More than a month after the tower collapse in Surfside, the survivors are still unclear about when or how much they will be paid in compensation for the destruction of their homes.
The collapse of the Champlain Tower in the resort town of Surfside is probably the worst tragedy in South Florida history. Ninety-eight people died, and hundreds have been affected.
For survivors, among the many hardships they face, now is the time to grapple with insurance.
Some insurance companies are delaying payments. Others put third parties like intermediaries. For example, state Farm, one of the largest insurance companies in the country, has yet to decide whether or not to pay. At least not until there is an actual cause of the collapse, a fact that could take many months. By company policy, you never make a payment if there is no apparent cause.
According to documentation released in the national press, the insurer has started an internal investigation to determine if it corresponds to pay the victims. A process that in the past has taken years.
One company, on the other hand, has already started distributing payments. This is Universal Property and Casualty Insurance. This company had 42 insured units in the building. The problem is that the first payments are being made directly to the banks with mortgages on the units (something very typical in the United States), not directly to the owners.
Each apartment owner, or heir, must fight with his insurance company based on his policies. These individual battles will be critical because the class action lawsuit will not bring them to fruition under the insurance of the building.
The building's policy was not well done.
According to the building's policy, it only corresponds to receive 48 million dollars to rebuild the tower. This amount is nowhere near the actual cost of rebuilding. By industry estimates, building a building in South Florida right now would cost at least $ 1 billion.
According to what has transpired, there would be 35 families who are homeless at this time after the collapse of the building. The non-governmental organization Global Empowerment Mission has raised $ 370,000 in donations so far, which have been used to buy food and clothing for the victims, pay for airfare for family members from other states to help Miami, and now will give money for deposits for those who have to rent a home to settle. The idea is to continue raising money to help these families meet the rental expenses in the coming months.
For their part, federal authorities have joined local authorities in the investigation to determine the cause of the collapse. There has been talking of structural failures in the building, but there is no official version yet that accurately indicates what is the cause of this tragedy.