A class action law suit was filed in federal court last week alleging Selective Insurance Company cheated Sandy victims by deliberately excluding sales tax from their estimates, and deceiving their customers in the process.
As I've previously reported, many property owners who suffered Sandy damages were victimized twice, once by the storm, and again by their flood insurance company, when engineering reports were systematically altered to deny or limit coverage.
Well now it seems, the altered engineering report scandal may not be the only deceptive method used by insurance companies to minimize Sandy claim pay-outs. The class action suit, filed by the Merlin Law Group, claims that Selective Insurance Company knowingly excluded sales tax from estimates, but told policyholders that is was included in their settlements.
When an insurance company writes a repair estimate it is all but impossible for the average homeowner to determine exactly what is, and what is not included. Accordingly, the policyholder depends on the insurance company to tell the truth, to offer enough to repair the damage, and to include everything necessary to reach a realistic dollar value settlement.
If Selective deliberately excluded applicable sales tax to minimize claim pay-outs, then deceived their policyholders by lying and telling them it was included, it is yet another example of reprehensible behavior by an insurance company to cheat their customers, and to save huge sums of money in the process.
It's far beyond the boundaries of fair claim negotiation when an insurance company deceptively minimizes claim pay-outs, especially when the property owner has no way of knowing they've been cheated. So many Sandy victims were left with no choice but to abandon their homes because their claim settlements were not adequate to restore their damages. I expect this law suit to again expose what can go wrong when a policyholder is not properly represented following a loss to their home or business.
Don't take any chances following damage to your property, consult with the professionals at Richard Green and Son Public Adjusters.
Remember, your insurance company protects you from disaster, and we protect you from your insurance company.