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Property Insurance Claims – Fair Or Unfair?
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Property Insurance Claims – Fair Or Unfair?

Insurance assessors, what is their job description Lion, Hyena, or Teddy bear?

Having just experienced the flooding of my property for the second time in ten years, I'm astounded by the treatment that certain insurance companies allot to the properties they insure.

The difference in the treatment received by house owners by different insurance companies, warrants a deeper investigation by the person requiring the insurance. My personal experience now questioning the company I chose.

The disaster that has just been experienced saw certain companies immediately visiting and attending to their customers needs, did mine? No it took them almost six weeks to visit the property. By this time the occupant will have cleaned up as much as possible to make the house occupationally practical, and re-erected fence lines so that pets contained within the property.

I immediately placed a claim via the internet, being faster than a phone call, and received notification of claim reference. Expecting that, as per the first flood, an assessor would be dispatched to record damage and see for themselves what the property looked like before clearing up started. Well that is what happened last time, when a different insurer was looking to their client.

The assessor when visiting to assess the claim completely astounded me. The main house treated differently to the out buildings. The house's walls internally repainted, yet the out buildings warranted as unnecessary. How can that be? Some internal doors showing wood detachment, replaced, yet others that show damage, not. Carpets replaced because they will rot, the skirting boards that have received the same damage that will, if not immediate, later rot, refused replacement.

Some companies supplied alternate accommodation whilst reparations undertaken, others, certainly not mine, not. Assistance to clean the debris brought down by a deluge of water given by some and not others. These very differences show the concern of some companies towards people, whilst others none at all. This should become of high priority when choosing a company to insure your property.

To list priorities when choosing a company, difficult, but I would recommend the following be questioned and investigated:

Does the insurers coverage meet with your needs?

Have they a record of good performance when claims made?

Is there a proven track record of understanding the insured requirements when disasters happen?

Is their policy aimed a saving themselves as much as possible, or understanding natural disaster are not brought about by their clients?

Insurance is expensive and when claims are fraudulent I can see the assessors work as being important, but in cases of natural disaster become a human being, and not a penny-pinching cheapskate.

Can you imagine a house hit by a tornado and razed to the ground, and the insurance assessor says “we are sorry but we are only going to rebuild you two rooms”. The autocratic behaviour of some of these self-serving, power-hungry individuals need to have their names as well as the companies for which they work exposed. I often wonder if they do not get a bonus for every cent they save at the cost of the disaster victim. (Hyenas)

Predators of a different kind that have this time gone one step too far.


Street Talk

It seems impossible to know how the company will behave until it's too late. After the floods in Brisbane and surrounds last year many faced similar challenges. I've heard of people's premiums going through the roof too after they've made the necessary claims. It was exacerbated by a dam being built that lulled people into believing the '74 floods would "never happen again". We, on the other hand, stayed high and dry and received a lovely letter from our insurance company telling us that because of the disastrous floods they were now going to cover us for this that and the other at no extra cost. Co-incidence? I think not! Now they know our property is 'safe' they're willing to promise us the world. Just gave a cynical smile and said "well thank you very much!"

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I have moments ago got off the phone to an apologetic insurance company requesting I stop with the harassment of all within the business as well as my writing to the press. All my claim is now being covered and as this is the case I said I will now write to the press telling them that they are now going to do what is fair. Naturally this will be written in such a way that they will still be shown as the Ogres that they are. It seems sad that once hit by a disaster you get those that attempt to screw you into the ground, they met their match in this old fart, article writing helped me here.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Having a big smile on your behalf! ;-)

  
  about 7 years ago

Rob, Youch! Bad enough to be flooded. Best wishes getting this resolved. Do you have the equivalent of an Insurance Commissioner? blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Yes Cynthia, if things don't happen that must we have an Ombudsman that we can approach, but publicity works wonders at the moment.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Joan S  

My insurance company is fine, unless you make a claim. They just want to collect the money from you. Make a claim, you get dropped. Even worse is medical insurance. I have a medical issue right now, and have been paying for it out of my own pocket because insurance wants to dictate treatment. I don't know what the answer is.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

It seems strange when they are selling it to you it is all rosy, till a claim lodged, then its a turn around. Well this lot with me are in for it. I must admit our medical is very good, with Linda's Cancer problems they just keep paying if it wasn't for them I'd be broke. I think over the last 18 years there have been payouts to the tune of R 650 000

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I lost most everything in 1990. Did not find out until years later that I could have challenged the insurance company's decision. In fact, it was apparently expected that we challenge the decision. What you don't know can hurt you. Don't know how it is where you live; my heart goes out to you and your wife and others affected.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks Sherry, this time they have my back up and they have just pushed the wrong nerve. Being like a lion with a sore head is not how they need to have me. They at this stage do not know what is awaiting them, fortunately I have collected all the data from others affected and who they are insured with and am prepared to go public. I have given them a week then all hell will break loose.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I have had nothing but headaches on the claims I had to file and I feel your pain. Good article.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks Shawn, some of them are bad.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I've never had to make a claim before. Maybe I should look into my insurance co's rep as far as natural disasters and other claims go. We've been with them for about 16 years w/o so much as a look into their customer service in a situation like yours.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

This has been an eye opener for me, when comparing the manner in which 100 odd houses have been handled.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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