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Posted by Art Hall on September 26, 2001 at 23:54:24:
In Reply to: Re: Insurance Adjuster Standards for Hail Damage posted by Tony Braga on June 07, 2001 at 09:17:53:
Dear Tony and Richard,
I have testified as an expert in hail cases against insurance companies who cheat clients.
Two things that strike me as funny is that USAA had the opportunity to inspect your dwelling PRIOR to granting coverage. It was okay then or they wouldn't have taken your premium without advising you to fix or exclude the siding.
In many cases, if they forego the inspection and grant coverage, they are essentially saying everything is okay.
Find a REAL expert or public adjuster who can help fight this battle for you! A recent California survey revealed consumers with structural earthquake damage, received less than 50% of the settlements persons who did when they didn't trust their adjusters and got their own experts! Sad but true! What do you think that home will sell for if uyou decide to sell with dented siding? BTW, they CAN NOT penalize you for prior damage or hail with this lastest occurrence!
Was the USAA "shill" or tag-along expert an engineer or a contractor? If he was an engineer, USAA was reprimanded after Hugo for using engineers who weren't licensed in the states they were working. The letter I saw was from South Carolina in 1995.
One engineering company working for State Farm basically calls everything the same and State Farm knows they will in advance. A Texas court ruled you can't use an expert to evaluate a claim as a reliable disinterested third party if you already know what he will say on your behalf.
Court records show that on foundations, in 80 cases, that engineering firm found for the insurer 78 times AND the two engineers involved in the the only two "losses" were never allowed to look at foundations for State Farm again.
Art email firstname.lastname@example.org
: Re: Insurance Adjuster Standards for Hail Damage
: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 09:39:02 -0400
: Antone Braga
: Richard Lawhern
: Dear Richard, if your claim were just a matter of the amount of loss and not the issue of occurrence, you
: could resolve it through the appraisal process (a simple form of arbitration, although that has now been
: eliminated from many property policies). You mentioned that some of the conditions in your policy are
: different than those found at disasterprepared.net. There are a great many changes in wording taking place in most
: states that favor insurance companies. Far too many to list here. I've yet to find an authority who can tell
: me what states have adopted the newer wording. Some of these changes can be found at
: http://www.disasterprepared.net/board/messages/361.html The burden of proof is indeed on the policyholder.
: However, in the case of amount of loss that can be your strength. Good luck with resolving your claim to
: your satisfaction. With your permission, I would like to post this e-mail on our forum, so others can see
: some of the pitfalls in property claims.
: Best regards,
: Tony Braga
: Richard Lawhern wrote:
: Dear Tony,
: You wrote as follows:
: From: email@example.com (Tony Braga)
: To: firstname.lastname@example.org (R. A. Red Lawhern)
: Subject: Re: Insurance Adjuster Standards for Hail Damage
: Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2001 14:48:35 -0400(A copy of this message has also been posted to the following
: Have you thought of filing your formal claim, which starts the matter to
: resolution? Claim filing information is at
: I filed claim with USAA about seven months after the storm incident
that created the damage. The claim
: was denied based on the adjuster's assertion that the dimples in my aluminum siding are over two years
: old. I then filed request for reinspection, with a copy forwarded to the Virginia State Insurance
: Commission. When the second adjuster came out, he brought a witness with him. I'm almost surprised
: it wasn't a lawyer.
: The claim seems to resolve to one basic issue: USAA adjusters claim
that hail impacts to aluminum
: siding of sufficient force to dent the siding, will remove pre-existing oxidation in the deepest part of the
: dimples created by the impact. The oxidation on the dented wall of my house is uniform inside and
: outside of the impact pits. Therefore (the adjuster says) the damage is over two years old. However,
: neither of these two bozos could quote a published industry standard that establishes the factual basis for
: their assertion. I'm being told that I may have to hire an engineering firm to establish the basis for my
: claim. Burden of proof is on me.This kind of nonsense from USAA seems to have aggravated a lot of
: people in my area. 45 of them about 10 miles south of me have filed a class action suit against the
: company for improper denial of claims. I may end up joining their suit. If life wasn't interesting enough
: already, we had another hailstorm last week with half-inch hail accumulating up to 4 inches deep in 10
: minutes. This one flattened most of our garden flowers and left the siding un-dented, but speckled with
: dirt over two sides of the house. It will be interesting to see if USAA denies that this is
: "damage". Thanks for the link to the claims page. Some of the conditions of my policy are a bit
: different, but the cautions and reminders of the page are none the less helpful. Disgusted regards, R.A.
: "Red" Lawhern, Ph.D.
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