On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Hurricane Irma Insurance Claim Settlement Checks – Watch what you sign

Hurricane Irma Insurance Claim Settlement Checks – Watch what you sign

Your property or business suffered damage during Hurricane Irma. 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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Will Christmas be merry or will old man Scrooge ruin the season of giving for policyholders?

Will Christmas be merry or will old man Scrooge ruin the season of giving for policyholders?

The title for this blog popped in my head based on a question sent into our firm about property insurance policy adjusting practices and procedures related to Hurricane Irma claims. Here is the question sent in from a resident in one hard hit area of Florida:

Policyholder Question: I received a claim check from the insurance company and they have deducted depreciation for my roof. It is a large number and I have read a few different answers related to my question. If I have a replacement value insurance policy, can they hold depreciation? Do I really need to put $20,000+ out of my pocket until a time in the future when they might release that depreciation to me?

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Policyholder Question – How can I get the insurance company to expedite my claim?

Policyholder Question – How can I get the insurance company to expedite my claim?

The following is an insurance claim question we answered for a policyholder through the United Policyholders Ask an Expert Forum.

Q. I made several requests for different reimbursements after a fire for things like mileage, replacement of computer equipment, and laundry expenses. I made the request two months ago and provided all necessary documentation. This is taking way too long. What can I do?

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Check the details before accepting your Hurricane Irma claim settlement check

Check the details before accepting your Hurricane Irma claim settlement check

Property owners who were impacted by Hurricane Irma and filed a property insurance claim are starting to receive settlement offers from their insurance company.  Some are shocked at the settlement offers they receive. Sometimes our firm will be retained by a homeowner only to receive a call several weeks later to say the insurance company adjuster had called them with a verbal settlement offer they might be able to live with. Even though it’s outside of our contract cancellation date and work may have begun on the loss, we typically wish them well and thank them for their consideration in selecting our firm to assist them. That got me thinking about all the property insurance claim offers we’ve gotten over the many years assisting clients.  

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How Law & Ordinance Coverage Will Impact your Insurance Claim

How Law & Ordinance Coverage Will Impact your Insurance Claim

A lot of properties that experienced Hurricane Irma losses will have Law & Ordinance issues. Law & Ordinance kicks in when the Florida building code requirements impact what will be required in order to obtain a CO (Certificate of Occupancy) in order to reoccupy the damaged structure. It is a separate coverage in your policy that you must elect and covers some of the cost of required code upgrades. If your property (be it commercial or residential) suffers a loss where the cost of repairs is greater than 50% of the pre-loss value of the real property, your repairs must incorporate current building code upgrades. 

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Dealing with Low Insurance Claim Settlement Offers for your Hurricane Irma Claims

Dealing with Low Insurance Claim Settlement Offers for your Hurricane Irma Claims

If the inquiries coming into our offices are any guide, policyholders are receiving settlement offers for their insurance claims and many are not happy and in some cases shocked at the offer they are receiving. 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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Pittsburgh Apartment Owner Receives Low-Ball Repair Estimate for Fire Damage

Pittsburgh Apartment Owner Receives Low-Ball Repair Estimate for Fire Damage

We want to thank Pittsburgh Public Adjuster Zach Flora for contributing the following success story.

A real estate owner of multiple properties experienced a 3 alarm fire at one of their apartment buildings located in the Hill District area of Pittsburgh on November 2016.  The building suffered significant fire, water and smoke damage. Upon reporting the loss to its insurance carrier, multiple adjusters were sent out to inspect the loss and the insurance company immediately assigned an outside company specializing in large losses to handle the claim.  This adjuster prepared a repair estimate that (in the opinion of the apartment owner) did not cover the cost to cover the value of the building and the hidden structural damages that were apparent. It became obvious that the repair estimate ignored parts of the building not directly affected by the fire, but were still subjected to massive amounts of smoke and water damage.

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Policyholder Question - Can my property insurance company take back claim settlement?

Policyholder Question - Can my property insurance company take back claim settlement?

The following is an insurance claim question we answered for a policyholder through the United Policyholders Ask an Expert Forum.

Q. We had a dishwasher leak into my cabinets and on my engineered hardwood floors. A claim was filed. Independent adjuster came out. When I got my estimates done they came out higher. Insurance already sent a check to us for 45kand repairs are at 65k. Now they want to send out a staff adjuster. My question is can they take money back if their staff adjuster doesn't come out with the same figures when they've already sent payment and notice? We did well on our first adjustment but I am worried that the second adjuster might not be as much in my favor.

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Policyholder Question – Why is my insurance carrier claiming non-recoverable depreciation?

Policyholder Question – Why is my insurance carrier claiming non-recoverable depreciation?

The following is an insurance claim question we answered for a policyholder through the United Policyholders Ask an Expert Forum.

Q. In my original claim, my insurance company said that my 98 year old mother had replacement coverage. We've gone through her contents and submitted a statement of loss. In our findings, most of her contents were 40, 50 or even 100+ year old collectables. In the subsequent settlement, the insurance company increased their payout; however, they now claimed over $30k of items under "non-recoverable" depreciation. How do you verify what is or what is not recoverable under this clause? The policy documents are very vague, tough to read even when you can find them.

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Policyholder Question – Challenging a Restoration Bill After a Fire

Policyholder Question – Challenging a Restoration Bill After a Fire

Q. We had a fire in our split-level duplex. The downstairs unit was a complete loss and the upstairs had smoke damage. Upon further inspection, the entire structure had to be brought up to code which totaled out the loss. The insurance company brought in a remediation company which still has a $4,000 bill outstanding for cleaning up the structure. Two builders say the structure should've been totaled immediately without any attempt for structural remediation. What are our options to challenge the remediation company's bill and claims?

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