We recently heard about an insurance agent who was convicted of wire fraud and money laundering after he sold fraudulent insurance policies to his clients.[i] This agent collected insurance premiums from his clients, but never obtained insurance coverage for them. Instead, he kept the money for himself. From the property owner’s perspective, everything seemed legitimate including the copies of documents that referenced insurance policies that did not exist. This fraud scheme lasted for over 8 years, in which over $4.8 million was taken from clients for policies that did not exist. The crimes did not go unpunished, however. He was sentenced to 168 months in prison for what he had done.[ii] He was also ordered to pay restitution to his victims.
How do you know if you have a reputable insurance provider?
Conduct a reputation audit:
- Check Google reviews. Are they positive? If there are negative reviews, what do they say?
- Check the Better Business Bureau for information and reviews on the insurance company you are considering. Are there consumer complaints? If so, did the company resolve them?
- Check references. Ask for a reference list from the insurance company and/or ask your friends on social networks like Facebook and NextDoor to provide insights on the company.
Check the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for information and whether consumers have filed complaints against the insurance company you are considering.
Did you get a bad apple?
In 2022, nearly 38,000 complaints were filed against insurance companies related to homeowners insurance, alone.[i] For all types of insurance, NAIC reports that consumers complained the most about:
- Delays in handling claims
- Denial of claims
- Unsatisfactory settlement/offer
- Poor claim handling by the adjuster
- Lack of prompt payment
If you have experienced any of these issues with your home insurance provider, you are not alone.
What to do if your insurance provider has mistreated you:
If handled properly, a wrongfully denied claim could potentially be overturned into a paid claim, and unsatisfactory offers may be overcome with an expert on your side.
If you’re experiencing a delay in claims handling, you should know that Florida has specific timelines insurance companies must abide by:
- How Long Does It Take for an Insurance Claim to Be Approved in Florida?
- Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights
If you are having trouble with a residential or commercial property insurance claim or need help with a new claim, contact us for immediate assistance. We have staff members in place, all experts in their job roles, from estimating your damage and monitoring the claims process to getting you paid fast. We’re here to help.