On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Adjusting Expectations for Hurricane Michael Insurance Claims

Adjusting Expectations for Hurricane Michael Insurance Claims

It’s been just over three (3) months since Hurricane Michael decimated Panama City, Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe causing billions of dollars in damage in just those areas alone.  Michael was the strongest hurricane to ever strike the Florida Panhandle, reaching back to the beginning of even fragmentary historical records in 1851. Let’s not forget the thousands of people affected in northern areas of Florida such as Blountstown, Marianna and the many other towns throughout Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina where it pummeled thousands trying to recover from Hurricane Florence a month earlier, not to mention Virginia where the remnants of Michael caused 5 deaths.  

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Hurricane Michael Damage and the Building Moratorium

Hurricane Michael Damage and the Building Moratorium

As Hurricane Michael damage recovery moves into the new year, we continue get deluged with property insurance claim questions from frustrated policyholders. Right now, we seem to be at the stage where policyholders have received settlement offers they feel are too low to fix their damage or where property owners feel their insurance company is not being responsive. This is especially true with commercial claims and the business community in the Panhandle as evidence in this article Local Businesses Say Insurance is Taking Too Long on Claims. Now there’s a good way to kill off the small business community!

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More Insurance Claim Challenges for Hurricane Michael Condominium Owners

More Insurance Claim Challenges for Hurricane Michael Condominium Owners

This is about the time in the insurance claims settlement cycle that we start getting calls from property owners living in condos, who are looking for help following property damage to their building that impacted their unit. This often takes the form of damage to the unit owner’s property, including their personal property as well as items such as carpet, other types of floor covering, trim items such as door frames, baseboards, cabinets and the list goes on depending on the type and severity of the damage and the wording in their condominium documents. When a covered casualty event occurs, whether it is from wind, water, fire, or the dreaded “mold” word, the finger pointing starts and in many cases the unit owner is caught in the middle.

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Enhanced conditions for electrical fires in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael

Enhanced conditions for electrical fires in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael

The effects of Hurricane Michaels wind and rain damage are still readily apparent in the Panama City area. Roofing crews and blue tarps are still visible wherever you travel. But what may not be so obvious, are storm related damages that may have resulted to electrical and mechanical systems in your home or business. From my perspective, too many policyholders blindly follow a contractors or even their insurance company’s desire to “fix up” the damage and move on to the next claim, putting themselves and their property in danger.

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Hurricane Michael Insurance Claim Settlement Checks – Check the Details and Watch What You Sign

Hurricane Michael Insurance Claim Settlement Checks – Check the Details and Watch What You Sign

Your property or business suffered damage during Hurricane Michael. You promptly filed a claim or had a public insurance adjuster document and file the claim for you. A check from the insurance company appears in the mail. Great! How easy could it be? But wait, there’s a catch…..on the back of your check there is language that states you are releasing the insurance company from any further costs related to the claim.

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Hurricane Michael’s Insurance Policyholder Deductible Surprise

Hurricane Michael’s Insurance Policyholder Deductible Surprise

By now folks in Panama City and surrounding areas hit by Hurricane Michael, are finding out how little they are going to get paid for their insurance claim damages. Our office continues to receive calls and emails from policyholders seeking help and answers about their property insurance losses. Predictably, a lot of the frustration from policyholders is about the fact that their claim file was closed without payment due to a subjective opinion by adjusters the insurance companies.

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Hurricane Michael Insurance Claim Update – The Public Adjuster’s On-the-Ground Perspective

Hurricane Michael Insurance Claim Update – The Public Adjuster’s On-the-Ground Perspective

It’s been 1 month since Hurricane Michael roared ashore. My fellow adjusters and I have seen some horrific damage in the Panama City area and we plan to be there for the long-haul. Many policyholders are just starting to receive their insurance checks in the mail and much to their surprise, the settlement checks received are grossly insufficient and barely cover a fraction of what the true cost of repairs will actually be. We see this same scenario play out in every storm that we have worked over the years. 

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How to Deal with Hurricane Michael Low Insurance Claim Settlement Offers

How to Deal with Hurricane Michael Low Insurance Claim Settlement Offers

If the feedback we are getting on the ground in Panama City and the inquiries coming into our offices are any guide, policyholders are none too happy with the settlement offers they are receiving for their Hurricane Michael property damage claims. Most often we are told the offer does not remotely cover the cost of repairs based on estimates local contractors are providing.

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Public Adjuster Offers Hurricane Michael Insurance Claim Tips

Public Adjuster Offers Hurricane Michael Insurance Claim Tips

Hurricane Michael has left thousands of residential and commercial property owners with insurance claims – a process they’ve never had to deal with before. Thanks to our senior public adjuster, Kevin Leisure for participating in a recent WFLA TV interview to discuss what people need to know about the property insurance claims process and what mistakes policyholders need to avoid making. Bottom line, property owners need to be patient but persistent with regards to their insurance claim and educate themselves. Our firm has already set-up an office in the Panama City area and we expect this will be a long process of recovery. Our adjusters are dedicated to educating policyholders and getting them the settlement they deserve in order to rebuild. See our Hurricane Michael insurance claims page for additional information. 

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What happens to your Hurricane Florence claim once the adjuster leaves

What happens to your Hurricane Florence claim once the adjuster leaves

Many people might be surprised that having an adjuster look at your claim is only the beginning of the insurance claim process. Remember, the field adjuster that inspected your property may not be an employee of the insurance company. They are typically independent adjusters on contract and typically are paid a set fee or percentage for each claim they handle. This is especially true during disaster situations Like Hurricane Florence when there are so many claims to adjust. Typically, there is a shortage of qualified and they are hard pressed to get to as many claims as possible. You should ask them what firm they are with when they come to inspect your property and note how thorough they are recording your damage and if they are “listening” to you. 

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