The New York Times reported this week that lawyers representing New York
and New Jersey homeowners in first party insurance cases have identified
hundreds of engineering reports that they believe were doctored by insurance
companies seeking to wrongfully deny or underpay claims related to damages
caused by Hurricane Sandy. The state’s attorney general has launched
a criminal investigation, and FEMA is likewise conducting an inquiry.
Click here to read the New York Times article
In November 2014, a federal judge ordered the insurance carrier defendants
in over 1000 Hurricane Sandy cases to turn over all drafts of the engineering
reports they relied on in adjusting the claims at issue in the lawsuits.
It is in reviewing documents produced as a result of the judge’s
order that lawyers for the policyholders have identified, so far, more
than 500 reports they believe were altered by the insurance companies
in order to support wrongful denials of valid claims.
In one particularly egregious case, lawyers discovered correspondence from
an executive at the insurance carrier’s hired engineering firm instructing
employees to encourage engineers they hired to work on claims to falsify
documents because the engineers “made a lot of money working for
us during the storm season.” In another case – the case, in
fact, that led to the federal court order mentioned above – the
homeowner would never have discovered the malfeasance but for a chance
meeting with the engineer who originally assessed her property. The engineer
showed her his initial report that differed substantially from the final
version the insurance company used to deny the claim. Unfortunately, thousands
of homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy were not so fortunate; trusting
their insurance company to do the right thing, they accepted the carrier’s
initial settlement offer without challenging it.
None of this is surprising to the lawyers at Daly & Black, P.C. We
represent hundreds of policyholders all over the country. Every day, we
fight insurance companies who go to great lengths to avoid paying covered
storm damage claims even though their policyholders have faithfully paid
their premiums for years and who take advantage of homeowners who are
stressed and vulnerable after a traumatic event.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of making a storm damage
claim and your insurance company denies your claim or tells you certain
types of damage are not covered, don’t just take their word for it.
Click here to read the New York Times article then, contact us to help you get the
coverage you paid for and to which you are entitled. It does not cost
you a thing, and because we don’t recover a fee unless and until
you are compensated, we will be as motivated as you are to see the case
through to successful completion.