On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Hiring Public Adjuster Reaps Additional $35,000 Insurance Claim Settlement

Hiring Public Adjuster Reaps Additional $35,000 Insurance Claim Settlement

After receiving a low initial offer from their insurance company for a water damage claim resulting from a leaking shower pan on the 2nd floor, these Lithia, Fl homeowners decided to see if a public insurance adjuster could help them with their insurance claim. They contacted Tampa Public Adjuster, Scott Luginski and indicated they were unfamiliar with the claim process and simply did not have the time or knowledge to deal with the frustration of an insurance claim and negotiating a better settlement.  Once retained, Scott was able to inspect the property and noticed a considerable amount of unaccounted damage. 

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Water Damage Claims and the First 13 Days Court Decision

Water Damage Claims and the First 13 Days Court Decision

Several years ago, we started seeing property insurance policies with new very restrictive language that attempted to exclude water losses based on the subjective opinion of some as to when the water loss occurred and caused damages. It was my opinion that this 14 day limitation would be very bad for folks in Florida, as well as snowbirds who own property and only reside here six or so months a year.

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Hurricane Season and a Special Concern for Condominium Community Claims

Hurricane Season and a Special Concern for Condominium Community Claims

Florida’s condominium community, it’s heads up time up for this year’s hurricane season and the escalating threat as we approach the most active time for tropical storm development. A few new releases from some of the weather pundits raised the possibility of more tropical storms this year. This is the second time this year the threat level has been raised for an increase in tropical storms in 2017. One respected weather guru who publishes a daily blog is sharing his concerns about all the weather waves moving off of Africa. So as they say, game on! 

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Floods, Water Losses and Money

Floods, Water Losses and Money

There were a number of articles over the course of the last few weeks that focused my attention back to the water peril.  Spring storms in the middle section of the country with the severe floods that always seem to follow; global warming issues being reported almost daily with the threat of rising sea levels; and then this recent article, Flood recovery meeting set in White Sulphur Springs  from The Herald-Dispatch in West Virginia, that announced meetings with various officials to try and provide updates to the folks in southern West Virginia who were affected by last year’s floods in the mountain state. 

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AOB SOB

AOB SOB

“Well, I’ll be damned!”

These were the first words that came out of my mouth when I read an article reporting on a speech that Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater gave at a recent insurance conference attended by Florida property insurance executives. Then another “I’ll be damned” came out when I read an internet posting of efforts being made by the Florida’s new Insurance Commissioner to crack down on Assignment of Benefits a.k.a. AOB abuse and new legislation being prepared for this year’s legislative session which convenes in March.
 
But first some background on what prompted my shock and awe.  

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Public Adjuster Offers Insurance Claim Advice to West Virginia Flood Victims

Public Adjuster Offers Insurance Claim Advice to West Virginia Flood Victims

Anticipating the 100 year flood event that occurred in my native southern West Virginia was the last thing on my mind when I wrote and published my recent blog Troubled Waters – Insurance Claims Under Attack, about the “Troubled Water Claims” phenomena we are currently experiencing in Florida. But given the fact that Florida’s water problems and West Virginia’s terrible flooding disaster have one common denominator - water, I thought it would be helpful and hopefully educational to distinguish a flood event versus a water loss since these terms are often misused in the property insurance world. In addition, for those who do have flood insurance, we want to share some knowledge and information in the form of tips from my firm’s extensive experience in water/flood losses including our most recent work handling Super Storm Sandy flood claims in New York.

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Troubled Waters - Water Insurance Claims Under Attack

Troubled Waters - Water Insurance Claims Under Attack

Non-weather related water loss insurance claims in Florida are on the rise. So says Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater who heads up the Florida Department of Financial Services. The problem is so great that his Florida Consumer Advocate, Ms. Sha’ Ron James called for a summit and invited all stakeholders to attend. 

Mr. Atwater is not the only one sounding the alarm on water damage claim issues and its companion Assignment of Benefits (AOB). Based on my following the news on this hot topic it seems most insurance carriers in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach county areas are all in agreement that the situation is getting out of control and in fact may be critical, requiring rate increases and further reductions in insurance property policy coverages for water losses.

 
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Policyholder Question - Flooded Condominium

Here is a question we were happy to answer as part of the expert panel for United Policyholders.

Q. My condo flooded from the unit above me caused by a leaking pipe. I have flood insurance and no homeowner insurance. Damage from water and mold is extensive. Do I need an attorney? I have been trying to work with the condo association property management and the above unit's insurance adjusters. I am getting no answers as to who pays for damages to what areas. It has been two weeks. Loss has occurred in Florida and I live in Utah. I am keeping a journal and have begun cleanup and dry out procedures after pipe repair to stop water leak. Click to see read the answer.

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Adjuster Education - Winning, that’s what it’s all about. Right?

Adjuster Education - Winning, that’s what it’s all about. Right?
An article in the 2015 autumn edition of the Marshall University Magazine (my alma mater) resonated with me in the context of insurance losses. In theory there should not be any winners or losers when it comes to paying for an insured policyholder’s claim. The insurance company is supposed to indemnify their insured or make them whole, as in putting them back in the place they were before the loss.Read More

South Carolina Flooding – Now Come the Insurance Claim Challenges

South Carolina Flooding – Now Come the Insurance Claim Challenges
Some of the news reports and photographs from South Carolina support the claims that this flooding event was indeed unprecedented and historic. The only thing close to this magnitude was the flooding in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The flooding from Katrina was in large part a result of the levies being beached. The flood event in South Carolina is a result of record amounts of rain. Read More