Lightning, Fire and Insurance

Well, as Mother Nature proved to me again this week, it doesn't have to be a hurricane or a tidal wave or other massive natural disaster to create havoc. In fact, in most cases, your regular homeowners policy will be sufficient for the common kinds of disasters. And it will be for our neighbours down the road who had lightning strike their home, start their electrical panel on fire and burn their house to the ground.

Now, I don't claim to love insurance companies; in fact, I think that insurance is one of those distasteful but necessary facts of life. Kinda like taxes. In any case, when I stumbled across the devastation of my neighbour's home, the owners were standing outside surveying the damage. I struck up a conversation with them. While an insurance adjuster had already been there (only a couple of hours after the fire), the adjuster had indicated that no payment of a claim would happen until they had eliminated the possibility of human negligence.

Yeesh.

While I don't expect insurers to pay fraudulent claims, and they should (and do) take all reasonable steps to ensure that claims are legitimate, it does seem a bit insensitive to make such statements to the owners of a home that has just burned to the ground. Surely, that's part of the adjuster's job, but does that mean the homeowners have to have that rubbed in their noses? After all, while fraud does happen, the vast majority of claims are legitimate ones made by people who have had a real problem.

I wonder if we could require sensitivity training for insurance companies and their staff?

MLA

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