Families File Lawsuits Over Dorian Insurance Payouts


Tribune Freeport Reporter


LAWSUITS have been filed against insurance companies in Freeport over their alleged failure to make proper payment for insurance claims filed over property damage associated with Hurricane Dorian.

Attorney Beryn Duncanson, of Bahamas Claims Assistants Co Ltd, filed writs in the Supreme Court on behalf of four clients against JS Johnson & Company Ltd/Island Heritage Insurance Company Ltd, and Star General Insurance Agents and Brokers/Royal Star Assurance Ltd and Safeguard Insurance Brokers.

The plaintiffs are Annrine Johnson, Samantha Gibson, Shimron and Delerease Rolle, and Sean and Shana Simmons, who are claiming that their insurers negligently failed to offer them the proper amounts due to them for loss and damage suffered.

Mr Duncanson claims that the insurance providers have also refused requests to make interim payments to his clients, therefore causing them “willful emotional distress and inconvenience”.

The attorney believes that the insurers’ actions are “exerting considerable pressure on the clients to accept an offer that is at undervalue.”

In the case of Ms Johnson, a quantity surveyor estimated she had more than $39,000 worth of hurricane damage to her home in Yeoman Wood Subdivision. She was insured by JS Johnson/ Island Heritage Insurance.

According to the writ, the defendants negligently placed the loss at just 6.66 percent or $12,000 (before deductible and claimed under-insurance) yielding only $6,067.46, which was offered to Ms Johnson, who has refused the offer.

In the case of Ms Gibson, a resident of Heritage Subdivision, her property sustained damage estimated at a coverage value of $100,000. She made an insurance claim for the full amount to repair her home.

According to the writ, the defendants through their loss adjuster agents are accused of negligently placing loss at just 60 percent, or $64,924.25, which Ms Gibson has refused with no answer from the defendant.

The Rolles, who reside at the Gardens at Sunrise Subdivision, sustained damage estimated at a total loss of $79,760.32. The couple made a claim for the damage with Safeguard Insurance Brokers/Royal Assurance, which instead placed the loss and damage at 16.67 percent of the insured amount, or $15,000.

The couple refused the offer, and defendants subsequently offered $24,000 as a last and final offer.

Sean and Shana Simmons, of Santa Maria Drive, Freeport, sustained catastrophic damage suffering a total loss of $533,900 as a covered amount. The couple made a claim with Star General Insurance Agents and Brokers/Royal Assurance Ltd.

According to the writ, the defendants or their employees, agents or brokers subsequently offered $523,222 on the basis as a total loss, less 2 percent excess deductible. 

The Simmons accepted the offer in full and as a final settlement. However, it is claimed that the defendants, in breach of the agreement, abandoned the initial offer agreement and instead offered the plaintiffs $337,000, which they have declined to accept.

The defendants then offered the plaintiffs a cheque for the initial amount of $523,222 conditional upon the building being bulldozed. The Simmons refused to accept any interim payment or cheque put them on the basis of that offer.

Mr Duncanson said he has served statutory demands on Royal Assurance about interim payments they should have allegedly made.

The matter will be heard in court on Friday.


ThisIsOurs 10 months, 1 week ago

why the requirement that a property be bulldozed before payent is agreed to? There no clause that an insurance payout has to be used on the damaged property is there? Couldnt you take the payout and decide you leaving the country and building elsewhere?


DWW 10 months, 1 week ago

on the other hand i heard a story where the insurance company said they would pay out less if the property was sold and not rebuilt. That is plainly criminal.


ThisIsOurs 10 months, 1 week ago

Yeah...If the homeowner signed a document with that clause I suppose it's legal but it does seem odd...

what is the insurance industry hoping to mitigate..no one built their home in hopes that a devastating hurricane would arrive, destroy the whole thing and they'd get a big insurance payout then make off like bandits...you can't build a giant fan in the sky and create a wind storm..orrr, maybe you can :-|


Bobsyeruncle 10 months, 1 week ago

Might be like auto insurance, where the vehicle title has to be given to insurance company in the event the vehicle is written off. This prevents unscrupulous people selling on, or buying, a 'written off' vehicle, fixing it up and then selling on what is now a potential deathtrap for someone driving it on the road. In this instance, maybe the insurance company doesn't want them to 'fix' up the property and then live there (or flip it to someone else), as whatever is left of the structure could be compromised.


ThisIsOurs 10 months, 1 week ago

thats reasonable, but then whats the purpose of giving less without the clause


sealice 10 months, 1 week ago

The old under insurance clause - insurance is so easy to use and win with..... you can't let em come back with under insured that's the first thing every insurance company tries every time make sure you never claim for your max amount... just under it usually gets you the most you can get if you think you lost more then you insured then you have to accept that statement at face value...you lost more.


TalRussell 10 months, 1 week ago

All insured thought be grieved Comrade Plaintiffs, would be wise to join together to pool resources in the hiring of the services of an highly reputable Independent Adjuster - who be's available and prepared to show up in court to defend their Expert Assessment.. Good luck with the insurance SOB's - well known for wearing down the Claimant''s financials by using deep money pockets stall tactics of delayed payment and trial proceedings. Also, it be as wise to keep close watchful eye on your legal team? I've been there over family's commercial building and got royally screwed up ass by both - the rendering justice came under suspect too!..


bogart 10 months, 1 week ago

Years ago before the Hurricane Dorian I pointed out the usages of Insurances and the anomilies. Banks using predatory lending to lend almost the whole appraised value of the house and lot package and using indemnity insurance and the accompanying comprehensive house insurance. Number pf dynamics involved with the booklets of repossessed housing driving down values of homes, workers losing jobs, businesses overdraft affected, employees laid off etcetc. Many workers left to work in Nassau labour costs in GB going down reproduction costs etc.


jackbnimble 10 months, 1 week ago

In other news one of the insurers named in the article went up on my house insurance by about $300. So they’re not paying claims in full for people with legitimate claims and are price gorging the persons who haven’t claimed.

Insurance is the biggest rip off in this country.!!


The_Oracle 10 months, 1 week ago

Regulate them. Underinsured is a scam to deny compensation, over insured is fraud. Rock and a hard place. On the Vehicles, they payout but charge a salvage fee if you want to keep the vehicle. That is suspect. Meanwhile it is the Insurance Co employees who put the written off vehicles back on the market!


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