On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

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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Policyholder Question – Being Underinsured can impact your Insurance Claim

Policyholder Question – Being Underinsured can impact your Insurance Claim

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

Q. We are survivors of Hurricane Maria. Our property sustained severe damages from the wind and rain. The insurance company´s adjuster reports damages amounting to $36,000. But they are only offering $10,000 arguing that we failed to reassess the property in recent years. As a result, when they apply the per square foot construction cost mandated by the local insurance industry regulator, our property comes out as severely underinsured. We had purchased the property for $125,000 nearly 20 years ago and its value nowadays is below that amount owing to the economic recession.  (Of the $125,000 we paid, the appraisal back then estimated the structure value at $40,000 and the land at $100,000) We are filing a second appeal and are wondering if this is an industry practice.  Any suggestions?

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Hurricane Irma’s Deductible Surprise & Other Insurance Policy Surprises Hurting the Policyholder

Hurricane Irma’s Deductible Surprise & Other Insurance Policy Surprises Hurting the Policyholder

By now folks in Florida are finding out how little they are going to get paid for their insurance claim damages from Hurricane Irma. Our office is being bombarded with calls and emails from policyholders seeking help and answers about their property insurance losses from Hurricane Irma. Not surprising a lot of the frustration is about the fact that their claim file was closed without payment due to a subjective opinion by independent insurance adjusters working for some insurance companies.

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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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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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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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Understanding Depreciation Estimates for Your Property Insurance Claim

When there is a storm event such as the flooding in the Pensacola, Destin, Gulf Breeze and the Ft. Walton Beach areas we always get questions about how depreciation works. As public adjusters, we deal with this type of situation all the time when we are managing a policyholder’s claim. Deprecation is figured in a number of ways depending on who is making the calculations. As an example; in the insurance adjusting field, the text book example is to come up with a percentage based on the age of an item and its full life expectancy. So if an item is one year old and the average life is 20 years the percent to be applied for deprecation is 5%.  If the cost of the item new is $5,000 then $250.00 in deprecation should be taken for each year of life. If an item is 5 years old and the life expectancy is 15 years then 33% would be reasonable.

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Policyholder Question: How Much Depreciation Should be Taken for a Driveway?

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

Q. What, if any, should be acceptable ACV on a driveway and walkway on a personal residence?  House was demolished by fire and working with adjuster on fair settlement value of these surfaces.  Policy provides ACV.

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