‘Cash Investigation’ Reveals Some Insurance Adjusters’ Troubled Game In Cracked Home Files

An expert is not there to defend the victims but the insurance company which mandates him, according to Jean-Marc Dewitte who worked on behalf of insurance companies for seven years… before slamming the door: “When we receive an expert at his home, we expect him to be impartial, precise, objective… not to ask trick questions. An insurance adjuster is employed by an appraisal company which responds to the request of an insurer. He is not an independent expert. I left this environment because I was asked often, too often, to modify my reports or to change the exact nature of the causes at the origin of the claims“, he confides to the magazine “Cash Investigation” (replay).

This pressure has, according to him, direct consequences for the victims. This is what “Cash” discovered during his visits. Experts who have been filmed with a hidden camera give a negative opinion in the majority of cases related to the drought: “In fact, we have 70% of files that are not ‘drought’…“; “Basically, 60% of files are closed“; “The ratio is 80% ‘non-drought’ and 20% ‘drought’.“The majority of the victims are not going to be compensated… they all agree on that. Did Jean-Marc Dewitte observe this ratio?”Yes, and it is much more. It can exceed 90%…“he asserts.

An expert is paid for the mission and as long as a file remains open, he is not paid

This figure is difficult to verify but the Court of Auditors has attempted its own estimate. For Annie Podeur, President of the 2nd Chamber of the Court of Auditors, “the recognition of a state of natural disaster does not guarantee compensation since, ultimately, a link must be made between the damage and the state of disaster. Insurance is reluctant“.

“The experts, obviously, play the part of the insurance and we can today estimate at more than 50% the share of the files of compensation which do not give rise to compensation, she specifies, so, there too, it is a source of misunderstanding.” A majority of files are thus discarded. According to Jean-Marc Dewitte, the reason is pecuniary: an expert is paid for the mission and as long as a file remains open, he is not paid.

“Droughts, floods: who will pay the bill?”, an investigation by Mathieu Robert, broadcast Thursday September 15, 2022 at 9:10 p.m. on France 2.

> Replays of France Télévisions news magazines are available on the Franceinfo website and its mobile application (iOS & Android), “Magazines” section.

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