There are many laws that dictate what insurance companies can and cannot do when investigating, adjusting, and paying out on claims. Specifically, policyholders everywhere are protected from insurance companies leveraging undisputed payments to convince policyholders to accept lower payments on disputed damages. Unfortunately, the insurance industry is not complying with this legal and ethical requirement in Puerto Rico, and as a result many Hurricane Maria victims were forced into accepting low-ball settlements.
In most states, insurance companies have an obligation to investigate a claim and issue payment for undisputed damages, allowing for quicker payment of accepted damages. However, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, policyholders were not aware of this protection and insurance companies used it to their advantage.
After Hurricane Maria, insurance companies were in no hurry to pay out on claims and they wanted to mitigate the amount they owed. One way they did this was by withholding payment for undisputed damages until policyholders accepted an amount of damages for the disputed portion. It has become unfortunately common for policyholders to accept low-ball settlements for disputed damages just to receive any payment at all. The law in Puerto Rico has since been clarified, but far too late for many policyholders. The insurance companies in Puerto Rico took advantage of the situation, to the detriment of thousands of policyholders. This checkbook power was used to deny thousands of proper and fair payments due to Puerto Ricans.
Hurricane Maria Recovery
It’s been over a year since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, but the island is far from a full recovery. Insurance companies in Puerto Rico have been slowing down recovery with their reluctance to pay out on valid claims. In Puerto Rico, insurance companies are required to respond to claims within a certain period of time, but many have simply ignored the requirement. Puerto Rico’s Commissioner of Insurance has levied millions of dollars in fines against insurance companies for acting so slowly, but even this has not spurred them to action.
Get Help With Recovery
At Raizner Law, we believe policyholders shouldn’t be denied their rightful payments from insurance companies. We are helping Hurricane Maria victims with bad faith insurance claims protect their rights and get the compensation they need to rebuild. If your insurance company has delayed, underpaid, or denied your Hurricane Maria claim, contact us today for a free consultation.