Florida is the poster child for winter vacation homes with many homeowners splitting their time between their northern and southern home. But that means a home may be left unattended for 6 months or more. In this claim, the homeowners split their time between New York and Boynton Beach, Florida. They initiated a homeowner’s claim in late July 2017 after receiving notice from a neighbor that water had been pouring out of their house due to a failed refrigerator supply line. Several days after filing the claim they contacted Tutwiler & Associates for assistance as they were unfamiliar with the property insurance claim process, were worried about receiving a fair settlement and were unable to stay in Florida for the entirety of the claim.
After retaining Tutwiler & Associates, Florida public adjuster Scott Luginski, met with the homeowners at the loss site. Severe damages were documented impacting hardwood flooring, tile flooring, carpeting in bedrooms, drywall, doors, door frames and baseboards in nearly the entire house. Additionally, a great deal of personal property within the home had sustained water damage.
The insurance company had recommended a water mitigation company to assist with the drying out of the structure. They had been on site for approximately 2 days and it was clear they had not taken appropriate steps to properly dry out the structure, mitigate the damage and prevent mold from forming. Unfortunately, this happens all too often where an insurance company recommends or assigns a preferred vendor, ultimately making the damage worse. Scott took notice of this right away and was able to document the mistakes of the insurance company vendor. After several days of monitoring the situation and additional mold forming, Scott recommended the homeowner request the insurance vendor to remove their equipment and cease further work. Scott was able to recommend a reputable contractor who took over the mitigation process and was able to fully mitigate the water and mold damage before it became worse.
After being removed from the project, the insurance company’s mitigation vendor attempted to bill the homeowner $23,000 for their work. However, Scott was able to get the invoice reduced to $9,100. The insurance company attempted to delay the claim, especially after Hurricane Irma impacted Florida, but Scott was able to manage the claim process and get the initial payment issued within the statutory requirements. The insurance company’s initial payment for repairs was severely undervalued at a little over $26,000. Scott remained committed to the claim by providing claim management, reviewing policy language, preparing letters, handling claim negotiations and providing reputable contractor options.
Upon finalization of the claim, he had recovered payments for the dwelling repairs, personal property damages and additional housing totaling over $310,000 for the homeowner. Scott also recovered almost $3,500 in interest payments due to the insurance company’s failure to pay in a timely manner. For these part time Florida residents, having a public adjuster like Scott on-site, managing their claim offered both peace of mind and a fair settlement that helped them return their winter home to its pre-loss condition.