Insurance defense attorney slams Florida’s
‘egregious’ homeowners insurance system
Article Courtesy of 8 On Your Side
By Mahsa Saeidi
May 3, 2022
TAMPA — As homeowners across the
state of Florida continue struggling with skyrocketing insurance rates,
even a man who makes his living defending property insurance companies
says the system is broken.
Attorney Michael Monteverde’s
perspective is significant. He’s an insurance defense attorney, in the
trenches daily, and concedes that even homeowners with legitimate roof
claims are losing.
He’s speaking out against his financial interest.
“If we could fix this system and I never got another case in this kind
of work, I’d be happy,” Monteverde said.
“What we see on a
daily basis, in many instances, is so crazy and so
Monteverde says the cases started four years ago.
Contractors, on behalf of Florida homeowners, suing
insurance companies for roof damage.
According to Monteverde, approximately 50% of the
claims that land on his desk are not legitimate, meaning insurance
inspectors found no roof damage tied to the stated weather event.
But half the cases are legit, where the homeowner must repair or replace
The dispute is over cost. Monteverde says that’s where contractors,
who’ve obtained control of the claims process from homeowners, enter the
“They’re sitting in the middle, hijacking these claims,” Monteverde
said. “‘We’re going to ask you for triple the rate for what it actually
costs and if you don’t pay us triple the rate, we’re going to sue you.'”
He did, however, point out that it’s “not in every case, not every
contractor, not even all contractors in every case.”
At that point, insurance companies look at their overall risk. Many
times, Monteverde says they determine it’s safer to settle. Going to
court and losing means they could be on the hook for outrageous attorney
“What ends up happening is the insurance company not only then has to
pay attorneys like myself but they ultimately, and many times, are on
the hook to pay the attorney’s fees for the other side as well,”
In 25 days, lawmakers will convene in Tallahassee for a special session
on the homeowners insurance crisis. Time is of the essence because
hurricane season starts just 10 days after that.