- On February 28, 2020
Earlier this month the IA Supreme Court ruled that a roofing contractor’s AOB contract was void and unenforceable because the roofing company violating UPPA laws. Read the court files and verdict here.
Threats of UPPA violations, whether perceived or actual, against contractors, are becoming all too common. We believe that this is the absolute WORST way to ensure policyholders are fairly paid and UPPA laws do nothing except protect insurance carriers and their pocketbooks.
The purpose of this post is to shed light on the hidden interests and agenda of NAPIA specifically and how case rulings like 33 Carpenters Construction INC., vs Stare Farm Life and Casualty Company hurt policyholders.
How UPPA Hurts Policyholders
The case of 33 Carpenters Construction INC., vs Stare Farm Life and Casualty Company and others like it show how disadvantaged policyholders are in the claims process. Here are just a few things to keep in mind:
- Homeowners are not roofing professionals – many have no idea what hail damage looks like, how to tell if their roof is damaged or how soon after a hailstorm their roof may need to be replaced
- Homeowners are not insurance claims professionals – studies estimate that over 50% of policyholders don’t know what they are covered for, insurance policy contracts are known to be the most complicated type of contract out there and some require a PhD to understand.
This case is NOT Contractors vs. Public Adjusters. It is NAPIA/State Farm/Defense Attorneys -vs- CONSUMERS.
The homeowners in this case did what they thought was best based on the information they were provided – their roof and siding was damaged due to hail and needed to be replaced and filed a claim with their insurance company, State Farm. The homeowner’s chose to sign an AOB contract and have the work performed by 33 Carpenter’s Construction.
The fact that State Farm paid supplement invoices TWICE prior to saying 33 Carpenter’s Construction was acting as a Public Adjuster shows that at some point the claim itself was either improperly investigated or undervalued at some point by State Farm.
Had 33 Carpenter’s Construction not supplemented the claim for what was fairly and accurately owned under the policy would the homeowner’s home been properly repaired? Maybe but maybe not. The scariest part is that they may never know the difference!
Homeowners are at a major disadvantage in the claims process. With limited knowledge of what their policy even covers let alone what hail damage looks like they choose and trust experts to assist with the process. The only recourse a policyholder has if they feel their claim is being undervalued is to hire an outside expert and pay the associated costs OR sign an AOB contract. If they choose the former, they are out of pocket those costs.
It’s worth noting that there is no mention anywhere in the Supreme Court ruling that 33 Carpenter’s Construction was taking advantage of the policyholder. There was no mention that that claim increase was unjustified.
Make no mistake, we do not advocate for improper claim inflation. We do not advocate for the use of unlicensed experts. We fight for a fair and balanced system that ensures policyholders are not taken advantage of in the claims process. Case rulings like this one alongside the use of UPPA laws do not allow for that to happen.
At C3 Group We Believe:
- UPPA should NOT be used as an excuse for insurance carriers to improperly investigate, assess damage or pay a claim.
- UPPA laws should not be used as gag orders to prevent critical information from being discussed in the claims process.
- Insurance carriers should be required to properly asses damages and apply coverage – including knowing specific code upgrades and matching regulations
- No policyholder should have to foot the bill for insurance carrier mistakes
Do you agree with existing UPPA laws? Join the conversation and tell us what you think on Facebook.