Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy were the two costliest hurricanes in United States history, accounting for a combined $173 billion in damages. Of that, only a small percentage was actually insured. Storm victims without coverage found themselves forced to pay for many repairs out of pocket. At least those lucky enough to be properly insured were covered, right? Well, not quite. Many policyholders have found their coverage is not enough to completely restore their quality of life. Meanwhile, many insurers have found loopholes, forcing policyholders to jump through hoops before seeing a single penny of payout. “Most people don’t read the fine print,” said Ronald Guidry, a New Orleans insurance agent. “But even if (insurer loopholes are) highlighted in red, white, and blue, people still don’t seem to comprehend it until it happens. Even if you comprehend it, you think it’s never going to happen to you.” Insurance Recovery during Hurricane or Super Storm Season Thanks to global warming, both NASA climatologists and Harvard geologists believe we will be seeing more of storms like Superstorm Sandy. Are you properly insured? Common insurance issues include:
- Many homeowners are surprised to find that their homes are not covered for flooding caused by wind-driven storm surge.
- Other homeowners discovered sliding deductible clauses in their policies.
- The “anti-concurrent causation clause” is a loophole that allows insurers to withhold payouts in situations where a home was damaged by two causes, only one of which was insured against.
- Then there is the infamous “hurricane deductible,” which requires homeowners to pay up to 5% of their home’s value before insurance kicks in.
Offit Kurman insurance recovery attorney and Chair of the firm’s Insurance Recovery practice group, Michael Conley, suggests homeowners sit down and have a frank discussion with their insurance agents. “The biggest mistake policyholders make is not understanding the actual scope of the coverage they purchased, but instead relying upon representations as to the coverage,” said Conley. “Policyholders need to make sure that they understand exactly what will be covered for certain causes of loss, such as storm damage or floods. They also need to understand the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value policies.” Conley also strongly recommends homeowners invest in flood insurance, no matter where they live, citing FEMA’s finding that of the millions of flooded homes in New Jersey, only 231,000 had flood insurance. “Because an area has not flooded in the past does not mean that it won’t flood in the future,” said Conley. If you have any questions about Insurance Recovery during Hurricane or Super Storm Season, please contact Offit Kurman insurance recovery attorney and Chair of the firm’s Insurance Recovery practice group Michael Conley at 267.338.1317 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Conley is a frequent speaker and published writer on insurance recovery and fracking issues.So until there is a specific superstorm insurance policy, it is important for homeowners to know just what their current policies do and do not cover. Offit Kurman Attorneys at Law: Insurance Recovery Practice Group When facing an actual or potential dispute with your insurance company, it is crucial to have a partner by your side that understands your business and has only your best interests in mind, a partner like Offit Kurman. The attorneys in our Insurance Recovery Practice Group are committed to protecting you against risk exposure and, in the event of a loss, ensuring you receive the compensation you are rightfully due. We exclusively represent policyholders, both businesses and individuals. If you would like to learn more about Offit Kurman’s Insurance Recovery Practice Group to see what we can do for you, please fill out our contact form to access the knowledgeable legal guidance that our experienced insurance recovery law team of attorneys has to offer. You can also connect with Offit Kurman via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Sources: Superstorm Insurance