Insurers Slashed Hurricane Ian Payouts Far Below Damage Estimates: Docs

"A Washington Post investigation has found that some policyholders had their claims cut by more than 80 percent".

"FORT MYERS, Fla. — When insurance adjuster Jordan Lee entered the cream-colored house battered by Hurricane Ian, the smell from the rain-soaked carpet made it hard to breathe. Piles of pink insulation covered the worn, white couches, he recalled, and poured from the collapsed ceiling, left gaping from the storm’s 150 mph winds. He photographed debris flecked on the carpet and walls, chunks of roof in the yard, and broken screens and gutters around a pool filled with palm fronds.

The home, which belongs to retired couple Terry and Mary Sebastian, sits on a canal in Rotonda West, Fla., a coastal community that bore the brunt of Ian when the storm made landfall on Sept. 28. The entire place would need to be dehumidified, the roof completely replaced, the insulation torn out and the tattered pool enclosure rebuilt. It would be about $200,000 to repair the damage, the licensed adjuster calculated in his estimate for Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Co.

But when Lee checked in on his report about 10 days later, his stomach dropped, he said. It had been drastically whittled down, with entire portions, such as the one detailing issues in the primary bedroom, removed. The amount of insulation that needed to be redone was cut by half, and his estimate now said one-third of the roof should be fixed, instead of it being fully replaced. The homeowners were slated to receive a total of $27,000. The changes were made without Lee’s knowledge or consent, he said, but his name was still on the final report, according to documents seen by The Washington Post."

Brianna Sacks reports for the Washington Post March 11, 2023.

Source: Washington Post, 03/13/2023