The One Year Anniversary of Hurricane Ian—What Do Policyholders Now Face? 

The One Year Anniversary of Hurricane Ian—What Do Policyholders Now Face? 

It has been one year since Hurricane Ian. If you have not completely resolved your claim, you need to see a lawyer about your rights. Public adjusters and contractors working on Hurricane Ian claims should say the same thing. One year is just too long for a settlement not to have been made, and insurers have had enough time to work with non-legal professionals to get their jobs done right. 

I wrote a post last January, Why Are Hurricane Ian Claims Adjustments So Wrong, Low, and Slow?, where I stated: 

The policyholder gave me permission to publish the estimate where Slide Insurance Company estimated the main roof damage to be just above $1,100.

….Was the field adjuster incompetent? Was the field adjuster’s estimate secretly changed by desk adjusters who never visited the loss? 

The bottom line is that this example is one of tens of thousands of poor, slow, and low Hurricane Ian property adjustments. Maybe I only see the problem cases. There sure seem to be more problem adjustments than any storm I can remember. 

Maybe the property claims managers will get the message and make changes. I truly hope so. Otherwise, there will be a great deal of explaining to do in courts and the court of public opinion.

The media has called out Florida’s political leaders for selling out to the insurance industry and passing laws that encourage insurance companies to further delay and underpay claims payments, as noted in Media Calls Out Florida’s Politicians and DeSantis For Selling Out To Insurers—The Maddening Reality For Hurricane Idalia Victims: 

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The sweeping revisions makes it more difficult for homeowners to sue their property insurance companies for acting in ‘bad faith’ and removes the right of homeowners to recover attorney’s fees, even in lawsuits they ultimately win. Additionally, the adjustments to Florida’s insurance laws allow insurance companies to create new policies with mandatory binding arbitration agreements in exchange for a premium reduction, which will also thwart many homeowners’ option to take insurers to court…Moreover, the legislation shortened the window in which policyholders can file claims with their insurers, invested $1 billion of taxpayer funds into a state-run reinsurance fund to help insurance companies mitigate their losses in the event of catastrophic events, and narrowed eligibility for Citizens, Florida’s state-run nonprofit insurance company that provides insurance to people who cannot find affordable coverage on the regular market.

The bottom line is that every policyholder with an open Hurricane Ian claim should consult a competent attorney. Specifically, policyholders should seek attorneys who have been practicing in this area of law long before Hurricane Ian struck to advise on their legal rights and the management of their claims.

Public adjusters and contractors whose clients have open Hurricane Ian claims should also recommend consulting an independent attorney. If they advise otherwise or discourage you from seeking your own legal counsel, be wary. It’s not only suspicious but also illegal for them to do so.

Thought For The Day 

A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns.

—Mario Puzo, “The Godfather”