2 Puna Senior Citizens File Suit for Deceptive Practices by Lloyd’s of London

July 25, 2018, 10:28 AM HST (Updated July 25, 2018, 5:11 PM)
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Two homes in Kilauea’s East Rift Zone are consumed by the massive flow, and a third is threatened, as the lava advances downslope. May 6, 2018, 6 a.m. PC: Bruce Omori/Paradise Helicopters

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 Jeffrey Foster, an attorney representing homeowners who have lost everything. “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.

Philip J. Haysmer, 77, and his wife Lanell D. Haysmer, 70, are now living out of a neighbor’s garage and have yet to receive any insurance payment from Lloyd’s—even the meager emergency living expenses promised to them in their insurance policy by Lloyd’s in exchange for their years of premiums.

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The day before the eruption, Lanell suffered a stroke, resulting in a coma. While attending to his wife at Hilo Memorial Hospital, Philip learned his home and all of their possessions had been destroyed by fire. With the exception of a filled water tank, the Haysmer’s home and all its contents, including their vehicle, were completely destroyed by the fire.

The Haysmers filed a claim with their home insurance agent on May 23, 2018, and as of the filing of their lawsuit, have received very little information and none of the benefits they paid for when they purchased the policy that was supposed to protect them and their home.

According to Foster, an email was sent to the Haysmers allegedly from their Lloyd’s adjuster stating, “I have heard from three others with the same policy as yours and all three have informed me they have yet to receive any denial letter… that tells me something is going on at Lloyd’s…”

Foster added, “Lloyd’s of London has done nothing in over two months to help these displaced homeowners. Filing our action today, we hope, will bring Lloyd’s foot-dragging to an end.”

Highlighting Lloyd’s alleged inaction, the lawsuit outlines a vivid difference. Within days of the event, GEICO adjuster Victor Heung, contacted the Haysmers, traveled to Pāhoa and presented them with a total loss check for Philip’s burned pickup truck; money they desperately needed to buy clothes and other essentials.

Homeowners seeking further information can reach Foster by visiting Punaclaims.com or calling toll-free at 1-800-481-2505.

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