Denied Hurricane Insurance Claims are Nothing New

The attorneys at The Oshman Firm are committed to helping home and business owners in New York and New Jersey dealing with unscrupulous insurance companies in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. An unfortunate number of people are finding that their insurance company is denying damage-related claims that should be covered.

If anyone finds it hard to believe that an insurance company would take advantage of people in their time of need for boost their profit margins, just take a look at what’s happening in Texas.

Still Waiting — More Than 4 Years Later

Hurricane Ike ripped through parts of Texas and Louisiana in September 2008, causing an estimated $29.5 billion in damage. It is, to date, the third-costliest hurricane to hit the U.S., behind Katrina and Sandy.

Four and a half years later, some insured homeowners who saw their property damaged have still not been helped. In September of last year, almost exactly four years after the hurricane hit, state officials in Texas began a criminal investigation into State Farm Insurance over the company’s handling of hurricane-related claims.

Attorney: State Farm Saved $1 Billion at the Expense of Customers

According to lawsuits filed by Texas policy holders, State Farm established an internal policy to intentionally deny claims for roof damage caused by Hurricane Ike. Jim Warner, a homeowner in Missouri City, Texas, is one of those people suing the company.

Warner has always paid his insurance bill on time and had never filed a claim until his home suffered roof damage in the storm. He told ABC News last year that heavy winds from the hurricane shifted the shingles on his roof, breaking the waterproof seal and resulting in water damage that left the roof in need of replacement. State Farm, however, refused to consider this “damage.”

Warner’s attorney told ABC News that emails between executives at State Farm make it clear the policy of denial was deliberate and calculated. He estimated the denials saved State Farm roughly $1 billion.

Could This Happen in New York?

The damage estimate from Hurricane Sandy is more than twice that of Hurricane Ike. Already, we are hearing stories of insurance companies delaying, denying or underpaying claims from the homeowners who counted on them. Take one Staten Island couple whose home of 34 years was completely destroyed. Their insurance company, Allstate, offered them just $10,000 — and then put their devastated home on a TV commercial about the company’s service.

Contact Us Today and Get Help

See this blog for some tips on dealing with your insurance company if you’ve suffered losses from Hurricane Sandy. Contact us today if you believe your insurer has denied you the coverage you pay for. The attorneys at The Oshman Firm have gone toe-to-toe with big insurance companies on behalf of policyholders before, and we will do it again.


Ted Oshman has been with The Oshman Firm since 1988 serving clients for over 25 years. Learn more about Ted's background and featured practice areas here.

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