Undervalued Claims & Unfair Settlements

Following a massive storm such as Hurricane Sandy, insurance companies may not have enough appraisers to handle the influx of claims received.  As a result, they’ll often hire appraisers from other areas of the country to help.

Unfortunately, these appraisers, sometimes referred to as storm troopers, often do much more harm than good.  They work long days and may rush through appraisals. They don’t understand the local housing market or the actual cost of repairs. They are often instructed to undervalue claims – providing the insurance company with a seemingly legitimate cause to delay the claims process and frustrating policyholders into accepting unfair settlements.

Has this happened to you? Turn to the experienced insurance lawyers at Belluck & Fox LLP. Led by Joe Belluck and Jordan Fox, our law firm stands up for Hurricane Sandy victims in New Jersey and New York. We are helping storm victims in Staten Island, Long Island and the Jersey Shore.

We have successfully fought insurance companies – and we have secured more than $500 million for our clients and their families.  Call 212-681-1575 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation. We’ll get started on your claim right away.

How Hurricane Damage Claims Are Undervalued

Undervaluing claims and issuing unfair settlements are common in the insurance industry.  While determining how much damage occurred, how it occurred and how much it will cost to fix should be fairly straightforward, it generally isn’t.  When you’ve suffered damage to your home, an insurance company will send out an appraiser to assess the damage.  However, the appraiser will generally undervalue the claim in the hope that the policyholder will simply accept the settlement to avoid further hassle.  This is commonly done by:

  • Valuing the cost of labor and supplies at pre-storm prices instead of taking into consideration the increase of both due to short supply after the storm
  • Miscalculating depreciation costs in the insurer’s favor
  • Failing to account for newer building code requirements that might affect rebuilding or repairing.

Insurance companies have used these tactics for years.  They were commonplace during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Sandy victims are now experiencing some of these same bad faith treatments.

An experienced bad faith insurance lawyer will be able to identify whether your appraiser was employed by the insurance company or was part of a storm trooper team sent in to undervalue your claim. This information can be used to fight on your behalf.

Justice is a phone call away. Call 212-681-1575 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation. We’ll get started on your claim right away. We accept claims from homeowners and businesses in New York and New Jersey, including the areas of Long Island, Staten Island and the New Jersey Shore.