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Insurance Companies Would Prefer It If Hurricane Victims Would Just Quit Their Bitching

So what if your house was partially or completely destroyed by Hurricane Ike? If you've lived along the Gulf Coast of Texas for more than a week, you've probably done the smart thing and bought insurance to protect you from the inevitable. While that may work in theory, thousands of coastal residents are learning that insurance companies have a much easier time raising premiums after a hurricane hits than actually paying out. The problem stems from the fact that some people did not have the foresight to record a minute-by-minute photographic account of which damage on their house was attributable to wind and which was attributable to flooding. As a result, the potentially responsible parties are alternating between stalling and flat out ignoring claims.

Chip Merlin, an attorney whose firm represents more than 400 policyholders with Ike-related claims, said he's seeing more disputes than he expected still open a year after Ike. Many of the disagreements, he said, involve less than $10,000.
"I'm surprised at the number of small disputes going on where the insurance company just says 'We're not paying,' " he said.

This kind of gives a new meaning to the term insurance fraud.
Unsettled claims and unsettled lives [Houston Chronicle]