On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Florida State Regulators & Insurance Lobbyists Continue to put Florida Policyholders at Risk

Florida State Regulators & Insurance Lobbyists Continue to put Florida Policyholders at Risk

In 2011, investigative reporter, Ms. Paige St. John of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune won a Pulitzer Prize for her investigative reporting that produced multiple news articles examining Florida’s murky property insurance system vital to Florida’s property owners.  Ms. St. John provided helpful data for consumers to evaluate their insurance company’s (and the industry) reliability, sustainability, and ultimately uncovered how State regulators and insurance company lobbyists oftentimes put the best interests of Florida’s insurance consumers at risk, while at the same time “big insurance” continues to roll the dice and gamble to cash in.  This is a recurring theme that takes place at the same time each year as politicians report to Tallahassee, FL to fulfill their promises while seemingly ignoring their obligations.

 

This year, the mayhem began on January 7, 2020 when Florida’s Senate Banking and Insurance Committee introduced legislation via House Bill (HB 1137) that is “all about consumer protection.”  The proposed language written in the Bill is being championed by Florida CFO, Mr. Jimmy Patronis who is a native Floridian born and raised in Panama City where Hurricane Michael roared ashore in October 2018.

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Florida Chief Financial Officer comments that Public Adjusters at fault for Hurricane Michael claim settlement delays. But not so fast.

Florida Chief Financial Officer comments that Public Adjusters at fault for Hurricane Michael claim settlement delays. But not so fast.

Not surprisingly, CFO Jimmy Patronis’s statement to the press has caused a lot of interest especially from the media, some of whom were in attendance when his comments were made. Following both print and internet articles of the CFO’s opinion, I have gotten a number of calls from various media folks across the state asking me to respond. As I explained to one reporter, I do not know where the CFO got his facts to support this pronouncement. But given the gravity of his words, I think he should have enlightened folks with some credible facts and figures. The comments I have read and heard is that the press and the public is not buying what he had to say including the reporters I spoke with who share my confusion about where the data (or anecdotal evidence) is coming from.

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How the appraisal process may help you settle your Hurricane Michael damage claims

How the appraisal process may help you settle your Hurricane Michael damage claims

We were happy to contribute to the 1 year anniversary of Hurricane Michael with information on appraisal as policyholders continue to try and settle their property claims. Thank you Panama City News Herald for running this article: How the appraisal process may help you settle your Hurricane Michael damage claims

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Hurricane Dorian Should be a Wake-up Call to All

Hurricane Dorian Should be a Wake-up Call to All

Our hearts and prayers go out to all those impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Preliminary reports indicate 13,000 structures destroyed and $25 billion in damage, not to mention the catastrophic flooding. As I’ve listened to all the anxious questions from callers concerned about Dorian and conferred with our Florida Public Adjuster professionals, one common theme prevailed.

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The Hurricane Dorian Dilemma

The Hurricane Dorian Dilemma

Historically, Labor Day storms have not been kind to Florida and Hurricane Dorian has proven to be no exception.  Although Dorian’s final trajectory and impact on Florida remains uncertain, many State agencies, aerospace companies, businesses and thousands of residents have spent millions of dollars bracing for Dorian and its potential for an unprecedented impact. Our public adjuster staff is not sure if we will be heading into a Cat 5 disaster area to help with insurance claims or fielding calls from minor damage.   

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Hurricane Dorian Insurance Claim Tips as it Sets its Sights on Florida

Hurricane Dorian Insurance Claim Tips as it Sets its Sights on Florida

No doubt about it, Hurricane Dorian is coming to Florida. We just don’t quite know where yet as the path continues to evolve. Currently, our firm is fielding many calls from prior clients and many others who are actively seeking professional claims representation in the event Hurricane Dorian causes damage to their property.  As such, our expert adjusters are working tirelessly to prepare communities and clients for the inevitable.  Before it’s too late, we encourage everyone to contact their Insurance Agent to obtain copies of their policies and ask the right questions so that they understand their Coverages, Policy Limits, Exclusions, Deductibles, etc.

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Numerous Hurricane Michael Claims Still Unsettled

Numerous Hurricane Michael Claims Still Unsettled

Our adjusters continue to battle for fair claim settlements for Hurricane Michael policyholders. It takes patience and persistence. Note todays article: 10 Months after Michael Florida Still Doesn’t Know Wy So May Insurance Claims Are Open . If the state wants some insight into why these claims remain outstanding, they only need to speak with our public adjusters and the law firms in Florida who are fighting these claims on a day to day basis. If you still have an outstanding claim or are unhappy with your settlement, give us a call. You may have more options that you think.

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Policyholder Question – Was My Overhead & Profit Calculated Properly for My Property Insurance Claim?

Policyholder Question – Was My Overhead & Profit Calculated Properly for My Property Insurance Claim?

Q. In my case, the insurance adjuster added $10,300.00 to my Irma hurricane claim to cover Overhead & Profit. This amount and the ACV were paid to me by Frontline upfront under my Replacement Value hurricane policy. The recoverable depreciation was held back until the work was completed. I required six trades to complete the work...roofer, painter, solar system, plumber, gutters and garage door. I did not hire a general contractor. I dealt with each trade directly. After the roof and painting were completed this past April (2019), I filed my claim for about $1,700.00 additional expenses relating to the roof and painting, plus the recoverable depreciation relating to the roof and painting (approx. $7300.00 RD). There was no dispute with respect to the $1,700.00 add'l expenses. The balance of the work (gutters, garage door, etc.) will be completed this winter/spring. My out of pocket expenses paid to the roofer and painter was only about $400.00 more than the ACV plus recoverable depreciation. Frontline clawed back almost all of my Overhead & Profit recovery relating to the roof and painting and offset it against the Recoverable Depreciation. The result was that I received a check for about $400.00, rather than a check for $9000.00 that I expected ($1,700 add'l expenses plus $7300 recoverable depreciation). Frontline's explanation is that I am only entitled to receive the amount of my out of pocket expenses so, to achieve this result, they can claw back some, or all, of the Overhead & Profit amount previously paid. The effect of this is that older homes with higher depreciation such as our 45 year old bungalow will have almost all, if not all, of the previously paid O & P clawed back, while a newer home with lower depreciation, like my neighbor's 4 year old home, will have very little of the O & P clawed back. In both cases we have acted as our own general contractor. Has my recoverable depreciation claim been properly handled? My home is in Florida. Thank you

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Policyholder Question – Public Adjuster Fee

Policyholder Question – Public Adjuster Fee

This is a frequent question we get after a policyholder has tried to handle their own claim and learns the settlement amount will not return their property to its prior condition.

Q. Does a public adjuster get paid on the full amount of the claim or just the disputed amount?

A. If a prior payment was made before the PA was hired, the PA should not be paid a fee on that amount. Basically, a PA should only be paid on new money they were able to recover after they were hired.

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The Property Insurance Claims Game – The Storm After the Storm Continues

The Property Insurance Claims Game – The Storm After the Storm Continues

The Tampa Bay Times published an article in their editorial page this past week titled, “Stop Giving Hurricane Victims the Run Around” which in my humble opinion is well worth the time to read. For the most part I could not agree more with this commentary as we have seen this “run around” for years.  Clearly history has shown us that when mass catastrophic events occur, one’s expectations are that significant confusion and chaos in the early weeks, especially when first responders are mobilizing to respond to life, health, and safety issues will be the rule.

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