On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Policyholder Question – Can we be reimbursed for doing our own insurance claim repairs?

Policyholder Question – Can we be reimbursed for doing our own insurance claim repairs?

Q. Hurricane Irma caused damage to our home. No area contractors were able to do any interior repairs in a timely fashion. My wife and I have the skill sets to do drywall repairs, tiling, painting etc. Are we entitled to be reimbursed for our personal labor?

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Policyholder Question – Applying Overhead to Your Insurance Claim

Policyholder Question – Applying Overhead to Your Insurance Claim

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

Q. Is it customary for restoration contractors to charge for 3 triple (cleaning, vacuuming, and/or anti-microbial) treatments in their remediation estimates ?

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Policyholder Question: Additional Living Expense (ALE) Conflicts and Cash Out Offers

Policyholder Question: Additional Living Expense (ALE) Conflicts and Cash Out Offers

One of the things I like about blogging, is that the tips and advice you provide policyholders about issues they are having with their insurance claims stays up indefinitely and can assist people having the same claim problems. I recently responded to reader question from a 2013 guest blog post on the Merlin Law Group Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog that I had the privilege of contributing to. The article titled: Insurance Companies Using Preferred Contractors to Settle Claims Not in Policyholders Best Interest discussed how insurance companies send out their preferred vendors who then try to control costs to the consternation of the policyholder.

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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 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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