Insurance company using unethical tactics on Hurricane Irma Claims

On September 10th, 2017, Hurricane Irma swept across South Florida, causing extensive damage to homes and businesses, especially those near the ocean and large bodies of water. Although some homeowners only experience down trees, and power outages. A large majority suffered roof damages and interior water leaks which insurance companies are trying every tactic possible, to avoid paying properly.

One Cutler Bay resident, hired two licenced roofers to inspect their home after noticing many broken and missing clay tiles after Hurricane Irma, hoping this would be a minor repair. Both roofers gave a written report stating “Altusa Clay tile made in Venezuela, is discontinued. Furthermore, this roof tile no longer has a Miami-Dade County approved Notice Of Acceptance (NOA)”. The building department would not approve a repair permit using old tiles, assuming they could be found, due to the expired NOA.

The current Altusa tile, now made in Honduras, has a different profile, dimension, and color. This means the Venezuelan roof tile will not interlock with the new approved Honduran tile due to the difference in size, and the color will not match. Keep in mind, the purpose of insurance is to Indemnify the homeowner to a pre-loss condition.

After filing a claim, and having a field adjuster inspect the property a couple weeks later. Their insurance company instructed them to hire and pay “iTel Laboratories” (their vendor) to see if this roof tile can be matched. They also provided a list of two roof tile “bone yards” in Orlando and Arizona, to see if their discontinued roof tile could be found. Partial payment was issued was 45 roof tiles, and incurred invoices for temporary repairs were ignored and underpaid as well.

An insurance company has an obligation to perform their due diligence, and to pay for their own claim investigation. Furthermore, an insurer has 90 Days to “pay or deny such claim or portion of the claim” in accordance with FL Statute 627.70131 (5)(a).

It has been over 120 days since Hurricane Irma hit, and this insurance company has still not issued full payment for the roof. Many other houses in this neighborhood, with the same exact roof tile, have already been paid for full replacement by their insurance company. Unfortunately, attorney’s had to be consulted, and a law suit was filed against this insurance company on January 11th, 2018. On February 26th, 2018, full roof replacement was agreed to by the insurance company, and the claim dispute was resolved.

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