“Policyholders will likely be required to shoulder a larger responsibility in the investigation of their claim. The policyholder’s ability to document and establish their losses will be critical.” said Joshua Katz.
As if a pandemic, power outages and a devastating storm weren’t enough, businesses and homeowners may have to jump through even more hoops than usual to make insurance claims for damage caused by the derecho in early August.
According to a panel member of insurance executives in a recent webinar on the impact of hurricane season during the pandemic, many of the more seasoned insurance company claims adjusters will not go out into the field for fear of contracting COVID-19.1
“This is one of the first large scale insurance events under the new COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines. COVID-19 and the associated restrictions appear to be hampering the insurers’ ability to rapidly and properly inspect and adjust claims. A number of policyholders are still waiting for their insurer’s adjuster to visit their property,” said Joshua Katz, partner at Weisbrod Matteis & Copley’s (WMC) Washington, D.C. Office.
Jim Hood, former Mississippi Attorney General and current WMC counsel stated, “After battling the insurance industry after Katrina, I fear that Iowans will be left at the mercy of a B team of insurance adjusters. Storm victims will need to quickly document their damages with drones, pictures and lists of damaged items.”
“Policyholders will likely be required to shoulder a larger responsibility in the investigation of their claim. The policyholder’s ability to document and establish their losses will be critical.” said Katz.
“Given the sheer number and size of claims coupled with the COVID-19 restrictions, policyholders may want to hire technical experts to help them value and document their claims. For example, being able to survey roof damage or crop damage from a drone should expedite the handling of claims.” said Katz.
WMC is currently handling significant claims in Iowa, including a large insurance claim on behalf of a municipal entity. WMC’s network of experts is already in Iowa inspecting and adjusting insurance claims for their clients – these experts can calculate the replacement cost and promptly file a claim using the same program as the insurance companies.
ABOUT WEISBROD MATTEIS & COPLEY
WMC is one of the nation’s premier policyholder-side insurance recovery firms and was named by the National Law Journal as one of the ten hottest litigation firms in the country. For more information, visit [www.wmclaw.com]wmclaw.com. WMC has offices in Washington, D.C., Fort Lauderdale, FL, Jackson, MS and San Juan, PR. WMC’s headquarters is located at 1200 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036 and may be reached at (202) 499-7900.
(1) Panel: ‘A Perfect Storm: Hurricane Season in Pandemic Times,’ Shawn Moynihan, Editor-in-Chief, August 4, 2020. https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/18362/421687/a-perfect-storm-hurricane-season-in-pandemic-times.