Public Adjuster Helps Family Win 3 Year Battle with Citizens On Fire Claim
As we’ve reported to you on this blog, Citizens Insurance of Florida is allow by the legislature to play by different rules. For example, they are exempt from bad faith laws that other private insurance companies must follow. That sometimes means it allows them to act in ways that are not in the best interest of the property insurance policyholder. What is perplexing is that if private insurance companies acted in this manner, they would be subject to sanctions, fines and legal action.
As an example, WTSP Channel 10 TV recently reported on a claim handled by Public Adjuster Rick Tutwiler who recently concluded what was a 3 plus year fire claim for a St. Petersburg family who refused to give up or be intimidated by some of the tactics that seem to be getting used more and more. Below is the video news story that was run. If you would like to read about the details of the claim you can go to our Success Story St. Petersburg Public Adjuster Helps Family Battle Citizens on Fire Claim.
In this particular case, the Sheldon’s were forced to hire an attorney who filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Citizens. After 3 ½ years from the initial claim and with the Sheldon’s still out of their home, the case finally settled. The Sheldon’s prevailed against all the odds and won their case. A big thanks to attorney Matt Danahy and the team at Danahy & Murray, P.A. who took on this case and advocated for the Sheldon’s.
Sadly, our firm is seeing similar patterns in other existing fire claims where the insurance losses are well documented and Citizens is following this same tact and hard line to follow the litigation route rather than to properly adjust the claim. In a recent article “Citizens racks up millions in attorneys’ fees as it denies claims” written by the Miami Herald on September 9, 2013, Citizens is now averaging an estimated $2 million each month to battle policyholders over getting their claims paid. According to the article, between January 2011 and June 2013, Citizens has spent more than $16 million to defend against lawyers from 177 different law firms who have successfully challenged the state’s largest insurance company on behalf of policyholders. Citizens claims it will need to raise rates to cover the litigations costs. Our view is we haven’t had a hurricane in 8 years so there should be plenty of money to pay the claim costs, not line the pockets of attorneys to wrongfully deny claims and lobbyists to eliminate public insurance adjusters who help policyholders in situations like the Sheldon’s.
Remember it’s your claim. Don’t let anyone, including your insurance carrier take control of it. Stay involved and make sure you assemble a team of professionals that have your best interests in mind. If you have questions regarding any property insurance claim related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster or insurance claim experts.