Home and business policyholders dealing with wind damage insurance claims may find themselves battling their insurer on whether a named storm deductible applies due to Hurricane Ian or just a wind deductible applied due to a tornado that occurred before the hurricane. If wind damage existed before the September 28, 2023 Hurricane occurrence, be sure to tell your insurer.
On January 18th, 2022, National Weather Service has updated the track for an EF2 tornado that hit Lee County, and an additional tornado was confirmed in Charlotte County.
The track is confirmed to be 7.9 miles and lasted for 16 minutes. The tornado that caused extensive damage in Iona also went through Gulf Harbour and crossed the Cape Coral Bridge. In all, there were five tornados.
Hurricane Ian could potentially generate more than $30 billion in insured property losses, which would make it one of the largest natural catastrophe events in US history. #hurricaneian #publicadjuster #propertyinsurance #propertydamage
Not all, but may bad faith Insurance companies intentionally delay, deny and underpay claims. Of course, these tactics are improper, unethical, and immoral but in a pathetic attempt to gin up business for their defense law firm, a recent blog post targeting bad faith insurance companies outlines the benefits of purposely delaying insurance claims as an “effective legal strategy.”
That’s right! Insurance company defense law firms are promoting how insurers benefit by intentionally delaying claim payments to help themselves!
This shocking admission unscrupulously suggests weaponizing insurance companies to put pressure on policyholders and force them to settle for an amount favorable for the insurer. The blog post was removed from the law firm’s website after they were contacted by the Dallas Morning News. We see these tactics daily but have never seen a statement like this. Read>>Insurer’sBenefit by Delaying Claims
In our years of experience settling large and complex property damage insurance claims, we’ve come across several insurers who deploy delay schemes to frustrate and wear down policyholders. This blog post shows just how egregious, unconscionable and low some insurers and their legal representatives will stoop.
“Absolutely astounding,” was the reaction of J. Robert Hunter, retired Texas Department of Insurance commissioner. “We knew many insurers operate this way, but I’ve never seen the strategy admitted like this.”
Risk Management just keeps getting more challenging for real estate owners. Insurance premiums and deductibles are skyrocketing. Policy benefits are being diluted and the Texas Supreme Court characterizes the claims process as “adversarial.” We encourage Policyholders who don’t want to be the victim of wrongful delay, deny, and defend schemes to consider ourtrack record for settling claims fairly and promptly. Holding insurers accountable, properly documenting claims, and successfully avoiding unnecessary litigation is the best path to indemnification.
If you’re dealing with a property damage insurance claim, please do not wait for delays or underpayments. Contact us at the beginning. If you have an open claim that is delayed or underpaid, you’re not alone, we can step in at any time during the claims process to help you get the settlement you deserve.
Insurance Companies Have Experts Working For Them, You Should Too! ™
https://www.insuranceclaimrecoverysupport.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/207fc27e-ec7a-70cd-e677-32462f3dd7fe.jpeg4801128Scott Friedsonhttps://www.insuranceclaimrecoverysupport.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/ICRS-Insurance-Claim-Recovery-Support-Lakeway-Texas-Logo-ColorNew1.pngScott Friedson2022-08-08 13:02:232022-09-19 12:22:45How Some Insurance Companies Intentionally Delay, Deny and Underpay Claims
Since January of 2022, there have been numerous fires at food manufacturing plants across the country. Can We Talk About the Plant Fires? caught our attention. The recovery process for these food processors to get back to business concerns us considering the number of policyholders we assist in overcoming delays and underpayments. Decades of experience as a Public Insurance Adjuster helping owners of commercial real estate properties settle fire insurance claims inspired us to write What You Need to Know about Plant Fire Insurance Claims for Packaging Strategies.
What You Need to Know about Plant Fire Insurance Claims
In February, a boiler exploded at a Shearer’s Foods potato chip plant south of Hermiston, OR. Image courtesy of Jeff Schwenk
Insurance companies may not necessarily be in a big hurry to pay up, here’s what business owners need to know about fire insurance claims.
The number of recent food processing fires has caught national attention. Safety, food supply, and propaganda are certainly concerns, but so is the recovery process to get these food processors back to business.
Avoiding a double disaster following a fire or any other peril means getting the full benefit of your policy coverage fairly and promptly while avoiding unnecessary underpayments, delays, lawsuits, or appraisals.
Knowing your rights, remedies and having a risk management strategy in place to assist you to meet the burden of proving your claim makes all the difference in settling insurance claims fairly and properly.
While there is an implied duty for insurers to act in good faith and handle claims properly, the burden of proving claim damages is on the policyholder. Herein lies the foundation of the inherent conflict of interest built into the insurance business model.
The Adversarial Relationship Claims Create
When a policyholder pays their premiums, they are considered an asset to an insurer. However, when a policyholder has a claim, you are considered a liability. The moment a policyholder files a claim, the insurer has representatives in place to protect their interests, not the policyholders. There is an asymmetry of information. Your insurer wrote your policy and knows insurance code statutes, case law, damage, and risk models. Meanwhile, policyholders typically don’t understand their entire policy and know their rights or options available to protect their interests. Then there’s an asymmetry of power. Policyholders have no negotiating power when purchasing a policy. Insurers have the policyholder’s money, they have their terms in the policy, and their representatives in place to manage their risk of liability from policyholders with legitimate claims in need to be properly indemnified from their insurer.
This win-lose value proposition has caught the attention of the Supreme Court of Texas stating, “the insurance claim process is inherently adversarial. The adversarial process begins as soon as a claim is filed and ends only when the resolution of the claim is finally determined and accepted by the parties.” Barbara Technologies Vs. State Farm Lloyds
Insurance Claim Disputes
Insurance companies are masters at pontificating the belief that you’ll be covered under your policy. However, insurance claim disputes are a common scenario that leads to underpayments, delays, and lawsuits. It’s easy to assume that disagreements about whether or not damaged property should be repaired or replaced seem obvious but overcoming an insurer’s argument to repair damages that you believe need replacement may take more than just an opinion.
That goes for the insurer too. Insurers handle claims every day and are aware of damage related to heat, moisture, acidic gases, and combustion by-products. “For an insured (handling one claim) to level the playing field, appropriate representation is necessary for a full assessment and proving all damage” as noted by Jeff Schwenk, President, Continental Machinery Company.
Proving a claim and getting a fair settlement can be rigorous and require a precise strategy. Questioning the legitimacy of your insurer’s position, disputing items such as excessive depreciation, including overhead and profit, required building code upgrades, ordinance/law coverage, professional fees, business interruption income loss calculations, OSHA safety requirements, ADA, preparing replacement cost valuations, interpreting policy language, as well as understanding conditions and terms related to debris removal, water extraction, smoke removal and mold remediation ensuing from a fire insurance claim, are liabilities policyholders with a fire insurance claim must endure. For example, a liability many policyholders are unaware of is that if your fire suppression system is not operational, your policy may require you to hire security on-site 24/7 or you could suffer a loss of benefits.
Endorsements for Extra Expense Insurance is coverage that pays for our company’s ordinary expenses after a disruptive incident it provides cash to help your business stay operational while the property is being repaired or replaced without this financial assistance, businesses that suffer a major loss might have to close permanently.
Code enforcement officers may require code upgrades for properties that are older. Most insurance policies do not pay for code upgrades before that expense is incurred by the policyholder. Code upgrades typically have separate dollar limits from the rest of your insurance policy and can be tricky points when interpreting your policy language and benefits.
The list goes on and on. To reasonably comply with most policies associated with large loss insurance claims, policyholders endure numerous details including disputing insurer retained expert reports and asserting policyholder retained expert opinions, submitting department of insurance bulletins, evidence of damage, evidence of occurrence, 3rd party credibility, and making a reasonable demand for payment to the insurance company.
Understandably, most policyholders simply don’t know what to do or where to start. You have options, rights, and remedies to settling property damage insurance claims. The best non-litigious approach while still preserving your consumer rights is by working with a licensed, ethical public insurance adjuster on a contingency fee basis to represent your interests.
There’s a lot of risk in owning commercial real estate. Property owners’ buildings are always at risk and it’s just not right when insurance companies do not pay fairly and promptly. Many policyholders have certainly felt the urge to hire an attorney, file a lawsuit to sue their insurance company, and go through subpoenas, depositions, discovery, mediation, and court when they are convinced their insurer has acted in bad faith. What many policyholders have found is that the legal process takes a lot of time, adds stress and so much of the documentation requirements to prove up a claim in a lawsuit are included in a legitimate public adjuster’s claim submissions. Many have found the best course of action in settling a claim is to engage ethical, experienced, and non-litigious public insurance adjusters at the beginning of a claim who know how to personally and factually present evidence that supports your position, comply with policy terms, assert relevant statutory insurance codes, knows how to compel an insurer to perform fairly.
Our successful approach has helped commercial real estate property owners realize maximum insurance claim settlement results in minimum time without unnecessary litigation for over a decade. Insurance companies have experts working for them. You should too.
Best of all, there is no fee for his services if there’s no recovery. That, however, has never happened.
Insurance companies manage risk. So, if a policyholder has exposed all of the insurer’s liability in writing with supporting evidence, documentation, presented a valid argument for coverage, exhausted all reasonable and necessary efforts to avoid unnecessary litigation to settle a claim, and is still forced to sue to settle an insurance claim dispute then a claim may be ripe to consider filing complaints to the department of insurance and retain a board-certified insurance attorney.
The Advantages of Delaying a Claim
Many bad faith insurance companies not only deploy tactics to wear down policyholders but some of their defense attorneys who represent them promote that delaying claims may provide several benefits for insurers. First, they know delaying a claim puts pressure on policyholders. They know you may be dealing with mounting bills for property damage, legal fees, and medical expenses. Most people cannot afford to continue fighting insurance companies for a prolonged time. This means that most policyholders will be forced to settle for an amount favorable for the insurer by wearing down a claimant instead of continuing to negotiate with insurance companies for an extended period. In other words, they know that delaying claims forces policyholders to accept lower settlement offers.
Delaying claims can lower insurance company costs in other ways. For example, when an insurance company faces a surge of property damage claims, they can delay some of them to avoid mass payouts all at once. This limits the financial stress on insurers, shifts it to the policyholder, and allows insurers to invest funds from your paid premiums to earn interest revenue and offset some of the costs.
You wouldn’t have the IRS prepare your tax return and tell you what you owe. So why would you let your insurance company prepare your claim file for you and tell you what they’re going to pay you?
Are some insurance companies so sinister they would improperly handle any of these food plant claims to further prolong the recovery process? Hopefully not but perhaps the most shameful part of every insurance claim is that a portion of every policyholder’s premium is allocated to claims handling expenses.
This leaves some policyholders feeling they are paying insurance company adjusters to work against them as their adversaries and that’s just not right.
In 2019, ICRS public insurance adjusters settled a 700,000 square foot food manufacturing insurance claim that was originally denied by the insurance company in one year for millions of dollars without filing a lawsuit.
https://www.insuranceclaimrecoverysupport.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Food-Plant-Oregon-e1664458660318.png5211000Scott Friedsonhttps://www.insuranceclaimrecoverysupport.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/ICRS-Insurance-Claim-Recovery-Support-Lakeway-Texas-Logo-ColorNew1.pngScott Friedson2022-07-12 19:13:152022-07-16 19:26:03What You Need to Know about Food Plant Fire Insurance Claims
Prior to making landfall in the US, Laura had produced serious damage and took nearly two dozen lives across Hati and the Dominican Republic. As it was moving through the Gulf of Mexico, Laura quickly grew from a Category 1 to a Category 4 within 24 hours. In the early morning of August 27th, Hurricane Laura made landfall to the US Coast as the seventh named storm to do so this hurricane season.
At landfall, Hurricane Laura had wind speeds of up to 150 mph, causing mass construction along the border of Texas and Louisiana.
A couple of days after the storm had passed, President Trump toured the damage in Orange, Texas and Lake Charles, Louisiana. Mr. Trump vowed assistance for both cities, saying in Texas that “we’ve never seen anything like” the force of the storm. He said that FEMA would deliver 400,000 liters of water and 200,000 meals for those who were affected by Laura.
Residents and business owners have finally started to return to the area to assess the damages. Power and water outages are still affecting tens of thousands of people across the area, with no Return Date near.
How You Can Help
The following organizations have set up individual campaigns dedicated to those who have been affected by Hurricane Laura. Donate and volunteer as you are able!
According to the catastrophe risk modeling firm, Karen Clark & Company, the total insured losses from Hurricane Hanna could reach up to $350 million.
What does the estimate include?
Karen Clark & Company reported the estimate includes the privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial/industrial properties and automobiles. The estimate does not include the National Flood Insurance Program losses.
Hurricane Hanna Damages
The storm brought high wind speeds to southern Texas and had over 200,000 customers without power.
Low to moderate levels of wind damage was sustained throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Damage to signage and lightweight structures, such as gas station pavilions and marinas, were relatively common as well.
Other forms of damage included roof and siding damage with rare instances of more severe structural damage. Corpus Christi, Port Mansfield, McAllen, and other coastal towns all experienced storm surge flooding to residential and commercial buildings.
After several days of uncertainty, Hurricane Hanna made landfall as a Category 1 on July 25, 2020, hitting Padre Island the hardest. After landfall, the storm traveled southwest and weakened rapidly due to interaction with mountainous terrain and by July 26 had weakened into a tropical storm as it passed into Mexico.
Corpus Christi, Port Mansfield and many other coastal towns also experienced storm surge flooding to residential and commercial buildings from the hurricane.
Hundreds of thousands of residents and business owners across southern Texas prepped for the storm damage to come, however, they couldn’t prepare for everything.
Hurricane Hanna was the first hurricane and the fourth U.S. landfalling storm of the 2020 North Atlantic hurricane season.
The latest reports have stated that insured losses from Hurricane Hanna will reach close to $350 million.
High wind speeds left more than 200,000 customers without power in South Texas, while low to moderate levels of wind damage were sustained throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Due to the high wind speeds, damage to signage and lightweight structures were relatively common. Additionally, damage to roofs and siding as well as several instances of structural damage have all been reported.
Downed power lines and trees caused road closures across Southern Texas. As of 1 p.m on Monday, July 27th, the American Electric Power Texas, one of the state’s largest electric providers, reported more than 58,000 power outages in Corpus Christi, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley alone.
The aftermath of Hurricane Hanna has been devastating for many people in the southern region of Texas. As a business, you may be wondering how to recover from damages and losses caused by the storm. Fortunately, our team at Insurance Claim Recovery Support is available to help get your company back on its feet after this natural disaster!
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