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After Mothers' Day storms, frustration about insurance checks

Perhaps Florida homeowners who have ever had to deal with their insurance company after a natural disaster can relate to what the victims of recent storms in Nebraska are going through. A news report about it calls trying to get a fair homeowners' insurance settlement "the storm after the storm" for many residents.

The storms, which included tornados, struck the southeastern part of the state on May 11, which happened to be Mothers' Day. The destruction was so pervasive that the President Obama has declared the region eligible for federal disaster aid.

Some residents have found that the money being offered by their insurance companies are not enough to make all necessary repairs. One woman, whose home and husband's tavern were both damaged, said the insurance money they received is not sufficient even to fix the floor.

As a result, the couple has taken out a loan, because they could not wait to contest the insurer's offer. She called the process "very frustrating."

This couple is not the only one suspecting that their insurance company acted in bad faith. The state Insurance Department has received at least six complaints from one county. The agency plans to investigate to ensure the companies are not breaking the law.

Because homeowners' insurance is a for-profit industry, some unscrupulous companies try to avoid fulfilling their responsibilities. One bad faith tactic is to make a lowball offer. Or they may delay making an offer for so long that the customer gives up. Homeowners have the option to fight back in court to get the insurance money they deserve.

Source: KETV-TV, "Storm victims struggle with insurance claims," Andrew Ozaki, June 18, 2014

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