On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Policyholder Question – Can I Claim Loss of Use for an Apartment Rental Claim?

Policyholder Question – Can I Claim Loss of Use for an Apartment Rental Claim?

The following is an insurance claim question we answered for a policyholder through the United Policyholders Ask an Expert Forum.

Q. I live in St Thomas. My house suffered substantial damage from Irma and Maria. It is a two level house with a 3rd level apartment. The upper level is missing the roof and the bottom level apartment is pulling away from the main structure. I am currently living on the 2nd level. When I bought the house in January I had planned on returning the house to the previous layout of 3 separate distinct living spaces to help with the mortgage and homeowners insurance payments. The 2nd level had already been zoned as a separate living area but was added to the main house by the previous owners. I removed the spiral staircase between the 1st and 2nd level and had contractors scheduled to come back to repair the opening. Earlier this year my parents decided they were going to move here. My father has Alzheimer disease and responds well to me. I was going to help my Mom care for him. My parents sold their house in Colorado, bought plane tickets and hired movers. They were to arrive on island October 1st. We decided ahead of time they would be paying rent and we would have a written agreement drawn up. As a result of the storm I was forced to move to the 2nd level. Had the house survived intact this would not have been a safe place for them. I would have still rented out the 2nd level to someone else. My insurance agent said I could not claim a loss of use for the vacant apartments because I had no lease already in place for them. Is this correct?

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Pittsburgh Apartment Owner Receives Low-Ball Repair Estimate for Fire Damage

Pittsburgh Apartment Owner Receives Low-Ball Repair Estimate for Fire Damage

We want to thank Pittsburgh Public Adjuster Zach Flora for contributing the following success story.

A real estate owner of multiple properties experienced a 3 alarm fire at one of their apartment buildings located in the Hill District area of Pittsburgh on November 2016.  The building suffered significant fire, water and smoke damage. Upon reporting the loss to its insurance carrier, multiple adjusters were sent out to inspect the loss and the insurance company immediately assigned an outside company specializing in large losses to handle the claim.  This adjuster prepared a repair estimate that (in the opinion of the apartment owner) did not cover the cost to cover the value of the building and the hidden structural damages that were apparent. It became obvious that the repair estimate ignored parts of the building not directly affected by the fire, but were still subjected to massive amounts of smoke and water damage.

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Policyholder Question on Lightning Damage to Apartment Building Units

Q. I own an apartment complex that got hit by lightning. It seems electronics in multiple units is randomly going out.  Does this make sense?  If I file a claim, it looks like it should have just hit one or 2 buildings instead of 8 or 9. Will I have trouble getting a proper settlement? Unfortunately, I just don't trust the insurance company. I had a fire once and they treated me like a crook. 

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