Imagine, after discovering your home burglarized and having property stolen, the vandals also causing over $134,000 of water damage? The hooligans filled up the bathtub and purposely left the water running when they left. The insured was forced to sue when Ameriprise Insurance wouldn’t pay for the water damage insurance claim. And, thank the lord he did.
A jury has ordered [PDF] Ameriprise Insurance to pay in excess of $1.3 million after refusing to pay for the water damage insurance claim during the break in. The insurance company only paid for minimal water damage and a limit by the policy for mold clean up. However, the insured paid out over $134,000 for water damage related repairs to his home.
Insurer Finds No Fraud In Water Damage Insurance Claim Investigation
Ameriprise started a fraud investigation one week of the water damage insurance claim being submitted. This was done, despite the police report detailing the actions during the burglary.
The homeowner, a single father of five children, claimed in the lawsuit [PDF] that he was forced to find housing for his family during the repairs to his home. Ameriprise claimed the water damage insurance claim was not severe enough to warrant moving out of the home.
The layers were hired after repairs were completed and the family could move back into their home.
Brian Kabateck, the insured’s attorney, stated, “It’s unbelievable how my client was treated. This is a hard working man. Trying to be a good father and Ameriprise was working overtime to deny his claim without any proof or justification. The company ignored police reports, my client’s own statements and the evidence in this case, and it proved a hardship to he and his entire family.”
The jury of a Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that Ameriprise was guilty of insurance bad faith. The jury awarded $1 million in punitive damages and more than $300,000 for compensatory damages. All due to Ameriprise refusing to pay for proper repairs for the water damage insurance claim in the amount spent of $134,072.98.
As you can see it pays to get assistance when dealing with insurance companies. They really are not looking out for “you”. People should know how to get the most out of your home insurance claim. It’s not hard to realize the conflict of interest when an adjuster, who works for the insurance company, is the only one advising what is owed for your claimed damages. They have an adjuster, you should have one too!
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