On October 29, 2012 Super Storm Sandy caused significant flood damage to many large residential properties in Babylon, Brooklyn, Massapequa, Freeport, Merrick, Oceanside, Seaford, Island Park, Hewlett, Lawrence, Long Beach, Lido Beach and the Rockaway’s just to name a few. Tutwiler’s public insurance claim adjusters and loss assessors immediately mobilized to assist residential and commercial policyholders with their wind and flood loss claims.
As many victims are finding out, flood insurance claims are often very difficult to resolve in a timely manner due to the amount of people affected, the amount of damage to inspect, the lack of insurance company adjusters or catastrophe adjusters who become quickly overwhelmed having been assigned hundreds of claims and properties. The restrictive language in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy also has many different interpretations , coverage limitations and exclusions which further complicates the situation.
This large estate located in Babylon, New York sustained flood damage as a result of the rising waters caused by Sandy. However the severe damage was mainly limited to the crawlspace. This presented a major challenge, especially as it related to the scope and method of repair due to the way this structure was built. Additionally, the flood insurance adjuster sent out by the insurance carrier felt that no water entered into the first level of the home, which upon proper inspection by our team, was simply not accurate.
Public Adjuster, Rick Tutwiler
was retained after meeting the homeowner and finding evidence to the contrary. He quickly realized the insured was being taken advantage of and needed a policyholder advocate to fight for a fair settlement.
Specifically, there was very limited access for anyone to enter into the crawlspace to remediate the flood damage or complete the necessary repairs. There was also no way to properly treat the subfloor, replace the electrical wiring that was submerged, replace the mechanical, plumbing or insulation without removing the marble tile floors from above to access.
Given the above, and the fact that there was no way to access the crawlspace from the exterior (without doing major demolition to the dwelling structure) Mr. Tutwiler developed a repair plan designed to remove the marble floor tile in the lower dining room, limiting the disturbance only to the area that was directly affected by the flood water from Superstorm Sandy. Opening this area up allowed just enough access into the crawlspace to make all necessary flood damage repairs.
After review of Mr. Tutwiler’s plan, the flood adjuster representing the insurance company stated the plan and repair estimate were not realistic. However he could not provide an alternative method of repair or cost estimate. There simply was no other option, but to agree with Mr. Tutwiler.
This claim was taken all the way up the chain of command at the National Flood Insurance Processing Center and the President of the adjusting company’s office ultimately approved Mr. Tutwiler’s estimate and related repair cost. With dogged persistence and follow-up to make sure the claim decision was given priority, payment was finally issued for the dwelling portion of the claim in the amount of $131,623 to the insured’s complete satisfaction.