CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) — The August 2020 Derecho’s second anniversary is Wednesday, marking a deadline for homeowners with still pending insurance claims related to storm damage.
Homeowners who miss the deadline may receive a lower payment than they are entitled to based on their policy. Most insurance companies, according to an insurance attorney, require people to complete or at least sign a damage repair contract within two years to receive the depreciation value withheld from a claim.
Gregory Usher, who is a Cedar Rapids attorney and works on insurance cases, said some companies are extending their repair times while others are not. He said these issues are extremely difficult to handle on their own, and people need the money to afford to argue with an insurance company for a bigger settlement.
“Can you just put up four, five grand and wait another 6 months to fix this,” Usher said. “Or if you don’t have that money or the knowledge that you can do that process, you lose.”
Usher said he also expects to file about 35 lawsuits for those with a policy, which has a two-year statute of limitations. In 2021, he filed 67 lawsuits related to derecho insurance claims.
“I know in about two weeks I’m going to start hearing a lot of stories that make me really sad about people who have lost their battle or just given up hope of getting all the replacement cost benefits because We are not getting the job done on time and we are unable to get an extension from the insurance company,” Usher wrote in an email to TV9.
Mark Sutton, who lives in the Cedar Rapids home whose foundation is cracked and siding destroyed after a tree ripped through his house, said he won’t carry out any further repairs until he gets more money from the insurance company. He said he couldn’t afford a lawyer and was negotiating with the insurance company on his own while living in a damaged house.
“The fact that we had to live like this for two years and it was a constant struggle the whole time,” Sutton said. “The insurance company has all the cards in hand. They have all the money.
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