We have signed up several new clients in the past month that demonstrate a growing trend that is mind boggling. Both Liberty Mutual and Citizens have flat refused to comply with the recommendations of neutral evaluators even when they demanded the neutral evaluation. In these instances the carriers are being told by the neutral evaluators that they were wrong in their original opinion that sinkhole activity was not present or are being told you legally have to test the property for sinkhole activity before you can deny the claim. Still, they don’t care. Liberty Mutual has taken the stance that no matter when you filed the claim, no matter when you bought your insurance policy and no matter when the investigation was done, you must prove your house exhibits structural damage before Liberty Mutual will even come out and test for sinkhole activity. Even when the neutral evaluator has notified Liberty Mutual that the State of Florida Department of Financial Services has determined that it cannot retroactively apply the 2011 new laws, Liberty Mutual will still do it and tell the neutral evaluator, and apparently the State of Florida they are wrong. Liberty Mutual has also rejected the opinions of a neutral evaluator that opined sinkhole activity was present at the property because that evaluator did not do any testing of their own. Citizens also flat rejected the opinions of a neutral evaluator who told them sinkhole activity was present and even with knowledge of confirmed sinkholes at the neighboring properties, Citizens stood by its denial. It has truly reached a point where there is no talking sense into some of these insurance companies. They won’t listen to experts, the State or even their own lawyers sometimes.
April 11, 2013 by Morgan Barfield