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Hurricane Sandy spotlights insurance disputes, bad-faith tactics

Some insurance industry commentators are noting that the full bag of insurers' tricks and strategies for denying, devaluing and misclassifying legitimate property insurance claims becomes most apparent in the aftermath of a major loss.

What they are referring to is disaster on a large scale, such as what is apparent in the wake of a tornado, hail storm or mudslide that affects hundreds, if not thousands, of insurance policy holders.

In a recent media article, they are most specifically referring to the epic storm named Sandy, which wreaked havoc over a large area of the country's eastern shoreline in October 2012. The American Insurance Association (AIA) estimates that nearly $19 billion in property losses resulted from the storm's unabated fury.

In Sandy’s case, affected policy holders amounted to far more than thousands of homeowners and other insured parties who suffered major property damage. In fact, the AIA estimates that approximately 1.58 million private insurance claims were filed following the storm.

Sadly, many claimants who fulfilled their part of the contract they entered into with insurers are still waiting for those companies to perform.

That is not surprising says one attorney representing clients who have outstanding claims. He says that insurers “have a systematic approach to delay, deny and underpay claims whenever a large loss occurs.”

Indeed, a major chapter of Sandy’s sad story seems to focus on denied claims and related machinations by insurers to avoid performance. The owner of an adjustment agency commenting on property losses in the wake of Sandy says that insurers “have found a way to do what they do best, which is minimize a claim.”

When that happens, adversely affected policy holders who have honored their contractual obligations can seek relief by securing representation from a proven claims denial law firm that knows how to spot and counter bad faith maneuvering by an insurance company.

That is the best way to level the playing field against a large company that is more concerned with its bottom line than it is with protecting the individuals and families it insures.

Source: Cherry Hill Courier-Post, "Blavat sues FEMA over damages at his Margate nightclub," Jim Walsh, March 19, 2014

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