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Hurricane Sandy Victims Sue Insurers Over Falsification of Reports What Are Homeowners’ Remedies Against Insurers Who Alter Inspection Reports and Deny Liability?

Pekar Law, P.A. May 8, 2015

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 took many homeowners by surprise. Now many homeowners have had another unpleasant surprise-some insurance companies are refusing to pay what appear to be straightforward claims of flood damage. Often, the companies are citing engineers’ reports that may have been falsified to relieve insurers of responsibility.

In a typical case, insurers tell a homeowner that their devastated home suffered damage because of “long-term” problems rather than flooding from Hurricane Sandy. Often, the report of the inspector sent by the insurer confirms that all the damage was storm-related. But those reports are allegedly later doctored so that the insurer can deny the claim.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says it has begun working with insurers to get them to pay claims in full, including those of homeowners who did not sue. Though insurers process the claims, FEMA ultimately pays for them, and some homeowners hold FEMA responsible for their difficulties.

A spokesperson for Wright Flood, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, said that claims are not always clear-cut and may involve houses on substandard foundations subject to long-term erosion. Wright Flood is one of several companies being sued for doctoring inspectors’ reports to avoid having to make large payouts for homes that were inundated by flood waters. In court, a Wright Flood official refused to answer questions under oath, exercising his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Collecting on your property insurance claim can be an uphill battle. Pekar Law P.A. can help you win that fight. Experienced Tampa, Florida-based property insurance attorney Jeff Pekar has achieved results for clients with a wide variety of insurance claims. For a free initial consultation, call us today.