Several Florida insurance policyholders turned into collection agents after their companies refused to pay claims. Now some homeowners are also facing the threat of liens on their property.
This is the latest saga to disrupt the nation’s insurance crisis.
Tom and Annette Whiting have been living in an RV since Hurricane Ian hit. Their home suffered over $100k in damage. Their insurance company, United Property & Casualty (UPC), went bankrupt… but previously promised to pay selected contractors nearly $80,000 for damage to their home.
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UPC has yet to pay their contractor and now the couple have turned collection agencies. They now face the threat of having a lien placed on their property.
Annette Whiting said water flowed from the roof damage and caused the ceiling to collapse.
Since the incident, UPC’s insurance company has gone bankrupt but documents show that the company agreed to pay 100% of nearly $80,000 for repairs using a contractor of the company’s choice.
“They said at first I wouldn’t even look at the bill. It will go right through them to the insurance company,” Whiting said.
The contractor stripped the house and made repairs but they said UPC never paid the contractor who called Whitings to ask for payment.
“They called us on Wednesday and on Friday went to billing and the collection company called the same day and then said there was already a lien on your property,” recalls Whiting.
Although a lien has yet to be found on the property, Whiting said they are now facing the threat.
Gregg Martin, who was not the contractor doing the work, said situations like this do happen and are a down side of the industry.
“Meanwhile, we also have to protect ourselves,” said Martin.
He said companies like his could be stuck for tens of thousands of dollars until the insurance companies paid up.
“Ultimately, that’s the bottom line… they don’t want to write checks,” says Martin.
Insurance companies that refuse to pay leave homeowners and contractors empty-handed.
UPC, now defunct, did not respond to calls about the claims.