A recent court ruling awarded a Mississippi couple their policy limits and $2.5 million in punitive damages for a claim that was originally denied. This ruling may be a catalyst for insurance companies to pay hurricane insurance claims that were previously underpaid or denied in Mississippi and gives hope to those who had denied or underpaid hurricane claims in Mississippi.
“It is without a dispute that Hurricane Katrina was a windstorm,” U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter Jr. said regarding the case that he presided involving State Farm and Genevieve and Norman Broussard.
Wind Versus Wave Dispute
Ronald Delo, President The Public Adjusters, said his company represented over 150 claimants in Mississippi who had denied or underpaid hurricane claims in Mississippi. The denials and low settlements were based on the wind versus flood dispute.
“This court case will be a lightning rod for insurance companies to step up and finally pay claimants what they are owed. Because of the magnitude of this court case, insurance companies should make a good faith attempt to revisit claims they previously denied or underpaid, if not, we may see that many companies could face the possibility of more bad faith lawsuits,” said Delo.
According to Delo, his public adjuster firm has received more than 200 calls from people in Mississippi who want to re-open their hurricane insurance claims.
“The public adjusting process is lot less complicated and should prove to be a quicker process than a long protracted legal fight; however; many Mississippians may still have to file a lawsuit in order to collect from these insurance companies.”