Insurance Playing Games

Most people in Weatherford, Aledo, Azle, Willow Park, Hudson Oaks, Springtown, Millsap, Brock and other places in Parker County probably already know this but here goes. Did you know an insurance company will play games with you that are designed to separate you from money to which you are entitled.
The answer to the above is illustrated by Reuters article that was on line recently. The title of the article is, “As Weather Gets Biblical, Insurers Go Missing.” The arthur is Matt Stroud. The article tells us how insurance companies are playing games with insurance policies when weather gets bad. For example, many homeowners get hit with the loss of their insurance policies after making claims resulting from weather disasters.
A person in Springfield, Massachusetts, a retired school teacher, found broken windows, missing siding, and a damaged roof after a recent tornado. Her insurance company offered to pay for one window and some of the siding. It ended up taking her nine months and working with an independent adjuster, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, and a mediation before getting compensated.
Insurance companies are raising rates, cutting coverage, balking at some payouts, and generally shifting more expense and liability to homeowners.
“Insurance companies have significantly and methodically decreased their financial responsibility for weather catastrophes like hurricanes, tornados and floods in recent years,” according to the Consumer Federation of America,
What needs to be realized by consumers is that the insurance companies largely agree with the above statement. A spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, an industry trade group, says, “Insurers have taken a step back to assess whether or not they can absorb severe losses.”
Insurance companies have gone as far as pulling out of states that are prone to weather disasters.
As an example, Allstate pulled out of North Carolina, after Hurricane Ike last summer unless insurance contracts on homes are bundled with auto policies.
Alfa Mutual Group has announced it will not be renewing Alabama property insurance policies.
Lots of insurers have chosen to pull out of Florida, going back many years. Florida has the second highest rates in the country with an annual average of $1,460. Guess who is the highest? Texas, with rates at $1,511.
In Florida, the state has had to step in to cover properties via its publicly funded Citizens Property and Insurance Corporation.
Even where companies are not leaving states at will, many opt to drop coverage on individual homes and customers, particularly those that are more prone to file claims.
One way of fighting back is actually pretty simple. Shop around.
Many customers find better coverages and at lower prices by shopping around and staying with the same company all the time with the feeling that you are dedicated to those particular insurers.
The insurance companies take the position that they are managing their risk. This position may make sense in some situations. However, it is important to realize that the insurance company is still liable for any loss that occurs while the policy is in force. Just keep in mind that because of the loss that occurred, there are two bad possible follow ups by the insurance carrier. One is to choose to cancel or non-renew the policy. The other is to significantly raise the rates being charged.
One big way to get assistance in shopping for a new policy for both lower rates and better coverage, is to seek out an independent agent. It is probably obvious that an Allstate agent is going to push Allstate policies and that State Farm agents are going to push State Farm policies. This is some times confusing in that the respective agent says he will shop around. All the agent is actually doing is looking at couple of other policies that their respective company may have and or changing the coverages.
Whenever something “doesn’t seem right” contact an Insurance Law Lawyer for advice.

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