On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

One Month In, Texas Property Owners Face Insurance Claim Delays and Excessive Scrutiny

One Month In, Texas Property Owners Face Insurance Claim Delays and Excessive Scrutiny

It’s been about 1 month since Winter Storm Uri unleashed a frozen fury leaving millions of Texans in the dark to survive deadly frigid temperatures and up to $130 Billion in estimated damages. The record cold triggered mass power outages crippling The Lone Star State’s largest cities from Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Austin, El Paso and down to Corpus Christi. Despite the frenzy of news media covering the Texas grid crisis, power company executive resignations, bankruptcy filings and lawsuits, little coverage has been given to property owners still suffering from water damage caused by the plumbing freezes, water pipe bursts, or the administrative delays processing property damage insurance claims. Many consumers are just now turning to their insurance agents to file new claims or express frustration about the slow claims process. The single biggest question many are asking is, will insurance cover their claims? 

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The Frozen Mess in Texas and What it Will Mean for Insurance Claims

The Frozen Mess in Texas and What it Will Mean for Insurance Claims

Based on all the news from various media sources and real time reporting, this Texas weather event that caused power outages frozen pipe bursts and water damage is going to be a monster. Clients we have spoken with along with claim adjusters assigned to our losses are describing unprecedented conditions with damages to homes and buildings. How policyholders report and handle these claims will make a difference in the final outcome.

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Deep Freeze Will Create Frozen Pipe Leaks and Water Damage Insurance Claims

Deep Freeze Will Create Frozen Pipe Leaks and Water Damage Insurance Claims

A historic deep freeze is gripping the US with sub-zero temperatures and even more serious wind chill factors. With it will come unprecedented frozen pipe bursts, iced dams and roof collapses that will cause extensive property damage and loss to personal and commercial property as well as business inventory.  As for homeowners, if you discover a leak, turn off your water, call in a reputable plumber, inform your insurance company of the damage and get their agreement to fix and pay for the damage before hiring a reputable clean-up company.

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The Policyholder Strikes Back After Poor Winter Storm Insurance Claim Practices

The Policyholder Strikes Back After Poor Winter Storm Insurance Claim Practices

Last week, I was interviewed by Deirdre Fernandes  who covers the insurance industry for the Boston Globe. Her story   Pricey car insurance policies test consumers     discussed how more policyholders were likely to shop around for both home and auto insurance after the brutal winter left many homeowners disillusioned with their claim settlements and the coverage increases the insurance firms are trying to push through. What’s amazing is how few homeowners shop for the best rates. We handled many winter storm claims in and around Boston and I can tell you many of our clients are now shopping for new policies due to the push back and negative experience they had with insurers some had been paying premiums to for many years. In many cases, these insurers failed their moment of truth. Instead of trying to make their policyholders whole, their adjusters instead looked for technical loopholes to minimize the payouts. The policyholder will have the last say in the matter when they walk away and look for a new carrier.

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Winter Storm Claim Adjusting Practices Leave Much to Be Desired

Winter Storm Claim Adjusting Practices Leave Much to Be Desired
As we continue to help our clients who experienced winter storm damage, settle their insurance claims, we are learning more and more about insurance company claim practices and procedures, some which is quite troubling. This winter in the northeast, we endured some grueling battles with insurance companies which I will detail below. No doubt, insurance is a for-profit business and no business likes to lose money.  We also understand that one can’t generalize one company’s behavior to all insurance companies as they all have their own standards of practice. And like other public adjusters in our industry, there are good apples and there are a few bad that can taint the entire profession. Read More

Property Insurance Claim Settlements - The Devil is in the Details

Property Insurance Claim Settlements - The Devil is in the Details
While most folks are enjoying the spring weather and looking forward to summer vacations with outdoor time with the family, others are still working through the insurance claim adjustment process dealing with adjusters and contractors.  Yes, as hard as it may seem, a lot of folks are still struggling with losses over the last twelve months from winter storms in the Northeast, hail and tornados in the Southwest, and Caribbean wind losses from Hurricane Gonzalo.  It’s been a busy season for Public  Adjusters and with their help, many folks are just now entering into settlement discussions with their insurance companies. So now is the time to pay attention to the details in your insurance policy.  The news media seems to move on from storm to storm with little information offered or shared about the vital information you need to know about your property policy and its terms and conditions.Read More

Winter Storm Claim Activities Confirms Study that Shows a 50% Chance Your Property Insurance Company Will Fight You

Over the past few months, we have been helping businesses and homeowners try to settle their insurance claims from the extreme Winter Storm damage that has impacted enough property owners in Massachusetts and throughout the Northeast & New England area that this storm rivals the damage done by other major storms we have worked.  As we’ve seen with past major storms with widespread damage, it is very apparent that the insurance company’s are overwhelmed and they are desperately looking for assistance to service all their policyholders who have made claims for their property damage.  Similar to hurricanes, the carriers have enlisted the help of many independent adjusters who have made the trip from as far away as Arizona to help them make inspections, write repair estimates, and make field calls before turning their files in and heading back home.  The issue with this is that most of these independent adjusters are assigned so many claims that there are simply not enough hours in the day for these adjusters to conduct a thorough inspection of the damage and then spend adequate time behind the computer to write a detailed repair estimate.   Read More

Winter Storm Claims – Getting a Fair Settlement is Up to You

A recent article, Boston Area Expects a Flood of Claims After Record Winter points to the growing recognition that some property owners are in for a fight when it comes to obtaining a fair settlement for their winter storm damage insurance claim. As one homeowner from Plymouth, Mass. put it, “It’s a part time job just trying to navigate it all.” As you will read in the article, too many people “hope” they will get a fair offer from their insurance company. Our general advice is that while working with your insurance company, remember that this is your claim. So don’t rely on the insurance company alone to tell you how much they will pay. Make sure you get independent estimates from contractors to confirm what it will take to fix the damage.

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Winter’s Impact on Roof Insurance Claims

Winter’s Impact on Roof Insurance Claims
“At least it’s snowing.” This was in an email message I received from the manager of my client’s hotel in Kentucky. Hard to believe that given this winter’s bitter weather, ice and snow that a property management team would be glad it is snowing again! The back story on this is that all the buildup in ice and snow caused major damage to the roof at this destination resort. When the weather warmed up, things started to melt, then it started to rain and water poured into the interior causing damage to the resort from the damaged roof. Another cold front then turned the rain back into snow and this client is now grateful for the snow as the water intrusion has temporarily stopped. Read More