Enhanced conditions for electrical fires in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael
The effects of Hurricane Michaels wind and rain damage are still readily apparent in the Panama City area. Roofing crews and blue tarps are still visible wherever you travel. But what may not be so obvious, are storm related damages that may have resulted to electrical and mechanical systems in your home or business. From my perspective, too many policyholders blindly follow a contractors or even their insurance company’s desire to “fix up” the damage and move on to the next claim, putting themselves and their property in danger.
As an example, during Hurricane Irma, I met with a retired doctor and his wife who had damages that clearly exceeded their deductible. A situation that many Hurricane Michael policyholders will identify with. The status of their claim? Who knows! They told me an independent adjuster from out of state made a quick 15-minute inspection and left. A follow-up call by the insured to this person resulted in a response "I turned your paperwork into the claims office and am no longer involved." That was weeks ago and further attempts routed their inquiries to a call center. How would you like to bet their claim is marked as one of those closed files being reported to the State by the insurance industry?
But the real issue and concern I had following my meeting with the client was when they advised me that a lot of the electrical circuits in their home no longer worked.
Folks, if your home has been damaged, please pay close attention to any electrical problems you see and call a licensed electrical contractor. The danger compounds given the holiday season with additional lights and Christmas trees and the use of heat during cooler weather. The results could be a catastrophic fire and national statistics show this is the worse season for house fires. Pay attention to the conditions around your home or commercial building. Damages from hurricanes especially given the high amount of salt in the air from the winds could be corroding parts of your property’s critical electrical and mechanical systems. Have them inspected before settling any claim.
Here is a link to an excellent article published in the Washington Post about fires and fire safety in your home. Take time to read it and make a plan to escape any fire that may occur. Your plan may make a difference between life and death.
If you have questions regarding any property insurance related issue caused by Hurricane Michael, call our public adjuster office in Panama City, 850-888-8052 or contact a public adjuster to submit a question to one of our insurance claim experts.