Beware How Rising Construction Costs Due to Hurricane Damage Impact Your Insurance Claim Settlement
Those who experienced any type of property damage from the severe hurricanes and file claims early are starting to hear back from their insurance company. Many will learn that the claim settlement amount(s) being offered are not sufficient to pay for their complete loss and damages. Specifically, as the demand for qualified construction workers, roofers, and building materials increase, so do the associated costs. This “supply and demand effect” will undoubtedly continue to impact those who sustained damage in a negative way for some time.
An equally important cost related issue for property owners can be that prices being given to them from local contractors are much higher than what the claim adjuster’s computer driven estimating systems says the repair should cost. Policyholders need to be aware of this and remember they don’t need to accept a low offer from their insurer for repairs or contract with the services of an inferior or preferred contractor sent by the insurance company. In addition, policyholders should never sign their claim monies over to a contractor. Make sure fair market pricing is used to price your insurance claim in lieu of the computer estimating programs that can be out of touch with actual market pricing. Don’t be afraid to ask your adjuster how they are going to compensate for these market conditions.
To ensure a positive insurance claim experience and recovery, make certain that your contractor and the adjuster working for the insurance company are in agreement with all the reconstruction plans and get those agreements and costs in writing. By now, you should have a “claim file” set-up with all relevant correspondence letters, e-mails, building damage estimates, personal property losses, and business property damage fully documented. This will help to ensure that your insurance claim is managed efficiently and will be especially helpful if the catastrophe (CAT) adjuster leaves to return back home and you are assigned a new adjuster, which happens more than you might imagine.
If you do not understand any aspect of your insurance policy or do not know the limits as it relates to what you could be entitled to, please educate yourself now so you don’t continue to sustain financial losses. If you have questions regarding any property insurance related issue caused by Hurricane Irma please call 800-321-4488 or contact a licensed Florida Public Adjuster to submit a question to one of our insurance claim experts.