Is 2 years the end date that I can collect on an Hurricane Irene Damage claim. An 80 ft oak tree fell on our house taking out two roofs in Hurricane Irene, 8/29/2011 causing extensive document damage. The house was tarped for months, as our insurance company sent out one adjuster Sept, then another October, who would not (or did not) give us an estimate. Our contractor estimates were not acceptable, they said. We hired a private adjuster who provided an xactomate adjustment, and that was thrown out in November. They brought in a third adjuster contractor (who asked me for a payoff by giving him my Bose stereo, and when I did not, estimated the repairs at $30,000, about 15% of the claim less than the cost of the roof alone). We were told to start reconstruction late November and that they would take actual repair costs. In Feb. 2012 when we had a roof on, we submitted all actual repairs. They rejected the actual repair costs, continually saying they lost the paperwork and assigned a series of 5 different contacts, one of whom said they did not authorize actual repairs. We submitted $150,000 worth of actual repair details, including lumber yard breakdowns of all materials, etc., over 100 pages. We still had more repairs scheduled, plus this did not include personal property house contents or loss of use. In April2012, they hired an engineer who came out to the repaired house. In his report, he said there was no Hurricane Irene, just 45 mph winds, and therefore the oak tree could have only leaned on our house, and therefore it could have not done any more than cosmetic damage. (We have pictures of major holes in our roof, roofs missing, house tarped.) Then a lawyer wrote to us and asked for all the claim information, but we were never told this was their lawyer. We sent the lawyer all the pictures and damage summary, and did not hear back from them. Then they said our 4800 sq. ft. roof was really 4,000 sq. ft. and should have been repaired for $11,500 (calculated by xactomate) rather than the $44,000 we paid, and we were not covered for upgrade to code (which we were) and could have used a 90 mph shingle (which is not allowed in our area), etc. Finally in May and June of 2012, I wrote to the president of Universal, and the ajdusting firm signed a new local adjuster, who reviewed part of the claim, and made a payment on one of 20 categories (they asked me to break the claim down by room, category, etc.). Within two weeks, he was removed from the account. Then I became sick due to the stress and had three cases of shingles in my left side of the face an was loosing the sight of my left eye. So I agreed to arbitration to get it over with. We were offered $88,000 in the fall of 2012 and my wife said o.k., we will take it, and just pay over $150,000 our of our retirement, to get rid of the problem. Finally in 2013, we received a check of $44,000. I then had a major heart attack in March of 2012, the doctors attributed it partially due to stress. . Now we are getting close to the 2 year deadline. What can I do to complain about Universal's private adjusting firm, how do I get paid for time away from home, how do I claim expenses to bring house to code (when I pay for $60,000 of that and it is in my policy), when their adjuster said it was not. Who do I write to in NY to get them thrown out of the state? My agent, who is the nicest person in the world, said it is the first time in his life that an adjusting firm ever hung up on him. My private adjuster who I hired in October 2011, after getting a small settlement, gave up end of January 2012, as he had to fax and mail them information multiple times as they changed persons handling the claim, and simply could not spend more time contacting them. I am 70 and want this resolved as I also have been fighting multiple cancers (prostate, ureter and bladder) over the past 10 years. Do I give up and just say they wore us out? How do I keep this open so the 2 year deadline does not pass?.
New York

About The Expert

Amy Bach

Amy Bach has been a professional advocate for insurance policyholders since 1984 and an attorney since 1989. She co-founded United Policyholders in 1991 and serves as the organization's Executive Director and primary spokesperson; shaping and overseeing the Roadmap to Recovery™, Roadmap to Preparedness, and Advocacy and Action programs. She is a nationally recognized expert on insurance claim and legal matters; frequently interviewed in print and broadcast media, and the author of numerous publications including "The Disaster Recovery Handbook", "WISE UP: The Savvy Consumer's Guide to Buying Insurance" and consumer tips and guides in the UP Claim Help Library.  Recognized by Money Magazine as a Money Hero, Bach is in her eighth consecutive term as an official consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and is a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance.