Some Florida insurance policyholders are being turned into collections agencies after their companies refused to pay claims. Now some homeowners are also facing the threat of liens on their properties.
It’s the latest saga plaguing the state’s insurance crisis.
Tom and Annette Whiting have been living inside an RV since Hurricane Ian hit. Their home sustained more than $100k in damages. Their insurance company United Property & Casualty (UPC), went insolvent…but not before promising to pay a preferred contractor nearly $80,000 for damages to their home.
Deadline extended for some homeowners to find new insurance after UPC went insolvent.
UPC hasn’t paid their contractor and now the couple has been turned into a collections agency. They now face the threat to have a lien placed on their property.
Annette Whiting said water poured in from roof damage and caused their home’s ceilings to collapse.
Since the incident, her insurance company UPC went insolvent but documents show the company agreed to pay 100% of the nearly $80,000 in repairs using the company’s preferred contractor.
“They said at the beginning I’m not even going to see a bill. It’s going to go right through them to the insurance company,” Whiting stated.
Contractors stripped the house and made the repairs but they say UPC never paid the contractor who called the Whitings asking for payment.
“They called us on a Wednesday and on Friday it went to collections and the collections company called the same day and then said there is already a lien on your property,” Whiting recalled.
Although a lien could not yet be found on the property, Whiting said they now live with the threat.
Gregg Martin, who is not the contractor who did the work, said situations like these do indeed happen and are the ugly side of the industry.
“We also have to protect ourselves in the meantime,” Martin said.
He said companies like his can get stuck for tens of thousands of dollars until insurance companies pay up.
“At the end of the day that’s what it boils down to…they don’t want to write the check,” Martin said.
Insurance companies refusing to pay leave both the homeowner and the contractor empty-handed.
UPC, now defunct, did not respond to calls about the claims.Source: NBC