Home Insurance Dispute Rages in Idaho City

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  • These days, millions of consumers have home insurance policies that will cover flooding in many circumstances – and often pay considerably more for those plans – but an incident in one Idaho city has a number of local residents upset. One of the things that some insurance agents might have to do to avoid such confusion or other negative feelings is carefully walk their clients through what their policies – as currently constituted – do and do not cover, so that there’s no confusion when a potential claims issue arises later on.

    In early August, the city of Twin Falls, Idaho, suffered such four inches of rain in a single day, creating a drainage problem so difficult that its sewer system backed up, and allegedly did significant damage to many residents’ homes, according to a report from the Twin Falls Times-News. As a result, 11 residents filed claims with the city’s insurance company – the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program – as a means of trying to recoup their losses from what the National Weather Service called a storm that only comes along once in a century, but were rebuffed by that insurer.

    “The city drainage systems and sewer lines simply could not maintain or drain the amount of water that fell in such a short time,” the letters sent by the ICRMP told consumers, according to the newspaper. “This incident would be considered an act of nature.”

    What was the issue?
    More problematically, most of those residents also didn’t have home insurance that would have covered them for that backup attached to their own policies, the report said. Moreover, though, some had their own insurance companies reject the claims because they said the city should be the one to pay. As such, owners might be on the hook to cover thousands of dollars or more worth of repairs, including to drywall, furniture, and even boilers.

    Insurance agents who can capably educate their clients about home insurance coverage – and what they might need to add to their policies as a means of making sure they’re fully protected – are likely those that are going to be able to build healthy, strong relationships going forward. That, in turn, could potentially boost customer satisfaction and retention rates, more so than an agent simply being able to find their clients the occasional discount on their coverage.