Hardball with Homeowners

Don’t ask Geoff Still about claims management. In October 2005, a hurricane nearly lifted the roof off his home in Coral Springs, Fla., drenching the interior with torrents of rain. Still, now 38 and the director of finance and operations at a local university, says he called his insurer, Universal Property & Casualty, the next day to report his loss. But it took four months, plus numerous follow-up calls and faxes with “Please Help Us” in 36-point type, to get an initial estimate. Meanwhile, mold spread through the house, and Still, his eight-year-old son, his five-year-old daughter and his wife Stacy, 34, then pregnant with their third child, had to move out.

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