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‘Heartless’ Insurance Giant Denies Elderly Puna Couple’s Claim

July 26, 2018, 12:07 PM HST (Updated July 26, 2018, 1:23 PM)
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May 6, 2018, 6 a.m. – Kilauea’s east rift zone overflight. Two homes are consumed by the massive flow, and a third is threatened, as the lava advances downslope. PC: Bruce Omori/Paradise Helicopters

Twenty-four hours after a lawsuit for deceptive practice was filed in Hilo against Lloyd’s of London, the insurance company dispatched a claim denial via fax from an adjuster in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“Lloyd’s of London broke the law by issuing insurance policies in Hawai‘i, where they were not licensed, and reaped millions of dollars in premiums from unsuspecting homeowners who have lost everything,” said Jeffrey Foster, an attorney representing Philip Haysmer and Lanell “Lunel” Haysmer, an elderly couple who lost their home due to fire in the aftermath of the Kīlauea Volcano eruption in May.

“Despite Lloyd’s claims to the contrary, the Lloyd’s syndicate who issued policies to Puna homeowners does not qualify under the laws of the State of Hawai‘i as a surplus lines insurer,” Foster said. “Lloyd’s may blame ‘syndicates’ of underwriters or independent brokers, but the bottom line is Lloyd’s, the company, will be held accountable by a jury in Hilo, Hawai‘i.”

“Heartless,” Foster added. “Not a soul on the ground and Lloyd’s gets an adjuster 4,000 miles away to deny the claim via a fax machine. Lloyd’s continues to amplify their deceptive business practices and inhumane conduct.”

Nearly 800 homes in the Puna District on Hawai‘i Island have been destroyed by fire and other causes in the aftermath of the Kīlauea eruption. Dozens of Puna homeowners who lost their homes carried a homeowner’s policy with Lloyd’s of London, which has failed to honor local homeowners’ certificates of insurance, according to a lawsuit filed in Hawai‘i’s Third Circuit State court on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

“As one of the few home insurance providers in the Puna area near the Kīlauea Volcano, Lloyd’s of London, their underwriters, their agents, their adjusters and affiliates have utterly failed to honor commitments and assist homeowners,” said Foster. “Lloyd’s has failed to pay displaced homeowners even the basic living expenses promised in their policies in the aftermath of this terrible human tragedy.”

The lawsuit lays out in graphic detail the alleged negligent treatment of two senior citizens in failing health who were victims of Lloyd’s alleged deceptive practices.

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Philip, 77, and his wife, Lanell, 70, are now living out of a neighbor’s garage.

Homeowners seeking further information can reach Foster by visiting Punaclaims.com or calling (808) 348-7800.

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