2 years of insurance hit ‘terrible,’ derecho-hit Cedar Rapids homeowner says [The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa]

2 years of insurance hit ‘terrible,’ derecho-hit Cedar Rapids homeowner says [The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa]

Aug. 10-CEDAR RAPIDS – Two years after the devastating 2020 derecho, concrete foundation cracks. Biography of Mark Sutton The house still needs repairs, and the house still needs repairs. Side damage has not been repaired, and neither has a bolted door or a broken door on his closed garage.

Sutton said it has been a never-ending battle over insurance — “horrific” — since the beginning Oga. 10, 2020the wind blew.

“I’ve been in a broken home for two years and they don’t care. They don’t care at all,” said Sutton, of. Cedar Rapids. “And they lie.”

Sutton is not alone. State insurance regulators have received 690 complaints about insurance issues related to the derecho, according to a spokesman for the Iowa Insurance Division.

But there are probably many others still in the fight in different ways, he said Greg Ushera Cedar Rapids a lawyer who has worked for many homeowners affected by the derecho. About 4,700 of the 225,000 derecho complaints filed are Iowa will remain open, according to the state insurance sector.

“There are hundreds and hundreds” of homeowners like Sutton, Usher said. “And there are probably hundreds and hundreds who have just given up completely, thousands (more) who don’t know how much they can push or how to do it, and many of them are paying me to help them fight. .”

The 2020 hurricane, which had straight-line winds of more than 140 mph, was 770 miles away. South Dakota to Indiana within 14 hours of the reason $11.5 billion damage to areas, fields and crops, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Three deaths in Iowa it was said to be a hurricane.

For a homeowner like Sutton, the derecho destroyed his home. But for two years since then, he has done the same to her, causing her great stress and pain. He said that in these two years, the insurance company has sent 16 desk changers and 6 field changers to his home.

“And we’re fighting them,” Sutton said. “Every bill we’ve sent them, it’s, ‘Oh, it’s too expensive. We’re not paying.’

Sutton, a retired electrician, said he doesn’t have the money to hire a lawyer. “Listen to my frustration: I know I’m not going anywhere because I don’t have the money to fight (the insurance company). So how does it work?” he said. “It’s been a nightmare.”

Usher said the clients he works with — and many homeowners who can’t afford a lawyer — often face what he described as sales tactics by insurance companies.

“There’s a lot of, ‘Let’s see if we can run the clock down a little bit, bite off the bits (a lot of the givens),’ but not anywhere near everything we want,” Usher said. “It’s like, ‘Let’s force people with insurance to pay to play.’ (Homeowners) might roll over and just take what they’re offered and not fight for everything they have because they don’t have the money or the willpower to keep fighting. Or, (insurance companies) say, ‘Well, we’ve got to make them get it.’ So if they’re going to force you to pay for an appraisal, they’re going to get a lawyer to step in. … They’re going to force the homeowner who has insurance to pay for it.”

This, Usher says, creates a system where those with money can afford to take steps to build themselves – and their homes – all, while those without can’t do the same.

“Those who have little savings sitting around to pay for the services are often taken care of when they fight,” Usher said. “But a lot of people who, their home is the best thing they have, don’t have a lot of savings because they’ve already spent it on maintenance or they just have a paycheck. They have money sitting around for someone to help them, and they’re probably the ones who need help because they can’t afford to pay in the first place.” ‘their bags …. And there are still many. .”

The insurance companies paid $3.6 billion to settle more than 225,000 claims, according to the state insurance sector. The figures are unprecedented, a divisional spokesman said. That figure includes payments that came as a result of consumer complaints, which have reached more than $1.1 millionaccording to division.

Doug Ommen, Commissioner of the Iowa Insurance Division, in his statement to The Gazette, encouraged homeowners to continue talking to their insurers about their complaints and any problems they face during the service. Ommen also said that Iowans who feel they are not getting what they were promised from their insurance can file a complaint with the Iowa Insurance Division.

“While Iowans and insurers have worked hard to recover from this devastating event and many insurance claims for the 2020 derecho have been resolved, some Iowans continue to rebuild,” Ommen said. “Each claim is different in terms of severity. Some of those affected by the storm may take more time to complete. It is important to them. Iowa consumers to maintain communication channels with their insurers to deal with issues that may be left in dispute. “

No insurance companies have gone away Iowa since the derecho, a spokesman for the state insurance department said. But some homeowner’s insurance was not renewed by their company after they filed a derecho-related complaint.

Sutton was one of them.

“Statistically, I’m at a high risk, and I’m not made any more,” Sutton said. “There was nothing I could do about it.”

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