Mansell, Engel & Cole

Insurer continues to take heat in wake of volcanic Hawaii blast

Hawaii’s huge Kilauea volcano violently erupted last year. The wake of that cataclysmic event has spawned continuous seismic activity, both natural and human-based. We touch upon the latter in today’s blog post.

We referenced Kilauea’s tirade in our July 31, 2018, entry, centrally noting the “mass ire and indignation” felt in its aftermath by scores of insured residents holding homeowners policies with Lloyd’s of London.

That wrath hasn’t subsided in the months following the seminal Kilauea event. Indeed, continuing behavior by Lloyd’s that has been roundly condemned as a bad-faith attempt to skirt clear contractual duties has progressively embroiled the insurer in a litigation and public-relations nightmare.

Arguably, Lloyd’s should have taken the tack of a local agency that also insured homeowners having properties damaged by Kilauea. One of those policyholders had adjacent properties suffering devastatingly similar damage. The Hawaiian insurer declared the property it covered a total loss, promptly and fully compensating the owner for all damage.

Lloyd’s insures the other property. To date, it has steadfastly refused to acknowledge the full extent of damage suffered and has offered its insured less than $9,000 as loss compensation.

Reportedly, the insurer has acted similarly in scores of other cases, which is resulting in progressively more litigation being filed against it. Eleven more plaintiffs recently commenced lawsuits alleging bad faith, deceptive practices and contract breach. One of their legal representatives states that they and others have “no option other than to look to the courts for help.”

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