Florida Record: 2 Florida insurers accused of using inexperienced or unlicensed claims adjusters to ‘lowball’ damages claims

Recent lawsuits filed in southern Florida have accused two property insurers – Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Co. and American Home Assurance Co. Inc. – of using inexperienced, unlicensed or unqualified adjusters to lowball damages claims.

A lawsuit filed in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County provides documentation that Heritage had 4,803 Hurricane Irma claims that were handled by unlicensed adjusters. The Samari Lakes East Condo Association filed the complaint, alleging that the insurer should face punitive damages.

“Heritage hired unlicensed adjusters, refused to hire experts, refused to provide its adjusters and experts with underwriting documents showing the condition of the insured property prior to the loss, and weaponized litigation tactics by its naked allegations of fraud,” the lawsuit states. “And this is only what the plaintiff has been able to gather without discovery into (the) defendant’s general business practices.”

During Tropical Storm Eta in November 2020, 16.3% of the Heritage claims were handled by unlicensed adjusters, according to the lawsuit.

In a federal case filed in the Southern District of Florida, a representative of the owners of a mansion near Miami Beach alleged that American Home Assurance engaged “unqualified, inexperienced or untrained investigators,” including adjusters, as part of a strategy to lowball a damages claim made in response to property damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

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