Home Owners Claims Being Denied

Home owners in Benbrook, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Dallas, Fort Worth, Azle, Aledo, and other places in Texas need to know about what is happening with home owner insurance claims across the nation. Being informed helps you keep your “guard up” when dealing with a home owners claim.
The Washington Post ran an article on August 17, 2010, dealing with policyholders having their home damage claims being denied. The author of the article is Greg Risling and the title of the article is “Suit: Farmers Hasn’t Paid California Wildfire Claims.”
The lawsuit that this article is about was filed in Los Angeles. In the lawsuit it is alleged that Farmers Group Inc. is refusing to pay claims to policyholders whose homes were damaged in last summer’s massive Station Fire.
The lawsuit, which alleges breach of contract and violations of the state’s unfair business practices, seeks unspecified damages for more than 1,000 homeowners who reported smoke, ash, and other damages from the blaze. This fire killed two firefighters, destroyed 89 homes and burned 250 square miles of Angeles National Forest.
The attorney for the plaintiffs in this lawsuit says that Farmers denied or minimized the claims to boost its bottom line. He also said that the average loss to the homeowners named in the lawsuit was $25,000 to $50,000.
A spokesman for Farmers says they cannot comment on the lawsuit because they have not actually received the lawsuit papers. As of the date of the article the Department of Insurance in California had not commented either.
Other insurance companies including Farmers were accussed of similar practices after the 1994 Northridge earthquake that killed 72 people and caused an estimated $15.3 billion in damages.
As for the current claim against Farmers, it appears most other insurance companies have paid claims.
In the lawsuit, Farmers is accused of hiring biased consultants to deny or undercut claims as well as being unreasonable in its claims adjustment practices. The result is that plaintiffs and other insureds are cheated of money that is rightfully owed to them .
The article gave one example of one of the plaintiffs. His name is Russell Reed, a 55 year old who lives in the Altadena community which is near the site of the fire. He had damage to his home and a layer of ash and debris a foot deep in his pool that clogged drains and became a nuisance for weeks. Agents of Farmers came out and told him he was not eligible to receive any money. What Reed says is something an experienced Insurance Law Attorney hears all the time. “I’ve been a good customer of Farmers for a long time. The one time we have a major catastrophe, Farmers doesn’t want to assist me.