Homeowners wait on insurance claim adjusters

Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 12:27 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Rebuilding will take a while but residents who are still waiting on insurance claims from Hurricane Laura are left wondering when they’ll ever make progress rebuilding.

The Hilliards have been without a roof since Hurricane Laura on east Savannah Lane in south Lake Charles.

More than 50% of the roof is gone, which makes putting a tarp unfeasible because there’s not enough structure left to hold it.

Despite wanting to move forward, Michael Hilliard says the lack of communication between him and his insurance claim adjuster makes it difficult to do so, leaving him to deal with a gaping hole.

Hilliard’s insurance first said his house was totaled but after another inspection, the insurance company said a part of it can be saved. The estimate passed from the adjuster to the manager, and despite moving up the ladder, there was no word from them on when or how he can get his roof fixed.

“Here we are, seven weeks since, and nothing," Hilliard said. “They need to be helping you, they need to send you some money to put a roof."

Hilliard said he already got quotes to put the house back together but he can’t do anything until his insurance company responds.

"When you don’t have help from the insurance company and you have a desk adjuster that just doesn’t respond to phone calls, takes two or three days to respond to emails, what’re you supposed to do? We’re just stuck waiting.”

Waiting not only prevents the Hilliards from moving on but leaves them helpless and wary of another storm.

“The longer insurance takes to respond to help us, the more damage is done and it’s just very frustrating," Kathy Hilliard said. “You pay insurance every month. They get their money every month from us and when something as catastrophic as this happens, you expect them to help you and to want to help you.”

Not knowing when they’ll get their check, the Hilliards call for better communication and accountability while they continue to live in their camper.

“Progress, that’s all we’re asking for,” Michael said. "That’s why we do something every day. My wife and I have been through a lot. This is just another mountain we gotta climb.”

The Hilliards' insurance company has yet to release a statement on communication problems but in the meantime, the Hilliards plan to stay in Lake Charles and rebuild.

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