On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Hurricane Irma Insurance Claim Settlement Checks – Watch what you sign

Hurricane Irma Insurance Claim Settlement Checks – Watch what you sign

Your property or business suffered damage during Hurricane Irma. You promptly filed a claim or had a public insurance adjuster document and file the claim for you. A check from the insurance company appears in the mail. Great! How easy could it be? But wait, there’s a catch…..on the back of your check there is language that states you are releasing the insurance company from any further costs related to the claim.

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The Art & Science of Hurricane Irma Repair Estimates

The Art & Science of Hurricane Irma Repair Estimates

Most homeowners and business people do not understand the complexities of estimating repair costs. Even with a policy in-hand, there is much to be interpreted and many unique factors that can impact each claim. As the recovery process for Hurricane Irma continues, we’ve received anecdotal evidence from independent adjusters who are telling us they are submitting their estimates and reports only to have the carriers send them back or make in-house changes without their knowledge. Basically they find out the estimate they wrote was chopped up to save the carrier money. This is not happening everywhere, but enough to cause me concern.  

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Hurricane Irma’s Deductible Surprise & Other Insurance Policy Surprises Hurting the Policyholder

Hurricane Irma’s Deductible Surprise & Other Insurance Policy Surprises Hurting the Policyholder

By now folks in Florida are finding out how little they are going to get paid for their insurance claim damages from Hurricane Irma. Our office is being bombarded with calls and emails from policyholders seeking help and answers about their property insurance losses from Hurricane Irma. Not surprising a lot of the frustration is about the fact that their claim file was closed without payment due to a subjective opinion by independent insurance adjusters working for some insurance companies.

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Would you like a little mold with that insurance claim?

Would you like a little mold with that insurance claim?

Many of the calls we get from policyholders lately, regarding their Hurricane Irma insurance claim goes a little like this:  “Roof damage caused bedroom flood, water running down the wall, water came in the front door, sheet rock and crown molding are ruined, now mold growing causing health concern.” Most homeowners will have a limit on their mold coverage in their policy.  But remember there would be no mold but for water and water loss is not limited. I am making this statement despite the fact that we have seen some insurance companies actually try to limit water loss coverage.

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Dealing with Mold Insurance Claims after Hurricane Irma

Dealing with Mold Insurance Claims after Hurricane Irma

Policyholders who experienced any type of water intrusion from Hurricane Irma 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. Many of those who contact our firm report mold issues. To get more insight about mold: Read our Frequently Asked Questions about Mold Claims.

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Check the details before accepting your Hurricane Irma claim settlement check

Check the details before accepting your Hurricane Irma claim settlement check

Property owners who were impacted by Hurricane Irma and filed a property insurance claim are starting to receive settlement offers from their insurance company.  Some are shocked at the settlement offers they receive. Sometimes our firm will be retained by a homeowner only to receive a call several weeks later to say the insurance company adjuster had called them with a verbal settlement offer they might be able to live with. Even though it’s outside of our contract cancellation date and work may have begun on the loss, we typically wish them well and thank them for their consideration in selecting our firm to assist them. That got me thinking about all the property insurance claim offers we’ve gotten over the many years assisting clients.  

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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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The Dreaded “S” Word – Sewage Backup Insurance Claims

The Dreaded “S” Word – Sewage Backup Insurance Claims

Sewage backup is damage public adjusters deal with more than I would like to admit. Without going into a lot of detail regarding the legal cases, (depending on the wording of the policy in question) if the backup is on the insured side of the property line or actually in a plumbing pipe on the premises, coverage for these losses should be covered under an all risk policy. Why all the litigation and confusion in the first place?  It would seem pretty basic that these losses would be covered as they clearly meet the insurance test of a sudden, accidental and an unintended event. A recent media story Home Flooded With Neighbors Sewage During Irma, regarding a client we represented highlights the problem.

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Beware How Rising Construction Costs Due to Hurricane Damage Impact Your Insurance Claim Settlement

Beware How Rising Construction Costs Due to Hurricane Damage Impact Your Insurance Claim Settlement

Those who experienced any type of property damage from the severe hurricanes and file claims early are starting to hear back from their insurance company. Many will learn that the claim settlement amount(s) being offered are not sufficient to pay for their complete loss and damages. Specifically, as the demand for qualified construction workers, roofers, and building materials increase, so do the associated costs. This “supply and demand effect” will undoubtedly continue to impact those who sustained damage in a negative way for some time. 

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Condominium Association Insurance Claims Can Turn Sour

Condominium Association Insurance Claims Can Turn Sour

There is no questioning the devastation that a hurricane can bring.  From severe winds, flooding, wind driven rain, tornadoes, power outages, even the slightest hurricane can cause massive damage. This storm season is no different with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria incurring property insurance claims well outside their main core. 

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