aftermath of the damage Hurricane Matthew caused in the Southeast, attorneys worked through NorthCarolinaFloodClaims.com to put together a
free Skype presentation Nov. 7 given by prominent insurance lawyer J.R.
Whaley to help these flooded areas recover.
presentation took place at the Quality Inn & Suites in Tarboro, but was
also available online via live webinar for those who couldn’t attend. The Whitley Law Firm and Crouse Law Offices of Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Law
Office of Thomas L. Young of Tampa, were co-hosts for the presentation.
Part of the
discussion focused on how homeowners could recover from losses suffered through
hurricane. Whaley offered a preview of what Matthew victims should
expect during the next few months, based on his experiences following the disaster in Baton Rouge. Prior to the event, Whaley said Louisiana companies were consistently offering at least 50 percent less than what
independent adjusters actually think the losses will be. It’s a heads up for Matthew victims when they deal with their own
insurance claims negotiation process.
total loss was estimated to be more than $30 billion, recent Matthew
damage was estimated to be somewhere between $3 and $6 million. Although that
fell well below the estimated damage, it doesn’t bring much solace to flooded
homeowners, especially when this damage isn’t covered by conventional homeowner
raised by Tom Young was how quickly insurance company’s
wanted to get in touch with insureds and schedule adjuster visits. On the
surface, it sounds like a good thing that insurance companies want to help
victims get their settlement quickly, but Young said it’s only a good if the fast offer is fair, which isn’t always the case.
obsession with speed will likely lead to errant estimates from insurance
company adjusters,” Young said. “And while most adjusters employed by insurers
are honest operators, the simple fact is they are paid by companies that want
to minimize their claims-paid exposure. All things being equal, human nature
says that these insurance company employed adjusters may err on the side of a
“[To help insure a fair offer people should] call their insurance company, ask the
company to send out an insurance adjuster from the company to review the damage
and the potential claim,” Florida Justice Reform Institute President William
Large told the Florida Record.
Young suggested that rather than jump at the first offer, the insured should
remember the settlement process is a negotiation and they should consider
getting second and even third opinions.
insurance company employed adjusters have a natural bias toward minimizing
claims or simply make mistakes when rushing to visit and evaluate thousands of
structures, the policyholder must remain vigilant,” he said.
contractor came to you and said, ‘this is how much it’ll cost to fix this
repair,’ call your insurance company,” Large said. “Have your insurance company
call an adjuster and review that number and the damages.”