Insurance issues after Hurricane Ian

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Insurance problems persist while the six-month anniversary of Hurricane Ian quickly approaches.

So many people are having trouble as a fraud investigation is underway against multiple insurance carriers. The investigation is for not fulfilling their obligations to pay out claims to policy-holders.

WINK News has repeatedly heard people say they’re getting shortchanged on the money they need to rebuild.

Wednesday night WINK News has learned the state is looking into a new type of insurance fraud, not people trying to defraud the insurance companies but rather insurance companies changing claims to pay out less.

James Shaw lost his home during Hurricane Charlie and then again during Hurricane Ian.

“I’ve been out of it for going on five months now,” Shaw said. “The ceiling collapse, water just started flooding in, I have to grab containers to try to keep the water from going all over the place.”

Shaw said his insurance company paid him less than a quarter of what it will take to make his home livable again.

“If you see something’s happened and you know that you haven’t paid enough money, why won’t you honor the policy and give them money out so we can move back into my home,” Shaw asked.

Shaw’s experience is the kind of story public adjuster, Blake Day, hears regularly.

“Now what we have during this storm, is this is kind of running rampant right now we’re seeing homeowners by the day that come out here, and they say hey, our field adjuster we spoke to on the phone, he said that he put in for all of my damages my roof, my pool cage, my estimate doesn’t reflect that what happened,” Day said.

He said homeowners are noticing their settlement offers are far lower than what the licenced insurance adjuster estimates for damages. And in some cases, he said the adjuster’s reports are being altered, dropping the payout offers.

“I’m getting referrals. And other people like me are getting referrals from insurance adjusters who are telling homeowners, hey, you’re not going to be treated correctly, be ready and start researching for a good public adjuster and attorney, you will need one which that we’ve never seen that before,” Day said.

Day explained most companies have a digital ledger that policy-holders don’t have access to. It tracks adjuster estimates and can show how the estimates have changed or been altered from start to finish.

“If I still had access like I used to when I worked on the carrier side, I can see what the first adjuster wrote, I can see what the desk adjuster changed, I can see what the new reinspection adjuster added in or took away. All of that’s available,” Day said.

“I’m honoring my part of the contract, I need you to honor your part,” Shaw said.

Click here if you have evidence of potential fraud and want to file a claim.

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