Hurricane Maria policyholders can now request instant payments from insurers

This precedent will not only help WMC’s customers but also thousands of other policyholders who can now immediately claim millions of dollars from the carriers.

Finally, Hurricane Maria policyholders can request immediate payment for any damage approved by their insurer in their insurer’s initial adjustment.

Weisbrod Matteis & Copley (WMC) achieved a groundbreaking victory last Thursday by taking a unanimous decision from a five-judge panel at the Puerto Rico Court of Appeal. The panel decided that the amount stated in the adjustment is a liquid debt that must be paid immediately if an insurer provides a policyholder with a loss adjustment. The panel also took the view that the policyholder is also free to demand additional compensation from the insurer.

This is a cornerstone as insurers in Puerto Rico have largely refused to pay amounts from their initial adjustments without the policyholder fully releasing liability. Juan Saavedra, managing partner of WMC’s San Juan office, said, “Insurers have used this as a lever to try to force low billing as policyholders have to choose whether to accept the low ball offer or nothing accept and keep fighting.

As a result of this decision, policyholders can now request that insurers immediately pay any amounts authorized by their adjustments, and they can continue to fight for the full amount rightfully owed under their policies.

Puerto Ricans beg for help after Hurricane Maria. Public Domain Image of US Customs and Border Protection, via Flickr.

This precedent will not only help WMC’s customers but also thousands of other policyholders who can now immediately claim millions of dollars from the carriers.

Augie Matteis, founding partner of WMC, commends the team for their hard work together with former attorney Carlos Del Valle, who died last year, for his contribution to the winning arguments.

“Congratulations to Juan Saavedra, Luis Correa, Claudia Rosa Ramos and their team in San Juan! Carlos del Valle also played an important role in developing the winning arguments. Hopefully he looks proud of this important contribution he made to the survivors of Hurricane Maria. “

For more information and the Spanish and English versions of the decision, please visit (wmclaw.com/HurricaneMaria2021).

About WMC

Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC represents a wide range of claimants in insurance and other matters. The company’s customers include states, local governments, school boards, large private equity firms, Fortune 500 companies, and hundreds of companies and homeowners whose properties have been damaged by hurricanes and other flood disasters. WMC has offices in Washington, Ft. Lauderdale, Jackson and San Juan. For more information, please visit us online at wmclaw.com.

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