On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

The Frozen Mess in Texas and What it Will Mean for Insurance Claims

The Frozen Mess in Texas and What it Will Mean for Insurance Claims

Based on all the news from various media sources and real time reporting, this Texas weather event that caused power outages frozen pipe bursts and water damage is going to be a monster. Clients we have spoken with along with claim adjusters assigned to our losses are describing unprecedented conditions with damages to homes and buildings. How policyholders report and handle these claims will make a difference in the final outcome.

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Policyholder Question – Something is very stinky with this adjuster’s position on sewer back-up insurance claim

Policyholder Question – Something is very stinky with this adjuster’s position on sewer back-up insurance claim

Q. We moved into our new house and within a few weeks, the sewer backed up into the shower and leaked out of the shower pan all over the downstairs area (very stinky!). Everyone agrees this is considered a "Category 3" leak. Remediation company came and took out the tile, flooring, a lot of drywall and dried everything out. Insurance company has no problem paying them for everything they did (they seem to work together a lot). Insurance adjuster is saying that the tile and shower pan are part of the plumbing and are not covered, but is saying that they will pay for the cement board behind the tile in the shower. They are also only planning to pay an amount roughly equal to the cost of the remediation for reconstruction (which is roughly equal to the estimate from the remediation company....because they provide reconstruction services as well). It seems ludicrous that reconstruction would cost the same as remediation. To rip stuff out and dry it out is a lower level of skill and doesn't require any materials.....but the adjuster is saying we are lucky that he is covering what he is covering. The remediation company isn't even available to do the job. We have 3 bids from other quality contractors that actually have availability and they are double the price.

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Citizens Insurance putting limits on water losses

Citizens Insurance putting limits on water losses

Citizens has changed the coverage in their policies for non-weather water losses. Now the limit is $10,000 unless you use one of their managed repair companies. Unfortunately, AOB abuse and the resulting spike in litigation have prompted these restrictions further putting the insured at risk and lessening the value of their coverage. Keep in mind that there will still be older policies out there that have not changed based on renewal dates. But going forward be aware of this limit for water losses with Citizens.

Also note that Citizens aggressively pursues questionable water losses. If you are a policyholder, make sure your claim is legit and don’t be pushed into a claim by an overly aggressive restoration company or public adjuster.

https://www.citizensfla.com/documents/20702/10091213/20190612+08B+SIU+Cases+of+Interest.pdf/dfac956d-e86f-4fd0-92d6-96081d69ed2f

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AOB (Assignment of Benefits) abuse, is it over? Best read the new law to find out.

AOB (Assignment of Benefits) abuse, is it over?  Best read the new law to find out.

Make no mistake about it, the assignment of benefits controversy as evidenced by its reported abuse in the property insurance arena in the last decade has to have been one of the top scams I have witnessed in my 46-year career. And to top it off, it was all legal, albeit I would guess at times a bitter pill to swallow for some of those engaged in the activity, but what the heck, it was clearly profitable.

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Policyholder Asks Public Adjuster to Take a Closer Look at Their Pittsburgh Water Damage Claim

Policyholder Asks Public Adjuster to Take a Closer Look at Their Pittsburgh Water Damage Claim

Our public adjuster offices settle many claims each month. Here is one written up by our Pittsburgh Public Adjuster, Mr. Zach Flora. It’s a good lesson about digging into the details and taking charge of your claim. On August 25th a Pittsburgh family of 3 were away enjoying a fun filled family vacation when they received a call from a neighbor that quickly turned their sunshine to clouds. The neighbor called with the horrible news that their garage door was mysteriously open and water was pouring out onto the driveway. 

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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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