On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

How the insurance appraisal process might play a role in your Hurricane Sally claims settlement

How the insurance appraisal process might play a role in your Hurricane Sally claims settlement

We’ve seen anecdotal evidence that some insurance companies as well as adjusters are already talking to policyholders about invoking the Appraisal Clause in their property insurance policy. While appraisal can play an important role in the insurance claim settlement process, it is not for everyone and policyholders need to understand both the costs and limitations. We have several certified appraisers on our staff and one of the first things we do when asked to represent a client is to review the suitability based on the claim facts. Here is a Q&A I did for the media after Hurricane Michael (and now Hurricane Sally) to help policyholders better understand property damage Appraisal.

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Electrical fires in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally are still a threat

Electrical fires in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally are still a threat

The effects of Hurricane Sally wind and rain damage are still readily apparent in the Pensacola area. Roofing crews and blue tarps are still visible wherever you travel and many out of state owners have yet to visit their damaged property or await adjuster claims analysis. What may not be so obvious, are storm related damages impacting electrical and mechanical systems in your home or business. From my perspective, too many policyholders blindly follow a contractor or even their insurance company’s desire to “fix up” the damage and move on to the next claim, putting themselves and their property in danger.

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Surviving Hurricane Sally Insurance Claims

Surviving Hurricane Sally Insurance Claims

When it comes to the insurance claim side of the equation, it’s no surprise that property owners are reaching that “critical point” that we so often see following a catastrophic loss to their property, especially if that property was their primary residence or a business that generated income. The policyholder “critical point,” I speak of is that awkward feeling of sheer frustration and anger that soon turns into retribution as people who have faithfully paid their insurance premiums year after year without ever filing a claim before receive their initial settlement checks that are a mere fraction of what the true cost of repairs will actually be.  Those who elected to choose that big 5% deductible may be receiving denial claims stating that their damage estimates and cost of repairs fall under their hurricane deductible.

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Hurricane Sally Policyholders Begin to Learn How Law & Ordinance Coverage Will Impact Their Insurance Claim

Hurricane Sally Policyholders Begin to Learn How Law & Ordinance Coverage Will Impact Their Insurance Claim

Some properties that experienced Hurricane Sally losses will experience Law & Ordinance issues as they attempt to rebuild. Law & Ordinance kicks in when both Florida and local building code requirements impact what will be required to obtain a CO (Certificate of Occupancy) in order to reoccupy the damaged structure. It is a separate coverage in your policy that you must elect and covers some of the cost of required code upgrades. If your property (be it commercial or residential) suffers a loss where the cost of repairs is greater than 50% of the pre-loss value of the real property, your repairs must incorporate current building code upgrades. This is especially true for older properties that may no longer meet newer building codes. Meeting those codes can become quite expensive.

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Hurricane Sally Mold Damage – Understand Your Insurance Claim Options

Hurricane Sally Mold Damage – Understand Your Insurance Claim Options

Policyholders who experienced any type of water intrusion from Hurricane Sally may experience mold infiltration. When claims are delayed and repairs put on hold, it can become a real problem because mold can grow unseen for months and create a serious health hazard. Coming to an agreement with your insurance company on how to deal with mold can create major disagreements due to the fact that certain “fixes” can be expensive. So make sure you understand all your options.

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Hurricane Sally Insurance Claim Update – The Public Adjuster’s On-the-Ground Perspective

Hurricane Sally Insurance Claim Update – The Public Adjuster’s On-the-Ground Perspective

It’s been a little over a month since Hurricane Sally roared ashore. My fellow adjusters and I have seen some serious damage in the Pensacola area and we plan to be here for the long-haul. Many policyholders are just starting to receive their insurance checks in the mail and much to their surprise, the settlement checks received are grossly insufficient and barely cover a fraction of what the true cost of repairs will actually be. Some brave souls are trying to handle their own claim. We see this same scenario play out in every storm that we have worked over the years.

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How to Deal with Hurricane Sally Low-Ball Insurance Claim Settlement Offers

How to Deal with Hurricane Sally Low-Ball Insurance Claim Settlement Offers

If the feedback we are getting on the ground in the Pensacola area and the inquiries coming into our offices are any guide, policyholders are none too happy with the settlement offers they are receiving for their Hurricane Sally property damage claims. 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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More Surprises in Your Insurance Policy for your Hurricane Sally Claim

More Surprises in Your Insurance Policy for your Hurricane Sally Claim

Hurricane Sally has exposed what I consider some very questionable underwriting tactics that recently have been written into some property insurance policies. A few examples are, limiting emergency service to a fixed cost or not to exceed a set amount which exposes the policyholder to higher out of pocket expenses. As an example, emergency services for mitigation efforts were not limited in Coverage A (your building limit of liability) in prior policy periods. Now we are seeing examples where only a small percent of Coverage A is being made available for emergency services.

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Have you received your Hurricane Sally LOWBALL claim settlement offer yet?

Have you received your Hurricane Sally LOWBALL claim settlement offer yet?

If you have experienced damage from Hurricane Sally, get prepared for the inevitable. We are hearing from commercial and residential property owners daily about their Hurricane Sally claims and their biggest complaint is, “Why is my settlement so small”?There are many possible reasons for this.  Among the most common are:

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Will Hurricane Sally Insurance Claim Repair Estimates Cover Your Losses?

Will Hurricane Sally Insurance Claim Repair Estimates Cover Your Losses?

As policyholders begin to hear back from their insurance company regarding their Hurricane Sally insurance claim, many will learn that the amount offered by their respective insurer is not sufficient to pay for their complete loss and damages. Some may even learn part of their claim is denied. This is common when there is widespread damage to a geographic area and especially true with more complicated commercial claims to businesses, condominiums and hotels where methods to fix or replace damage can become complicated. There can be many reasons for this including overworked adjusters not documenting specific damages, out of state adjusters not familiar with the market or inside claim adjusters who have never personally seen the claim simply denying certain parts of the claim. 

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