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Million Dollar Fine…

Hurricane Ian insurance claims

State Review Finds Hurricane Ian Claims Violated, Landing $1M Fine.

Hurricane Ian was more than just a storm; it was a trial of strength and unity for the people of Florida, leaving countless families and businesses grappling with damage. While Boltz Legal’s offices were spared direct impact, the hurricane deeply affected many of our friends, clients, and family members. Their experiences remind us that recovery is about more than rebuilding—it’s about ensuring that those entitled to insurance support receive it promptly and fully.

A glaring example of the challenges faced during this recovery came to light with a recent $1 million fine against Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Co. The penalty was imposed after a state review found that the insurance company violated requirements for handling insurance claims after Hurricane Ian. The violations included delays in acknowledging and processing insurance claims and lapses in maintaining accurate records.

The state review uncovered numerous violations in Heritage’s handling of Hurricane Ian insurance claims. Of the 324 claims reviewed, the company failed to acknowledge 98 claims within the 14-day period required by law. In 70 cases, they missed the 90-day deadline for paying or denying insurance claims, leaving homeowners and businesses in limbo. Furthermore, in 10 claims, the insurance company failed to maintain complete records.

The findings went beyond just timeliness. Investigators found that Heritage’s adjusters often did not provide proper identification and licensing information to policyholders, violating transparency requirements. Additionally, the company did not accurately calculate interest owed to policyholders and neglected to provide the “Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights,” which informs policyholders of their rights.

These regulatory findings are not just statistics; they represent real people whose lives and livelihoods were impacted by Hurricane Ian. Many Floridians were left desperate for timely insurance assistance to start rebuilding their homes and businesses. Instead, they encountered delays and frustration.

Although Boltz Legal’s offices were not directly affected, we have seen firsthand the emotional and financial toll that Hurricane Ian and subsequent insurance delays have taken on many of our friends, clients, and family members. Their pain and frustration have only strengthened our resolve to hold insurers accountable and ensure that all insurance policyholders receive the assistance they deserve.

At Boltz Legal, we understand the gravity of this situation because we live here, too. Rebuilding is not only about restoring physical structures but also about regaining a sense of security and stability. Many of our clients endured long periods of uncertainty, trying to navigate the insurance claims process while under immense stress.

In response to the findings, Heritage has agreed to pay the $1 million fine and implement significant changes. These include creating a “governance and compliance director” position to ensure adherence to claims requirements. Additionally, the company plans to use new claims-management software and ensure that adjusters follow the required protocols.

Despite these changes, Heritage and other insurance companies must be reminded of their responsibility to policyholders. Their actions should not only meet the bare minimum standards set by state laws but also strive to provide comprehensive support during the most challenging times.

The journey to recovery can feel overwhelming and disheartening, but it is crucial to hold insurers accountable. If you believe that your insurance claims were mishandled, delayed, or unjustly denied, we encourage you to reach out to us at Boltz Legal. Our team is committed to fighting for your rights and ensuring that insurance companies fulfill their obligations.

No one should have to face this process alone, especially when already grappling with the emotional toll of rebuilding after a disaster. As legal advocates, we stand ready to help you navigate the intricacies of insurance claims and pursue justice. Whether it’s your home, business, or community, we’re here to ensure you receive the support you’re entitled to.

At Boltz Legal, we are more than just your legal advocates; we are your partners in recovery. We understand that the road ahead is challenging, but through collective effort, we can hold insurers to their promises and ensure that no one is left behind in this process.

Today’s Insight:

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

— Epictetus

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