As we head into 2016, take a look back at the big news stories in insurance claims from 2015. Celebrities, insurance agencies, attorneys and government agencies are included in the list.
Here are the top insurance claim stories from 2015:
According to Reuters, the year 2015 brought $27 billion in insured claims. This number is down from $31 billion in 2014 and $56 billion, the average from the last 10 years. Most of these claims came from tornadoes and flooding in the US, while storms in the UK named "Desmond" and "Eva" also contributed to the total claim total.
Walmart Sues Insurance Companies after Tracy Morgan Accident
In 2014, Tracy Morgan was struck by a Walmart truck, resulting in Morgan entering a coma. Morgan sued Walmart, and Walmart settled. Liberty Insurance Underwriters and Ohio Casualty Insurance didn't pay portions of the settlement because, according to the insurance companies, Walmart's settlement was unreasonable and was reached without a negotiation, before Walmart's liability was determined. Walmart hired an economic expert to review Morgan's future income recommendations, but the insurance companies wanted more information. This led to a lawsuit filed by Walmart against the insurance companies, citing breach of contract and bad faith.
Salt Lake City Man Denied For Not Answering Questions
A fire ravaged a Salt Lake City man's home in 2014. After filing the claim, Farmers Insurance asked the man if he knew who started the fire. The man's lawyer advised his client to plead the Fifth, which resulted in Farmers not paying any more damages to the man's house. Farmers denied further coverage for fire insurance because the man violated the insurance contract by not answering all questions presented to him.
FEMA Still Reviewing Cases from Superstorm Sandy
Even though Sandy landed a few years ago, FEMA has thousands of claim cases still to review from the superstorm. As of December 30, 16% of the close to 17,000 cases have been closed. FEMA has sent letters to NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) policyholders, stating that if policies were not fairly paid out, FEMA would give each policyholder a chance for review. Every dollar owed will be given back, FEMA says.
Hail Insurance Claims in Texas Starting "Cottage Industry"
The hail storms in Texas have created a "cottage industry" for insurance attorneys, roofers and public adjusters. Litigation has risen 20 to 40 percent in the past few years in Texas. Insurers are raising deductibles, and limiting or excluding hail coverage altogether, hurting policyholders in the long-term.
If you have any questions about policyholder litigation, contact us at Voss Law Firm. We fight for what you deserve if insurance providers deny funds on a claim.