On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Five Reasons to Hire a Public Adjuster for Your Hurricane Harvey Property Insurance Claim

Five Reasons to Hire a Public Adjuster for Your Hurricane Harvey Property Insurance Claim

With widespread property damage expected from Hurricane Harvey, many property owners will be seeking out assistance and advice for their property insurance damage claim. One of the most common questions we receive as these calls come into the office revolves around the benefits of hiring a public insurance adjuster. It still amazes us that so many policyholders have not heard of our profession or understand what public adjusters do. So while we try to educate and not blow our own horn, I’ll try to answer that question in hopes of giving readers a basic understanding of the benefits of hiring public adjusters and the role they play in the insurance claims process. 

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Pittsburgh Apartment Owner Receives Low-Ball Repair Estimate for Fire Damage

Pittsburgh Apartment Owner Receives Low-Ball Repair Estimate for Fire Damage

We want to thank Pittsburgh Public Adjuster Zach Flora for contributing the following success story.

A real estate owner of multiple properties experienced a 3 alarm fire at one of their apartment buildings located in the Hill District area of Pittsburgh on November 2016.  The building suffered significant fire, water and smoke damage. Upon reporting the loss to its insurance carrier, multiple adjusters were sent out to inspect the loss and the insurance company immediately assigned an outside company specializing in large losses to handle the claim.  This adjuster prepared a repair estimate that (in the opinion of the apartment owner) did not cover the cost to cover the value of the building and the hidden structural damages that were apparent. It became obvious that the repair estimate ignored parts of the building not directly affected by the fire, but were still subjected to massive amounts of smoke and water damage.

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Hurricane Season – Don’t let your guard down

Hurricane Season – Don’t let your guard down

This is the time of year that we all start casting an eye on the tropics as the hurricane season ramps up and the chances of severe storms increases. Tampa Bay is particularly vulnerable to severe damage because it has been such a long time since we experienced a severe hurricane. Out of code buildings will be devastated in such a storm. A recent report in the Washington Post titled Tampa Bay’s Coming Storm outlines in detail the carnage that could occur in Tampa Bay from a direct hit. And a recent report in the Tampa Bay Business Journal reinforces the ticking time bomb indicating 460,000 properties are at risk from storm surge. Unfortunately, it’s too late to take action after the storm and we’ve all seen the insurance claim mess that has occurred in other areas hit by severe storms.

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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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Florida’s aging population and preparing for the next big natural disaster

Florida’s aging population and preparing for the next big natural disaster

Last week I got a call from a writer based in Florida who is doing an article for the AARP Magazine (American Association of Retired People). The reporter was doing research to coordinate information that may be useful to folks whom may have the unfortunate experience of suffering through a catastrophic event that many of us in the insurance claims business have dealt with for our entire professional careers. The article, I am told, will be focused on how to prepare for and survive a natural disaster and other catastrophic events for this unique population of folks who are 55 years young and older.

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The Wall Street Journal Claims Legal Abuse by Florida’s Trial Bar Related to Insurance Claim Water Losses Contributes to Increased Property Insurance Rates

The Wall Street Journal Claims Legal Abuse by Florida’s Trial Bar Related to Insurance Claim Water Losses Contributes to Increased Property Insurance Rates

In case you missed it, The Wall Street Journal published March 15, 2017 had an article in the editorial section titled “Florida’s Trial Bar Hurricane.” I think most folks who are regular readers of WSJ would agree that the publication is no friend of plaintiff lawyers, so at least we know they are prejudiced to some extent and thus know where they are coming from. But in this case, I see no prejudice but instead good reporting. They make some excellent points, which seemingly are backed up by facts and figures even if they are from the carrier’s side. In my opinion this editorial piece is a good analysis of Florida’s current AOB problem, which is currently being debated in the 2017 Florida Legislative session.

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Recap - Windstorm Insurance Network Conference 2017

Recap - Windstorm Insurance Network Conference 2017

After each Wind Conference I am always amazed at the attendance level, value and depth of knowledge brought by the professionals drawn to this annual event. This year was no exception. There is an old saying that 90% of success is just showing up. That old saying certainty applies to the 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Network Conference.

The last attendance number I heard was that over 1,065 professionals from all over the United States traveled to Orlando, Florida to learn, network, and yes, do a little partying after hours. Make no mistake about it; the folks who taught and those who attended the various workshops are the movers and shakers in the property insurance claims industry. These are folks who for the most part control the claim process and ultimately the money that will be paid out to policyholders when a covered Wind Cat wind loss occurs.

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Policyholder Question - Can the Insurance Company Deny ALE if I have a Second Home?

Policyholder Question - Can the Insurance Company Deny ALE if I have a Second Home?

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

Q. What are the insurance company's responsibilities to their policyholders with regard to providing any adjuster's reports, ALE expenses and any timeline they are ruled by?  Insurance company says I am not eligible for ALE because I have a second home. Any guidance you could give would be appreciated. 

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Policyholder Question – Submitting Your Own Insurance Claim Repair Estimate

Policyholder Question – Submitting Your Own Insurance Claim Repair Estimate

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

Q. Can I have a repair estimate reviewed and a new estimate prepared based on the estimate sent by my insurance adjusters estimate? They have issued a check in the amount of this estimate, less the deductible. What should I do with the check?

A. Good question, I am sure many in your position have questions about the estimate prepared and submitted by their insurance adjuster. Please remember, this work product is just an "estimate." While the adjuster may have some actual contracting experience,......read moreRead More

Hurricane Hermine Insurance Claim Mistakes Tampa Bay Property Owners Should Avoid

Hurricane Hermine Insurance Claim Mistakes Tampa Bay Property Owners Should Avoid

Hurricane Hermine has caused widespread wind, water, roof and flood damage in the Tampa, St. Petersburg area and up the coast to Tallahassee. As clean-up begins, many residential and commercial policyholders will submit an insurance claim for storm damage to their property. The public adjusters at Tutwiler & Associates urge policyholders to take the proper steps to protect their property insurance claim and avoid settlement problems with the following 10 tips:

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