Kjersti (09.02.08, 4:16 AM): I agree exactly with what you have said Dan. I also think a good agent will tell people up front what they are buying, so they are able to make a good choice. Nobody in their right mind would pay for flood insurance that did not cover floods from excessive rain or hurricanes. That would have been an exclusion that was written into the policy though. There were many instances where Katrina claims were denied, because there was no way to tell what did the damage. All that was left was the slab. If they can't prove the damage was caused by an exclusion, then they should have to pay the claim. I don't believe that anybody should have been left in the condition that so many people have been left in. There should have been more control of contractors who stepped in to rebuild and as Michael stated, they were price gouging. If the price to rebuild is too high, the coverage doesn't go as far. No matter where we live, there is somebody who is supposed to be evaluating the risk of a property before it is insured. I can't tell you how many claims I went out on and saw homes that should have never had a policy written on it, because the risk was too high. Again, it is poor agents who write policies they should not be writing. The insurance companies do take care of a lot of people, but nobody ever talks about how much money they do pay out.
dan r (09.02.08, 2:33 AM): while I am sure you worked for a legit insurance company there have been many cases against them since Katrina, many of which they have lost. Did you hear the one about how hundreds of home owners weren't paid for water damages because they had flood insurance, which oddly didnt cover floods from excessive rain (or hurricanes for that matter)? There are several companies who DONT insure homes in the south east anymore. It has to be profitable for them to do it.
Kjersti (09.02.08, 1:32 AM): I am sure that there are cases where people should have been paid and have not been paid, but I worked as a large loss claims adjuster for a long time. Most of the issues were caused by people not knowing their policy exclusions and for not purchasing enough coverage. People fail to understand that insurance companies make hardly any money for homeowner policies and many times they pay out huge amounts to cover damages to homeowners who have paid hardly anything towards the policy. It takes about ten years for the company to start making money on a homeowners policy. I use to not like the insurance industry until I worked within it. It is a business and like any business, they have to make money to stay in business. I found the large company I worked for to be very fair. The things that are excluded are in black and white in the policy that the insured is given when they buy the policy. One problem is that many people grab a copy of their policy and file it away without ever reading it. The company pays what the policy allows for. Look at what you pay for your policy. It is hardly anything for a year of coverage. Then look at how much a theft, a fire, or a wind loss causes in damages. We are lucky that insurance companies still offer home coverage. They make their money in the auto coverage, not homeowner coverage. Sorry for writing so much, but I have to defend the insurance companies. I have seen first hand how much they really do for people. They get a bad rap from all the people who did not get paid for things they did not have coverage for. I am sure that the cases a legal team takes on are cases that are legit or they wouldn't take them on. They want a portion of the policy coverage too.
Pete (09.01.08, 10:21 PM): Down here riding it out. I should have some pictures up on my blog soon. It got real nasty here in Gulf Shores, but is calming down. I feel for the people that caught the brunt of the storm.
michael andrew (09.01.08, 6:06 PM): it broke my heart to see so many victims get ripped off by insurance companies and price gougers.
Alexandra (09.01.08, 2:58 PM): You know my heart is saddened by the thought that so many people are faced with yet another hurricane. Many still have not recovered from Katrina! I am a paralegal and we only recently have taken on some "Katrina" clients to try and help them make the insurance companies pay what is rightlyfully owed to them, there are so many who are still fighting this battle.