On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Hurricane Harvey Insurance Claims – Some Common Sense Advice from an Experienced Adjuster

Hurricane Harvey Insurance Claims – Some Common Sense Advice from an Experienced Adjuster

Our hearts go out to all the folks in Texas and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Harvey and the brave first responders risking their safety to assist others. Based on damage reports and our own public adjuster staff who are monitoring the situation, there is no doubt this event will rival Katrina and create insurance claim disputes unlike we’ve seen before. And if property damage wasn’t enough, the loss of power added misery to the mix.  To deal with these perils it behooves property owners to keep their eye on the ball or in this case the money. High percentage hurricane deductibles are being applied and many folks may be surprised that despite their wind or hurricane coverage, they may be out of pocket for the mitigation and replacement costs due to lack of flood coverage or exclusions for water - sewer back-up. 

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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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AOB SOB

AOB SOB

“Well, I’ll be damned!”

These were the first words that came out of my mouth when I read an article reporting on a speech that Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater gave at a recent insurance conference attended by Florida property insurance executives. Then another “I’ll be damned” came out when I read an internet posting of efforts being made by the Florida’s new Insurance Commissioner to crack down on Assignment of Benefits a.k.a. AOB abuse and new legislation being prepared for this year’s legislative session which convenes in March.
 
But first some background on what prompted my shock and awe.  

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Policyholder Question – Recovery and Reconstruction from Hurricane Matthew Demolition

Policyholder Question – Recovery and Reconstruction from Hurricane Matthew Demolition

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

Q. I live in coastal SC. January 8, 2017 is the three-month anniversary of Hurricane Matthew which caused extensive wind and flood damage. On October 10, 2016, the community association hired restoration company was on site demolishing and removing drywall, appliances, insulation, furniture from 32 townhomes and condos. Approximately ten 8x12 foot piles of damaged property were hauled to a landfill. WMC, LLC changed managers three times in these three months. We have received 4 or 5 letters requesting patience. We have not received a construction start date, information on what buildings will be repaired, order of repair, the construction companies, cost, or timeframe. I was advised to find an aggressive SC flood insurance and homeowners association attorney. We are running out of "loss of use" paying for a rental home. Please advise.

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Troubled Waters - Water Insurance Claims Under Attack

Troubled Waters - Water Insurance Claims Under Attack
Non-weather related water loss insurance claims in Florida are on the rise. So says Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater who heads up the Florida Department of Financial Services. The problem is so great that his Florida Consumer Advocate, Ms. Sha’ Ron James called for a summit and invited all stakeholders to attend. 

Mr. Atwater is not the only one sounding the alarm on water damage claim issues and its companion Assignment of Benefits (AOB). Based on my following the news on this hot topic it seems most insurance carriers in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach county areas are all in agreement that the situation is getting out of control and in fact may be critical, requiring rate increases and further reductions in insurance property policy coverages for water losses.

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Managed Repair Tips and Some Personal Observations from My Recent Trip to the Caribbean

Managed Repair Tips and Some Personal Observations from My Recent Trip to the Caribbean
First I want to share some atmospheric observations and conditions that are clearly changing in the Caribbean and may play into the El Niño, La Niña narrative. On my trip last week to the Leeward Island of St Maarten I had the opportunity to visit with old clients, friends and observe changes that have occurred since my last trip in 2015. 

Parts of the Caribbean including the island of St Maarten/St Martin and South America particularly Venezuela have been experiencing severe drought over the last year. The locals I have talked with all contribute this drought to the El Niño weather conditions. But the good news is that the atmosphere seems to be returning to a more normal condition as the rains are returning and at least in the Leeward Islands the vegetation is starting to return to its lush green color one would expect to see on a tropical island. Unfortunately this drought has not been without its cost as many coconut palms and tropical floral have withered and died. This is a result of no measurable rain for a seven-month period.

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Managed Repair and Its Forbearer Option to Repair

Managed Repair and Its Forbearer Option to Repair

The following is a short primer and history lesson for the insured property consumer on these two fool’s errands. For those of us in the property insurance adjusting business, we see the storm clouds gathering given all the recent rhetoric about allowing a policyholder’s insurance company to repair their property following a covered loss.  Given our knowledge and experience, we know the likely outcome of this latest scheme to pump up underwriting profits, but my guess is not many laymen do.  Make no mistake about it, your policy premiums will not drop if these managed repair programs being touted as a savior for you and the insurance industry is approved by the Tallahassee regulators. The irony is that managed repair and its stepchild “option to repair” will most likely be bad for both the insured and the insurer. So given what may be the inevitable, let’s examine both of these repair schemes. 

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The Trouble with Insurance Company Managed Repair Claims Programs

The Trouble with Insurance Company Managed Repair Claims Programs
Insurance companies have started exercising their options to repair under many of their contracts. What this means is that they are bringing in contractors of their choice to fix the damages resulting from a property loss they cover. Let’s be honest.  They have a right to do this, but it often isn’t in the best interest of their customers when they choose to do so. Why?Read More

Managed Repair Insurance Claim Programs – The Real Cost

Managed Repair Insurance Claim Programs – The Real Cost
A great deal of information is being published regarding some insurance companies’ plans to implement so called “Managed Repair” programs. The rationale is that they will reduce costs (and I assume increase profits) by partnering with restoration contractors and some independent adjusting companies who supposedly will oversee the work and provide some sort of due diligence. This will lead to the latest scheme being proposed to a reduction in the cost of insurance premiums. So the most important questions we should be asking are: What’s the real cost to the policyholder and will rate increases continue despite these managed repair programs?Read More

Managed Repair Property Insurance Claims – Our View

Managed Repair Property Insurance Claims – Our View

For as long as I can remember, property policies had language that allowed insurance carriers to exercise their “right to repair” the policyholder’s property. There was always a catch for some of the insurers since there was generally a requirement that they had to give the policyholder 30 days notice after they received a proof of loss. Some policies may have had slightly different language, but for the most part if they missed a deadline date, they were out of luck.

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