On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

 
     

Public Adjuster Uses Good Property Insurance Adjusting Practices to Win a Fair Claim Settlement for Condominium Owners

Public Adjuster Uses Good Property Insurance Adjusting Practices to Win a Fair Claim Settlement for Condominium Owners

Ken and Joan spent their working lives in public service, Ken as an educator, and Joan as a nurse. It was their dream to have a vacation home in a warm climate so they purchased a condominium in Bonita Springs, Florida. A contractor error caused a pipe break in a unit above theirs and entirely flooded their home with hundreds of gallons of water. They were notified and drove down to Florida to inspect the damage and meet with their insurance company. That’s when the insurance claim problems began.

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The Wall Street Journal Claims Legal Abuse by Florida’s Trial Bar Related to Insurance Claim Water Losses Contributes to Increased Property Insurance Rates

The Wall Street Journal Claims Legal Abuse by Florida’s Trial Bar Related to Insurance Claim Water Losses Contributes to Increased Property Insurance Rates

In case you missed it, The Wall Street Journal published March 15, 2017 had an article in the editorial section titled “Florida’s Trial Bar Hurricane.” I think most folks who are regular readers of WSJ would agree that the publication is no friend of plaintiff lawyers, so at least we know they are prejudiced to some extent and thus know where they are coming from. But in this case, I see no prejudice but instead good reporting. They make some excellent points, which seemingly are backed up by facts and figures even if they are from the carrier’s side. In my opinion this editorial piece is a good analysis of Florida’s current AOB problem, which is currently being debated in the 2017 Florida Legislative session.

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Water Damage Insurance Claims – Do You Think You’re Fully Covered?

Water Damage Insurance Claims – Do You Think You’re Fully Covered?
Water losses are by far the most frequent claims reported to the insurance industry. I suspect water losses are also the most frequent perils that impact property owners. Since many are not reported however, we really have no accurate data to determine the full scope of damages that water causes notwithstanding the CLUE reports (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) that are filed for reported claims. Yes, both you and your claim data are being stored and indexed by big brother insurance. Who would have thought with all the privacy concerns that your prior property loss information is stored and shared! With flooding everywhere in the southeast and especially Florida and the Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg area due to a stagnant weather low system, it seems timely to cover a few of the issues policyholders are facing with water losses and their insurance claims.Read More

Winter Storm Claims – Getting a Fair Settlement is Up to You

A recent article, Boston Area Expects a Flood of Claims After Record Winter points to the growing recognition that some property owners are in for a fight when it comes to obtaining a fair settlement for their winter storm damage insurance claim. As one homeowner from Plymouth, Mass. put it, “It’s a part time job just trying to navigate it all.” As you will read in the article, too many people “hope” they will get a fair offer from their insurance company. Our general advice is that while working with your insurance company, remember that this is your claim. So don’t rely on the insurance company alone to tell you how much they will pay. Make sure you get independent estimates from contractors to confirm what it will take to fix the damage.Read More

Property insurance claim denied? Using the insurance company’s expert may lead to a reversal

Let me explain with an example of a claim that came across my desk that should be instructive laying out the steps policyholders should take when the dreaded denial letter comes in the mail from your insurance company. First, don’t panic. You may be able to turn things around provided you have requested all the information you need to convince your insurance company of the errors of their ways. So let’s get started. It will require a little work on your part, but you can do it.

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Water Damage Insurance Claims Pendulum Swinging the Wrong Way for Florida Policyholders

I want to thank Florida Public Adjuster Michael Platts for penning this excellent commentary. 

By Michael W. Platts
We are rapidly approaching the end of the hurricane season. It has been an unprecedented nine years since a hurricane has struck the State of Florida. Nonetheless, many citizens are not seeing much if any reduction in their property insurance premiums and worse yet, the overall environment seems to be one in which the consumer continues to receive less and less coverage whether it is a result of unfavorable court rulings, legislative machinations which strengthen the hand of the insurance companies or more restrictive language within the insurance companies’ contracts (their policies).

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Policyholder Question: Shower Pan Leak Claim – Is it Covered?

Here is an insurance claim question that we recently were asked to weigh in on as a contributing member of insurance claim experts for United Policyholders who advocates for property owners. 

Q. My shower pan or the drain was leaking slowly. I had a piece of carpet over the carpet at the door of the shower and did not realize it. There is mold through to the sub floor under the pan and the carpeted area which we can see on the ceiling under the shower in the basement. I have Total Protect homeowners. They said it was not the plumbing so will not pay. My regular home insurance is with Allstate. Their representative told me they never pay for a pan leak even if it is the drain or pan itself. I pay for all of this insurance and then they refuse to accept responsibility. What do I do?

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Florida Property Insurance Claims - Life is Like a Box of Chocolates, You Never Know What You’ll Get

A four-page unsolicited letter I received last week from an attorney filled me in on some of the inner workings of the powers to be in Tallahassee and reminded me of this famous line from the Forrest Gump movie. This letter was like a box of chocolates as each paragraph revealed something new. Apparently, he has been following some of my writings, specifically about the reduction in coverage for the  water peril, the most frequent cause of losses for property damage and wanted to give me some background on how this all went down. 

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Municipalities Also Feeling the Impact of Frozen Pipes

Home and business owners aren’t the only ones feeling the impact from frozen pipe breaks. A recent NY Times article; A Severe Winter Breaks Budgets as Well as Pipes discusses the toll the deep freeze is taking on municipal infrastructure which may be dealing with pipes over 100 years old. We also know schools and other public facilities are experiencing frozen pipe damage.  When there is wide spread damage from weather events, we’ve seen these local governments bring in public adjusters to manage their claims since they are typically short on resources.

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Policyholder Question: Frozen Pipe Burst Claim Dispute - Is it Time to Hire a Public Adjuster?

Policyholder Question: Frozen Pipe Burst Claim Dispute -  Is it Time to Hire a Public Adjuster?

Here is an insurance claim question that we answered as a contributing member of experts for United Policyholders who advocates for property owners.

Q. I had an upstairs pipe burst 1 month ago that caused damage to the upstairs bathroom (tile & drywall), carpet in upstairs (hallway & one bedroom), all of downstairs kitchen (walls, cabinets, ceiling, under-house insulation, HVAC ductwork). After quickly stopping the leak and vacuuming out the water, I set up my claim and started calling water damage restoration companies.  Of the dozen I called, only one could come out sooner than 5 days.  They began drying and demolishing within 2 days.  After my persistent calling, an adjuster finally got in touch with me 8 days later to setup an appointment.  This appointment was 24 days after initial damage!  Now I will talk about my dispute.  Two adjusters showed up.  The upstairs tile had expanded and contracted enough to bust loose.  The tile creaks badly and the adjusters bent down with me and clearly observed it moving.  However, they still were insistent on not replacing it.  I have continuous carpet (mended seamlessly at the thresholds) all over the upstairs including stairs.  They wanted to cut above the stairs and at thresholds, citing they only had to replace what was damaged.  Downstairs, they wouldn't even consider the tile, although I know that it was wet under those tiles for at least a week with plenty of time for mold spores to form.  Every piece of plywood under those tiles was wet and didn't get insulation removed for 4 days and never had a fan or dehumidifier put in the crawl space.

Where do I go from here? I thought I should first write the adjusters a letter in my defense.  I was an engineer for The Tile Council of North America which publishes industry-consensus guidelines for ceramic tile installation. I have plenty of expertise and sources to back my concerns. Or should I just get a public adjuster? Thank you!

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