If there is anything more annoying than an insurance company denying a claim and then asking a homeowner to let them know if they do their own investigation I don’t know what it is. These days we see the trend of insurance carrier hiring the same engineering companies to investigate a claim then deny the claim with very little effort or care what is really going on. Because insurance companies are becoming more concerned with how quick and cheap they get an investigation done for and less concerned with the outcomes, we are seeing a slew of new engineering firms that either do not have the experience or training to perform these investigations or do not have the manpower and resources to spend the time to do a proper investigation. It is becoming a fast food drive through of service now.
But despite this, insurance companies are going with what these engineers say without any second opinion, peer reviews or even any internal reviews. If the engineer denies it, they deny it. Then the carrier will point to the laws here in Florida and claim that they are protected from breaching the contract as long as they hired an engineer and listened to their opinions. In a way, these carriers are claiming an immunity from being sued just because they “can’t be held liable” for the opinions if their engineers if they were wrong. Two things pop in my head 1) maybe we should start suing these engineers for their professional negligence and 2) can you not be held responsible for your hiring of these engineering companies?
The frustrating part is these same insurance companies will then tell the homeowners that if they decide to go do a proper or more detailed investigation, they are obligated to give that to the insurance company. Some carriers like State Farm and Tower Hill are even alleging the homeowners are committing fraud if they don’t give the carrier their counter opinions timely!!!!! So, the insurance company can hire any engineer they want (hired guns) to do any investigation they want (usually lackluster or cheap ones) and whatever opinion they provide is presumed to be correct (thank you Florida legislature) and the insurance companies can sit back and place the burden on the homeowners to then go prove they were wrong and on top of that the homeowners have to give the insurance company a second chance to look at their new information before they can sue them (thank you state court judges). Does anyone see how ridiculous this is becoming? If I was an insurance executive I would be laughing from my penthouse suite.