Homeowners hit with high insurance deductibles

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Homeowners hit with high insurance deductibles

Unread postby RatPak11 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:37 am

http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/ ... cdd5f.html

Homeowners hit with high insurance deductibles to repair damage from Ike

09:41 PM CDT on Monday, September 29, 2008
By Wendell Edwards /

ATASCOCITA, Texas—Hurricane Ike hit the Greater Houston area hard, but now some homeowners are getting slammed again – this time, by their insurance companies.

Many of those with damage from the storm are learning their deductibles have doubled.
Dorothy Hodge is in that boat.
A 100-year-old tree in her backyard was leveled during Ike, possibly cracking the foundation of her Atascocita home.
“We’ve never had damage like this before. It was a big shock,” Hodge said.
When Hodge checked out her insurance deductible, it was twice what she expected to pay.
Instead of $1,900, Hodge will have to come up with $3,800 for the repairs.
Turns out, her insurance policy with Allstate has a tropical cyclone deductible.
“It’s not fair. We pay all these premiums over the years, and when you really need it, they double it,” Hodge said.
The tropical cyclone deductible applies specifically to damage caused by a hurricane. And it’s not just Allstate – this is happening industry wide.
Insurance officials said it’s a way for companies to manage their risk while controlling their cost.
In a statement, the Southwestern Insurance Info Service said “insurers base their rates on operating expenses” and must mitigate their “exposure potential for future predicted losses.”
Roofer Lewis Blackstone said that kind of deductible shocker hurts his business, too.
“The money we give them to set aside to insure that it’s there, when we have something like this happen and they aren’t going to insure it, then why have insurance,” Blackstone said.
Hodge wonders the same thing.
But for now she’s stuck in a home she’s lived in for 30 years, hoping she can afford to repair it.

Comments:

Most Recent Comments: 15
gofer less than one minute ago wrote:
Not a surprise. Texas has to sue them every year to pay their bills. Shows how you are in good hands huh. If FEMA turns anyone down, keep on filing. They will be like an insurance company and not pay unless they have to. People wonder why others can't pay their mortgage.

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endersgame less than one minute ago wrote:
Thanks UTmom...I have forwarded on your blog entry to several friends....at least they can be aware of the pitfalls.
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UTmom 5 hours ago wrote:
WARNING: You may wish to hire an independent adjustor, rather than trust the one who is working for the benefit of your insurance company. When I was burned out of my home in Austin 8 yrs ago, I was insured by SENTRY and their adjustor (GLENN WHATLEY with THE LITTLETON GROUP) recommended I use BLACKMON MOORING to do the “pack-out.” I fired BLACKMON MOORING after I realized they had thrown out, destroyed, and flat out stolen a great deal of my property. But guess what? They got paid over $7,000 anyway!! Likewise, CELEBRITY CLEANERS, in cahoots with BLACKMON MOORING, also got paid in excess of $6,000 for cleaning some of my clothes, roughly a closet full (roughly $8 per item, and did a really crappy job). Then I hired AAA ACTION RESTORATION to take over from BLACKMON MOORING. They picked up my furniture from an abandoned warehouse, where BLACKMON MOORING had simply left it after I fired them. By then, my furniture had also received substantial water damage from being left in the abandoned warehouse where the roof leaked. AAA ACTION then charged me over $8,000 for restoration. When I asked each company for an itemized statement of their charges, all 3 companies refused. When I asked my insurance company (SENTRY) for such itemized statements, guess what ---- SENTRY also refused, claiming I didn’t have a right to them since SENTRY was paying “policy limits” anyway. So, do you think maybe there were a few kick-backs going on in all of this mess???

ALSO, a word about leasing a place. You should become familiar with the Texas Property Code, in particular Sections 92.106 through 92.109 ---- tenant’s rights. During the 10 months it took for my home to be restored, I had to lease 2 houses. The first landlord renigged on extending the lease after the initial term, when it took over 6 months longer to restore my home than I had expected. Both the 1st and 2nd landlords of the houses I leased attempted to keep my lease deposit!!

And if your wondering what SENTRY’s insurance adjustor did throughout all of this –– not a damned thing to help me!!!!

To this day, I still wish I had filed suit against at least BLACKMON MOORING, after certified letters to all companies involved went totally ignored by all of them. But by then, I just didn’t have enough fight left in me to follow through on protecting myself through the only legal recourse left to me.

I hope someone out there reading this will be able to benefit from the unfortunate situation in which I found myself. Get everything in writing up front. Put all requests in writing and send them Certified Mail/Return Receipt Requested. Keep detailed notes of any conversations and follow them up with written confirmation, sent CM/RRR. My prayers are with you.

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sandra01 7 hours ago wrote:
I couldn't agree more with the comments made in this report. I honestly believe that people who maintain homeowners, because "by law" we have to, are penalized the most. Why is it that FEMA will help all those without, or who don't take care of their business? And those who do take care of their business, by maintaining what they are "required to do" get penalized? Really, what we have paid into our homeowners insurance should account for something. Just because we make a little bit more than the minimums set by FEMA, should not eliminate us from the equation. Most people who have felt the effects of IKE will most likely have to take out loans to help pay deductibles. A lot of people are not prepared, or in a position to do that. -- Once again, the system supports those who don't, and ignores those who do. --Personally, I think FEMA should support the situation by paying deductiles for those who do have homeowners... Aren't they supporting those who don't?

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ifyouaskme 9 hours ago wrote:
Years ago, my professor opened the first session of his Insurance Law course with this admonition: "Remember this, even if you forget everything else you hear me say for the rest of the semester---insurance companies exist NOT to pay claims." He was a smart man, not to mention a seasoned insurance company defender, so I paid attention . . . and remembered.
ifyouaskme

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shookmeup2 9 hours ago wrote:
My elderly, disabled mother-in-law has major damage to her home sustained during Ike. A, tree fell on the back of her home crushing the electrical box, the roof has major damage, phone lines, mold, I'm sure whenever it rains in the near future, it will be raining thru her roof. The sheetrock has fell in as well. FEMA, denied her claim. Based on the small amount of Insurance she does have on her home. Where is the HELP we were promised. Her home is in desperate need of repair. And she lives on a fixed monthly income. Makes you wonder what is the point of paying Insurance for 30+years. What is FEMA doing with the money and how do you qualify for the so-called HELP????????


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cg44 9 hours ago wrote:
Our #1 mistake is not reading, sure you can blame the insurance company, but the bottom line is to read what you purchase, buying an insurance policy means buying a car, you are not going to buy something that you don't know how it works, yes insurance is crazy but as long as you read it then you will understand it, all I ever hear is " I'm covered and have insurance" not true a policy only covers certain things that YOU pay for each month, they are not standard policies that cover any and all and unless you READ it you will never know.

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momma 10 hours ago wrote:
It is so crazy right now, just trying to get the help to move out of your torn up home, it hard, I have Balboa Insurance, and they expect me to come up with the money for movers, packers,boxes and storge out of my own pocket and wait for them to give me the money back. Pay for Emergancy Repairs to Cover the Roof, and Emergancy Electrical Repairs all while they take there time to decide what they want to pay me, when they want to pay me!


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Highballin 10 hours ago wrote:

You should never trust Insurance salesmen A used car salesman will not even trust them.Some of these companys have lawers hired to tell them how to write policys not to lose money but to make money.Read the fine print if you can find it.

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heidi 11 hours ago wrote:
Why do you waste viewer's time reporting stories of local homeowners who cannot read their insurance policy? The lady in this story even had her policy for the camara to view, and it stated right on it that she had a higher deductible for this kind of occurance. Please don't make us watch stories that are not informative or interesting, and are just laughable! I give this reporter an "F" for a lame job today, and the lady has no complaint against her insurance company. What ARE YOU THINKING AIRING THIS STUFF??????? I cannot bear to watch anymore!!!!!!!!


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endersgame 12 hours ago wrote:
We had Farmers and have had 5 visits from them so far. We lost our roof and the house has about $120,000 in damage. They have been terrific and helpful. We were fully aware of our policy and so far the whole process has been fine. We were worried hearing of horror stories by many....but I am not seeing it.

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k12345 12 hours ago wrote:
I'm not saying that all insurance companies are fair, because many are not. But don't be stupid and READ YOUR POLICY when you get it, not just when you want to file a claim. You need a windstorm policy to protect you in the case of a hurricane. Regular insurance will not cover you. Use some common sense!!


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bdsecurity 12 hours ago wrote:
oops you had it over insured or you had it under insured but never ever insured just right. oh by the way we need to see proof you even had any personal belonging,a recipe maybe, we just can't take you at your word.

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CommDiver 12 hours ago wrote:
Give me a break. The double deductible is clearly spelled out in the contracts. Shame on her (or anyone else who complains) for not reading their policies. All this crybaby stuff is worse than the storm.

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jak daniel 12 hours ago wrote:
that is so par for Allstate. Hartford is the best. This happened to many when Katrina and Rita hit. I expected as much here.So many insurance companies refuse, refuse, refuse to pay hoping many will go a long. Get an attorney and get what is yours.
RatPak11
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Re: Homeowners hit with high insurance deductibles

Unread postby zeib10 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:48 pm

Just as UTMom stated, if you are having any issues with your insurance company, get help. You should get a Public Adjuster to help you out. I am a Public Adjuster licensed in Pennsylvania but can contact some people if you need help in Texas.

For those of you that are not aware, there are 3 types of adjusters:
1- Insurance Adjuster - They are there to deny or minimize your claim.
2- Independant Adjuster - They are working for the insurance company and also try to deny or minimize your claim.
3- Public Adjuster - Works for the homeowner and takes a variable % of what you get from your insurnace company.
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