholders. Yahoo continues the report stating that while certain companies, like Allstate and USAA, have agreed to cover some additional costs, State Farm has reportedly refused to cover any extra costs for homeowners who were not under a mandatory evacuation order.
The senior adviser then states, “ We have companies like State Farm, and I call them by name, that have decided that they’re still going to use that loophole or that technicality or fine print, to deny coverage.” The advisor said, “People left because it was a storm bigger than Katrina. Then it knocked out the power for over a million people and southern heat, 102,105 heat advisories, and State Farm’s position is that people could have went home and lived in that house. My opinion is that CEOs and the leadership at State Farm would not stat in a house with damage, without power in 105-degree heat, and they should not expect Louisiana citizens or Mississippi citizens to do that.”
This senior advisor hits the nail on the head when he addressed these issues. All though he spoke of the wrong doings of State Farm, the other carriers are by no means saints. Across the board in the insurance industry, (historically and especially this 2021 year) there have been plenty examples of insurance carriers offsetting their financial losses (ie claims payouts) via the methods of denial, delaying, and underpayment of claims. Not all claims turn out this way, and sometimes carriers do the right thing. However, on a whole this year, we have seen an uptick in this “offsetting of losses” tactic by the carriers. This could be in part due to the numerous extreme weather events, that have impacted the region since the start of 2021.
There are a few things that you can do (both in advance, and during the claim) as a policyholder to help keep the carriers in check, regarding a fair and honest assessment of your claim including the following:
Always do a yearly review of your insurance policy with your agent. Make sure you understand the various components of the policy, policy limits, and deductibles.
Always keep a full copy of your policy at home, and also a digital copy. Note: a full copy should be 40-100 pages in length and have your specific address and name attached.
When damages from a storm event occur on your property, always take the time to document the damages with photo, video, and good note taking.
Keep notes regarding the handling of your claim. Notate the time between filing the claim, and when the adjuster comes to visit the property. Also notate the time the adjuster takes to assess the damages, as well as how comprehensive the assessment is.
Do your best to mitigate damages and keep records/receipts of all monies spent on mitigation.
Contact a good policyholder attorney if your insurance carrier denies, delays, or underpays your claim, or if you have questions prior to filing your claim.
The Voss Law Firm, P.C. has been protecting policyholders’ rights for the past sixteen years, recovering billions of dollars in settlements for our clients.
Feel free to call, or email today for a free consultation on your file.
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Todd Farr- Director of Client Relations: 832-278-9378