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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Water Damage Claims and the First 13 Days Court Decision

Water Damage Claims and the First 13 Days Court Decision

Several years ago, we started seeing property insurance policies with new very restrictive language that attempted to exclude water losses based on the subjective opinion of some as to when the water loss occurred and caused damages. It was my opinion that this 14 day limitation would be very bad for folks in Florida, as well as snowbirds who own property and only reside here six or so months a year.

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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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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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Hurricane Irma and enhanced conditions for electrical fires

Hurricane Irma and enhanced conditions for electrical fires

The effects of Hurricane Irma’s wind and rain damage are still apparent throughout Florida and the Caribbean. Roofing crews and blue tarps are ubiquitous wherever you travel. While the blue roofs are obvious, what may not be so obvious are damages that may have resulted to electrical and mechanical systems in your home or building from the effects of Hurricane Irma's wind and water. Too many policyholders are blindly following a contractors or even their insurance company’s desire to “fix up” the damage and move on to the next claim, putting themselves in danger. 

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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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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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