On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

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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The Independent and Impartial Appraisal: Can the appraiser discuss their opinions and findings of the loss with their policyholder client before the appraisal panel begins their deliberation?

The Independent and Impartial Appraisal: Can the appraiser discuss their opinions and findings of the loss with their policyholder client before the appraisal panel begins their deliberation?

A policyholder wrote in and recently asked:

Q. I’m hoping you can help me with an answer to a quick question. I hired a public adjuster to do an insurance appraisal because the insurance company has been jerking me around. The public adjuster will not share the dollar amount of his appraisal with me. Is that standard practice? He is stating that there is a clause in my policy that requires the appraiser to be independent and impartial, which then prohibits him from sharing his appraisal value with me. I think he is incorrect and is simply waiting for the insurance company’s appraiser to submit his value before writing up his own. Can you please advise? Thank you.

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The Property Insurance Claims Games Continue for Hurricane Michael Policyholders

The Property Insurance Claims Games Continue for Hurricane Michael Policyholders

Read an excellent feature article by the Tampa Bay Times this weekend on how policyholders are still being denied claims dollars that will help them recover from Hurricane Michael. Our public adjusters continue to battle and negotiate for homeowners and business owners. Some insurance companies are very professional while others continue to play the deny and delay game.

 https://www.tampabay.com/florida/2019/06/26/hurricane-michael-destroyed-their-homes-then-the-insurance-heartache-began/

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Policyholder Question – Will the bank holding my mortgage release my insurance settlement?

Policyholder Question – Will the bank holding my mortgage release my insurance settlement?

When a homeowner files an insurance claim, the last thing they expect is having to include their mortgage holder on the check. But this is usually the case and cause settlement delays and confusion depending on how the mortgage holder processes the settlement. The following is a related insurance claim question we answered submitted by a policyholder.

Q. I have a VA loan through TD Bank whose main office is in Lewiston, Maine. I live in Florida and retained a public adjuster to help me deal with my insurance claim. I suffered severe damage from Hurricane Michael on 10/10/18. Do you think I will have any problems with the bank releasing insurance proceeds directly to me seeing as it could be an inconvenience for the bank with me living so far away? Also, what records will the insurance company require if I do some of the work myself and have others help me?

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