One Yr Later: Reflections on Hurricane Ian and Its Aftermath | Property Insurance coverage Protection Legislation Weblog

Notice: This visitor publish is by Doug Quinn, American Policyholder Affiliation Government Director.

Hurricane Idalia swept by means of, forsaking its legacy. In its wake, Maui grappled with fires, Hurricane Lee stirred the Atlantic, the inventory market skilled fluctuations, and political factions continued their age-old dance of rivalry. Whereas seasons transitioned and we close to the anniversary of Hurricane Ian, the nation’s consideration has shifted.


But, for a lot of affected by Hurricane Ian, the traumatic reminiscences stay palpable. Distressingly, the Florida Workplace of Insurance coverage Regulation has been silent on declare statistics for this catastrophe since June—a three-month hiatus that beckons for transparency.

As per the final obtainable knowledge, virtually 200,000 insured survivors with broken properties acquired no payout. Zero. Having diligently paid premiums for years, these policyholders are grappling with agonizing delays.

The insurance coverage business’s response and irony is stark: delay claims indefinitely, but promptly cancel insurance policies for late premium funds. So, the place’s the accountability for late insurance coverage funds? And what about insurers utilizing third-party directors or engineering companies that could be producing misleading stories? How about these insurance coverage firms that acquire premiums solely to declare insolvency and shift the burden onto the taxpayers?

The place do policyholders flip if regulatory our bodies just like the Florida Division of Monetary Providers or the Workplace of Insurance coverage Regulation falter in addressing these issues?

Enter the American Policyholder Affiliation (APA)—the pioneering physique devoted to addressing, vetting, and reporting cases of insurance coverage fraud. Due to the APA, insurance coverage business whistleblowers have discovered a voice, revealing deceitful methods to attenuate payouts to catastrophe survivors.

How will you bolster the APA’s efforts? Right here’s how:

  1. Be part of the APA. Your membership amplifies our voice. Membership is free for shoppers, whereas professionals contribute dues to fund our mission. If you happen to’ve been helped by an APA-affiliated claims advocate or restoration skilled, a easy “thanks” goes a great distance.
  1. Converse out. Opposite to the business’s narrative that each one fraud targets insurance coverage firms, deceit permeates each aspect of the claims course of. Sadly, authorized actions typically appear tilted in favor of the insurers. APA has acquired a number of complaints of insurer-appointed engineers and third-party directors presumably compromising policyholder claims.
  1. Doc and retain proof. Fraud, at its core, is deliberate deceit for monetary acquire or loss prevention. Many Hurricane Ian survivors can attest to feeling shortchanged. If you happen to suspect fraud, submit your findings to the APA’s Client Safety Unit.
  1. Advocate for motion. Urge entities just like the DFS, OIR, State’s Lawyer, and Lawyer Basic’s workplace to behave on fraudulent practices and stop their recurrence.
  1. Vote correctly. Some officers may be influenced by insurer marketing campaign donations. Bear in mind those that genuinely supported the survivors when casting your vote.

Bear in mind, whereas life has resumed its tempo elsewhere in America, the Hurricane Ian zone stays trapped in time. Every day, somebody battles trauma, anxiousness, melancholy, or habit from this catastrophe. Some have even tragically taken their very own lives. Feeling remoted after going through a disaster and confronting an detached insurance coverage behemoth might be daunting. Nevertheless, know that the American Policyholder Affiliation champions your trigger day by day. You aren’t alone.

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