“Should there be national reform of natural disaster insurers? Support your argument using a common issue below.”

COMMON ISSUES:

When policyholders have disputes with their insurers, the insurance companies have a considerable advantage. Since the company’s lawyers wrote the policies they sell, they always contain loopholes that favor insurers and hurt policyholders. Some common issues include:

  • Flood Damage: Most insurance policies address flood losses in very narrow terms. For example, these policies usually exclude natural flood damage. So, insurance adjusters frequently conclude that flood damage was natural if there was heavy rain in the area, even if the evidence indicates otherwise.
  • Fire Damage: The collateral effects of a fire, mostly smoke and water, often cause more damage than the flames themselves. Once again, narrowly interpreted policy clauses often exclude such damage claims.
  • Storm Damage: Insurance companies notoriously look for the cheapest available fix. For example, adjusters often only approve roof patch jobs after a severe hailstorm when a new roof would be a much better solution.

Many insurance companies use events that affect hundreds or thousands of policyholders as an excuse to delay their investigations. The law does not allow this. Insurance companies must always live up to their legal and financial responsibilities.

When affected businesses filed interruption claims, insurance companies almost universally denied them. Depending on one’s perspective, these denials either kept insurance companies financially afloat during a difficult time or made the economic catastrophe even worse for small businesses. 

 

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