- On November 22, 2019
Policyholders are often at a disadvantage in the insurance claim process. They don’t know enough about their policy or coverage to get a fair settlement – leaving them to pay out of pocket for damage that should have been covered. This can create an unfair balance of power giving the insurance carrier an upper hand.
A third-party review of a claim and the associated insurance policy is often the best way for policyholders without claim experience to ensure they are getting a fair settlement. Lawyers, public adjusters and even clauses written into insurance policies exist to make sure a fair and accurate settlement can be reached, especially if insurance carriers make mistakes that result in an unfair claim payout.
Despite third party involvement to prove a higher payout is justified, we believe that some insurance carriers and their lawyers are employing a new tactic when negotiating a claim: bullying their way into a lower claim settlement.
We’ve recently experienced this firsthand from one of the most prominent insurance carrier attorneys in the industry. Below are the events we consider relevant to the issue at hand. If you have experienced similar bullying tactics or threats, please reach out to us and tell us your story.
See all the info for yourself here.
After a hailstorm in 2018, the owner of a historic home with an authentic slate roof filed a claim for hail damage.
Two months later, the insurance company concluded the hail damage was a little over $6,000 and sent a check to the policyholder for a little over $2,000 after depreciation and the deductible were applied. The policyholder felt that it was not a fair settlement and reached out to C3 Adjusters for professional help.
C3 Group performed an initial evaluation and hired an engineering firm that confirmed the entire roof needed to be replaced due to hail damage. In addition, the insured’s chosen contractor also determined that the entire roof needed to be replaced. C3 Group sent the estimate and findings to the insurance carrier.
The insurance carrier hired their own expert who also determined the entire roof needed to be replaced due to hail damage. The carrier agreed to a full roof replacement due to hail damage. Their replacement cost was $219,253.30. However, the carrier then subtracted significant amounts from their own expert’s estimate and applied a 50% depreciation – leaving only $94,456.78 for the claim.
C3 Group’s estimate for full roof replacement was for $293,015.22. The carrier refused to negotiate further and twice threatened to bring the claim to appraisal.
In an effort to bring the claim to a fair resolution, C3 Group asked the carrier to have the roof independently bid by a neutral third party. C3 Group offered to accept the bid of the neutral third party, regardless of the result. The carrier ignored this possible resolution. On behalf of the insured, C3 Group then invoked the appraisal process that the carrier had already threatened to use twice before to seek resolution to the claim.
See all the info for yourself here.
This was the email the carrier’s attorney sent back in response to the appraisal request:
Attorney Bulling Despite Clear Facts Carrier Was Wrong
A year after the carrier paid the initial settlement of $2,401.35 their own experts confirmed that the entire roof needed to be replaced due to hail damage and the cost would be over $200,000 – more than one hundred times what they initially paid. Failure to accurately pay the claim forced the policyholder to hire a public adjuster which was then threated and used against them.
Creating Additional Challenges
In a separate letter, Mr. Badger named the appraiser AND also informed the policyholder that coverage would be contested if the appraisal process is continued. However, this should not be the case. The carrier waived their rights to contest coverage when they made the first payment on the claim – it was undisputed, without release or qualification and for a full roof replacement. He then went on to suggest that if the policyholder would like to proceed with the claim without a “lengthy resolution process” that the carrier remains open to an amicable resolution.
It is unfair this information was presented to a policyholder who was unaware that the carrier may not be able to contest their rights to the claim due to a lack of insurance law. This comes across as an additional attempt at bullying the policyholder into accepting a lower claim payout.
Have You Seen Similar Intimidation Attempts?
If you have experienced similar tactics or threats by any insurance company attorney, please reach out to us and tell us your story.