Hurricane Claims Denied Fort Myers


Hurricane Storm Damage Claims Denied Fort Myer

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Hurricane Claims Denied - Fort Myers

Our insurance companies are failing us! Imagine making payments for decades to your insurance company and when you finally make a claim after suffering extreme damage you are treated as poorly as described below.

Apparently, per the article written by the Washington Post, the recommended estimates for repair from the insurance adjusters are being seriously reduced and recalculated once presented to the insurance company. Some are  reduced to such extreme that it falls below the deductible amounts so that no payment is be forthcoming to the homeowners.

This is what has been happening on the southwest coast of Florida. After major disasters such as Hurricane Ian, insurance companies usually contract with third-party independent adjusting firms to help with the hundreds of thousands of claims. The licensed adjuster, who is trained to assess damaged homes, visits the homes, prepare their reports, take pictures, and submit their final recommendation for the claims. However, it has been found that their reports are being whittled down to significantly less than the original submission. An example is a roof being partially repaired instead of being totally replaced. The justification used is that there was already wear and tear on the roof and the damage was not completely due to the hurricane. It is important to note that the changes are made without the adjuster’s knowledge or consent, but their names remain on the final report, according to documents seen by The Washington Post.

Based on feedback from adjusters and insurance industry experts the normal insurance claims process does not work this way. Normally, the field adjusters collaborate with their co-workers in the office to make minor changes and discuss the claims. Sometimes they may need to alter line items if, for example, the carrier has evidence that damage was from a prior event. That is how the system is supposed to work.

This is NOT what has been happening after Hurricane Ian. Local adjusters who have been contracted by regional insurance carriers say that managers have been changing their work. Their recommended totals are being lowered, the descriptions of damage are being rewritten and the accompanying photos are being deleted without their approval. All of these actions are done to devalue damage of the insurance crisis in Florida.

Due to many years of intense storms, most of the national insurance carriers have pulled away from Florida. They have been replaced by regional carriers with smaller financial reserves. To limit payouts to policyholders after Hurricane Ian, these companies have been aggressively altering the work of licensed adjusters. Consequently, homeowners have been left footing much of the bill for repairs.

The adjusters, attorneys and policyholder advocates allege that the independent adjusting firms were internally lowering estimates under the direction of the insurance carriers who contracted them. However, the company said that it has reasons for altering claims and that estimates are revised/collaborated throughout the entire industry at the direction of the insurance carriers.

Per the insurance carriers, the flailing insurance industry market is blamed on lawyers and contractors who they state have taken advantage of the system to sue carriers, inflate estimates and use roofing scams to profit from these disasters. The carriers contend that they are the real victims! The victims of fraud and bad behavior.

Florida’s insurance market has been leaning toward collapse for years. After multiple storms in 2005, several big carriers pulled back coverage in the state. Newer, smaller, and lesser financed companies emerged and began to operate in the state. 2017 was also one of the costliest hurricane seasons ever. Hurricane Michael battered Florida the following year.

Adjusters then started to see carriers greatly reduce damage estimates, fully deny roof replacements often and force claims of a certain value into litigation. Payouts started to get delayed or not come at all, adjusters and attorneys said. At the same time, insurance rates kept rising fast. As the claims continued to pile up and remain unpaid, adjusters keep getting calls from increasingly frustrated and anxious policyholders.  For many people, there were still no answers, no habitable home and dwindling savings.

It would seem that reducing a valid claim estimate without factual basis “is potential fraud.” In most cases, if a field adjuster has done his job correctly and broken down every line in great detail, the desk adjuster will not need to make significant changes. It’s usually a “smooth process with communication between the two employees.

If you are fighting with your insurance company to get your claim paid, call us today to advocate on your behalf. We will fight for you!

Florida Advocates – A Private Law Firm

If you need to file a claim with the help of a knowledgeable property insurance claim attorney, give us a call today, toll free at (855) FL-ADVOCATES, or (754) 263-4252.


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