Steve Ahillen’s Jan. 18 report in the Knoxville News Sentinel doesn’t mention any insurance disputes over the 2016 Gatlinburg wildfires, but what it does mention is the unexpected $842 million in insurance claims, above the original $500 million estimate.
And when you have claims like these, after a disaster like this, insurance disputes typically aren’t that far behind.
Homeowners filed 400 claims on the first morning alone.
None of this is to say that the insurance industry wasn’t there for homeowners who suffered the destruction of their properties in this fire. As Ahillen reports, in a makeshift tent village in Pigeon Forge, homeowners filed around 400 claims with various insurance companies on just the first morning.
That said, it’s not likely that every homeowner with a valid claim will have a positive experience in getting compensated.
Insurance companies are in business to make money.
Many of our clients are those who were injured in car crashes, who developed an occupational illness at work, or who were harmed because of a medical mistake. The financial compensation our clients need to become as whole as possible again after they’ve been injured generally comes from insurance, whether from the client’s own insurance provider, or from the negligent party’s insurance provider.
But insurance companies – because they are in business to make money – sometimes delay or deny policyholders’ legitimate claims, or they make what they call a “fair” offer that doesn’t fully compensate the person for his or her damages.
It will likely be no different for some of the homeowners who suffered the destruction of their homes and other property in the Gatlinburg wildfires.