AG, DIFS director reply questions on insurance coverage, dam possession
On Friday night, Lawyer Common Dana Nessel, together with Director of the Michigan Division of Insurance coverage and Monetary Companies Anita Fox, and 98th District state consultant candidate Sarah Schulz got here collectively for a digital city corridor to debate the rights of householders concerning insurance coverage.
Schulz, who was amongst Midland residents affected by the flood, fielded questions from people that have been submitted previous to the assembly. Whereas out locally, she had heard tales of people that had misplaced every thing and both had no flood insurance coverage or had hassle receiving settlements.
“Persons are determined. They do not perceive FEMA or what it means and so they’re pondering of strolling away from the neighborhood and we do not need that to occur,” Schulz mentioned.
Based on a ballot taken towards the start of the assembly, attendees have been from Midland, Sanford, Gladwin and different areas whose residences have been flooded, however the buildings weren’t within the 100-year floodplain. A majority of the viewers had their claims denied by insurance coverage firms.
The primary portion of the city corridor centered on inquiries associated to insurance coverage claims, which have been answered by Fox. The preliminary query centered on what avenues folks may take if their claims have been denied. Fox cited a number of sources for help, together with the DIFS hotline (877-999-6442) and floodsmart.gov. She suggested working with an insurance coverage agent with a declare or going straight to the insurance coverage firm to know the denial. Above all, purchasers ought to get declare denials in writing so they might have a sturdy case constructed for them.
“Insurance coverage insurance policies are a contract. You must learn your contract and perceive what it’s,” Fox mentioned.
Answering a follow-up query concerning coverage language concerning the causes of floods – artifical or pure – Fox really helpful asking an agent to elucidate the coverage language to navigate any loopholes within the contract.
“You simply acquired to make certain they’re trying on the proper language,” she mentioned.
Folks additionally must keep away from utilizing language that misrepresents their scenario when submitting a declare, as it could result in insurance coverage fraud, which as a minimum can price somebody their coverage, in keeping with Fox.
One other resident defined how their insurance coverage and their house fairness mortgage was denied as a result of their home was gutted and requested get banks to cooperate. Fox as soon as once more referred them to the DIFS hotline earlier than pointing them down different strategies of acquiring normal help together with Michigan 211, United Means and the American Crimson Cross.
For many who did not have flood insurance coverage to start with, Fox really helpful that they store round for different insurance coverage firms or attain out to mortgage firms, banks and credit score unions.
“They’ve the identical curiosity in defending your house and protecting it secure,” Fox mentioned.
Schulz then turned the dialog towards the reason for the flood, the dams and their house owners, Boyce Hydro. Nessel addressed the principle query of why Boyce Hydro has possession of the 4 dams after many years of neglect. Nessel defined how the corporate has proved a number of instances that it was not able to safely sustaining and working the dams. She additional acknowledged that the dam failures and subsequent flooding will likely be used as a studying software to do higher sooner or later. She commented how the state ought to have had better oversight and had laws to forestall this catastrophe from occurring.
Earlier this week, the Lawyer Common’s workplace filed a lawsuit in opposition to Boyce Hydro. Nessel assured listeners that the state will attempt to hold the general public up to date on what is occurring. She additionally acknowledged that the principle precedence is to make sure the communities affected by the flooding are secure from such an occasion sooner or later.
“The beauty of lawsuits is that every thing is in writing. None of that is carried out in secret,” mentioned Nessel. “By way of the lawsuit, we’ll be as clear as potential.”