On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

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 does an insurer define physical loss to property?

Policyholder Question – How does an insurer define physical loss to property?

Q. Our insurer rejected our mold claim, even though we have additional coverage for mold, as well as for, "Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system, an air conditioning or automatic fire protective sprinkler system, or an appliance for heating water". The a/c repair man as well as the claims adjuster and the engineer who investigated the claim (both hired by our insurer) attributed, in writing, the cause of our mold to tearing of the attic duct work tape. The insurer claimed they would not cover our Section C loss from mold because, "the claimed loss and damage and the mold was the result of humidity and condensation. There was no physical damage; therefore the mold is not a result of a covered cause of loss." Can you please explain why they are rejecting our claim? 

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Policyholder Question – Can I Claim Loss of Use for an Apartment Rental Claim?

Policyholder Question – Can I Claim Loss of Use for an Apartment Rental Claim?

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

Q. I live in St Thomas. My house suffered substantial damage from Irma and Maria. It is a two level house with a 3rd level apartment. The upper level is missing the roof and the bottom level apartment is pulling away from the main structure. I am currently living on the 2nd level. When I bought the house in January I had planned on returning the house to the previous layout of 3 separate distinct living spaces to help with the mortgage and homeowners insurance payments. The 2nd level had already been zoned as a separate living area but was added to the main house by the previous owners. I removed the spiral staircase between the 1st and 2nd level and had contractors scheduled to come back to repair the opening. Earlier this year my parents decided they were going to move here. My father has Alzheimer disease and responds well to me. I was going to help my Mom care for him. My parents sold their house in Colorado, bought plane tickets and hired movers. They were to arrive on island October 1st. We decided ahead of time they would be paying rent and we would have a written agreement drawn up. As a result of the storm I was forced to move to the 2nd level. Had the house survived intact this would not have been a safe place for them. I would have still rented out the 2nd level to someone else. My insurance agent said I could not claim a loss of use for the vacant apartments because I had no lease already in place for them. Is this correct?

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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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Policyholder Question – Should I be concerned about a contractor asking me to sign an Assignment of Benefits clause?

Policyholder Question – Should I be concerned about a contractor asking me to sign an Assignment of Benefits clause?

The following is an insurance claim question we answered for a policyholder through the United Policyholders Ask an Expert Forum
Q. I live in the path of Irma in Florida and suffered damage to my property. Since the storm and never before, there has been tons of articles in the news, social media and TV commercials playing here in Florida warning consumers about signing Assignment of Benefits agreements with contractors because you'll get ripped off and make a mistake. I have a contractor that I've used before and known for years that says it's been an accepted practice for decades for emergency services. Are the insurance companies just trying to save money? Please explain detail because it seems like a big coordinated PR push from numerous insurance companies saying basically the exact same thing. Thank you for your help!!

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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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Policyholder Question - Can the Insurance Company Deny ALE if I have a Second Home?

Policyholder Question - Can the Insurance Company Deny ALE if I have a Second Home?

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

Q. What are the insurance company's responsibilities to their policyholders with regard to providing any adjuster's reports, ALE expenses and any timeline they are ruled by?  Insurance company says I am not eligible for ALE because I have a second home. Any guidance you could give would be appreciated. 

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