We live in an era of increasingly common catastrophic disasters. Hurricanes belt Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Gulf and East Coast states every year. Volcanoes erupt in Hawaii and Washington. California is always on the cusp of a major earthquake. Tornadoes tear through the central states. Forest fires can damage property across the West and flooding can hit almost anywhere.
These disasters, when they happen, garner an almost infinite amount of media coverage, but once the actual disaster passes, the media moves on, leaving people with their own personal disasters and no one to tell them to.
These personal disasters can take on many different forms. Some people can become ill due to some result of the disaster and find it hard to get treatment. Others may find their job is missing along with the business they worked for. There are surely thousands and thousands of stories of missing pets and more than a few of missing people who are never found.
And then, there’s property. For those who had no insurance, the story once they try to return after a disaster is often a tragic (but predictable) one. However, even those who have insurance can find that it lets them down at such a moment.
With so many recognizing the rising risks of living in certain parts of the country, these owners and renters purchase named-peril insurance to make sure they are covered in the riskiest events. This gives those owners and renters peace of mind, and yet, as Smith Kendall Attorneys at Law points out, that insurance often doesn’t live up to expectations.
It is not at all uncommon for those returning to former homes and hoping to recovery property and start life again to find the insurance underpaying on a claim or refusing a claim outright.
After suffering so much already, these victims of catastrophe then have to take on massive insurance companies in an effort to get what they are entitled to. It shouldn’t happen, and yet as lawyers like the Smith Kendall office show, it happens all the time.
More needs to be done by local and federal governments to ensure these secondary tragedies don’t happen so often, and more needs to be done by the media to continue to shine light on such stories, even if the biggest narrative that wins the most viewers or clicks has moved on.
For those stuck in such situations, they have to find the energy to fight on multiple fronts. They need to contact lawyers that know how to fight these insurance companies, but they also need to make more effort to shout to the rest of us about what is happening.
Our world is going to see more and more of these catastrophes and more and more human tragedies over the coming years. That’s why it’s all the more important that we address these secondary issues now, so we have a better system in place for the next catastrophe.