Homeowners Insurance Insurance Money and Finance Real Estate

Insurance Scam Drives Up Price of Homeowners Insurance

If you are tuned in to NextDoor or other neighborhood apps or groups, people going door-to-door offering goods and/or services have become a weekly if not daily occurrence. Some of those door-knockers may be genuine, bonafide hardworking people looking for work, but in many cases they are not. In fact, recently a door-to-door scam has been targeting homeowners and their insurance companies, causing homeowners insurance rates to go up.

Don't Sign on the Dotted Line

The scam works because it entices homeowners to do repairs at the insurance provider’s cost. They will tell you that they can help you remodel your kitchen, get a new roof or repair some damage to your home by billing your homeowner’s insurance. They will tell you need to sign some paperwork in order for them to go to work for you. 

However, what they are not telling you is that you are not hiring a contractor or an adjuster to work on your behalf. In fact, you are hiring an attorney that will be representing you as the plaintiff in a law suit in which you will be suing your insurance company. So whatever you do don’t sign on that dotted line! 

Don't sign anything unless you have researched it and read it.

The Grift

We generally hire attorneys to help us with problems as trust them to work on our behalf. But there are many attorneys out there that abuse their knowledge to take advantage of others. Once such attorney, Scot Strems of the Scot Strems Law Firm located in Coral Gables has made a fortune out of scamming insurance companies and unsuspecting homeowners. But Strems is not a lone wolf, there are many other firms involved in this grift. 
Many dishonest law firms have lined their pockets with this insurance scam.
While their pockets are bursting at the seams with dirty money the stability of Florida’s homeowner’s insurance industry has been imperiled and many a homeowner has been branded with a scarlet letter “L” for lawsuit. That “L” follows homeowners around forever. It can result in their current insurance carrier canceling their policy and/or higher insurance premiums in the future as they are now considered a higher risk client (Hurtibise, 2020).

The Cost of the Scheme to Homeowners

Homeowners that signed on to schemes like those perpetrated by Strems are branded for life but they are not the only ones paying for it. According to one report (Hurtibise, 2020) the scheme is responsible for insurance companies rising premiums. The rise in premiums across the state is purported to be as high as 30% to 40% in some cases. This rise in premiums affects all homeowners, not just those that were hoodwinked.

Homeowners Beware!

Just say no to something that sounds too good to be true.

Strems, who according to the complaint filed with the Florida Bar, was “the head of a vast campaign of unprofessional, unethical and fraudulent conduct that now infects courts in communities across the state”, has been temporarily suspended from practicing law. Based on the litany of complaints and fraud that he perpetrated it is unlikely he will ever practice law again.  

While Strems is unable to practice law, attorneys like Strems are just like cockroaches,  once you get rid of one, hundreds of others pop up in their place. So homeowners, if someone comes knocking at your door, BEWARE! Most reputable service providers are not going to come knocking at your offering something too good to be true.

References

Hurtibise, R. (2020, December 07). ‘Shady’ Insurance Lawyer Ripped Off Fla. Owners. Retrieved December 21, 2020, from https://www.floridarealtors.org/news-media/news-articles/2020/12/shady-insurance-lawyer-ripped-fla-owners

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