For anyone who has ever dealt with insurance companies knows that they can be very difficult to work with. They are always very eager to collect premiums, but when it comes time to settle a claim they are generally not as eager. For this reason they have developed a reputation with many people that is less than positive. It can be very frustrating when a consumer pays insurance premiums in good faith for many years, and then when something happens the insurance company does not step up and do the right thing.
This hit a new low after Hurricane Sandy. There have been several class action lawsuits filed by homeowners and business owners in the Northeast as a result of insurance companies not paying claims on damages resulting from the hurricane. This is truly a tragic circumstance. Even the government has been dragged into this lawsuit. These victims are at their most vulnerable point, indeed assistance for the most basic needs, such as food and housing.
Unfortunately, this can be very typical of the way many insurance companies operate. When a claim is filed they often pull out the 50 page policy, and start going through the fine print to look for ways to avoid paying the claim. It is one thing to be dealing with a claim for a fender bender on your car, but it is a whole other thing to be fighting for a claim to be honored when you’re dealing with your own home. This class action lawsuit, from what we have researched, is fully warranted and has a great deal of merit. These insurance companies should be held to account and honor the contracts that they have entered.
There are a number of ways to protect against insurance companies not properly honoring your claim:
- Make sure you hire an insurance agent who look out for your best interest
- Make sure you take pictures of all of the property that you have ensured
- Make sure you have serial numbers for each item that has a serial number
- Once a year review your policy with your agent to make sure everything is current
These are just some of the steps that you can take to make sure that you have done everything possible to protect your home, your property, and yourself. Make no mistake, there are plenty of insurance companies out there who will take advantage of clients if they make a mistake, or if they do not have all of their affairs in order.
Hopefully some good will come out of this class action lawsuit in the Northeast and has been filed to protect the interests of hurricane victims. It would be a great thing if legislation is passed whereby other insurance companies have to be held to a higher standard, in order to protect consumers who are paying insurance premiums in good faith.
Again, make sure you review your policy on a frequent basis to ensure your interests are protected. Also let your agent know that if things are not done correctly you hold him or her responsible as well. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to really put pressure on people in order for them to do their job correctly. There’s no business where this is more true than the insurance industry.
I am not a huge fan of Michael Moore, but I always do have a sense of appreciation for how he looks out for the consumer and the general public and their frequent fight against large corporations, insurance companies, and other agencies that will take shortcuts and use loopholes to damage decent, hardworking people. His movie about the health insurance industry was a wake-up call and really highlighted the greed and excess and that many of these companies operate with. And there’s no better way than a class action lawsuit to keep them all honest.
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