On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Hurricane Irma Insurance Claim Mistakes Florida Property Owners Should Avoid

Hurricane Irma Insurance Claim Mistakes Florida Property Owners Should Avoid

Hurricane Irma has caused widespread wind, water, roof and flood damage throughout Florida. As clean-up begins, attention will turn to insurance property claims and 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 11 tips.
 
1. Notify your insurance carrier of your damage as soon as possible to expedite your claim. Do not go back into your home or mitigate damage until you know it’s safe to do so. If returning to your home after a power outage, do not turn on the power right away, especially if your home has been flooded. Have an electrician check the dwelling first to ensure it is safe.

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Insurance Claim Tips as Hurricane Irma Approaches Florida

Insurance Claim Tips as Hurricane Irma Approaches Florida

There is no escaping the property damage that Hurricane Irma will cause to some parts of Florida. This type of storm can throw off tornado activity and pockets of heavy wind gusts. As a result, thousands of homeowners may be contacting their insurance company to file an insurance claim. Resources are likely to be stretched and frustration with claims will grow as our public insurance adjusters have seen with past storms. We want everyone to stay safe and also be in a condition to recover as best they can.

If you experience property damage from Hurricane Irma, here are a few claim tips for filing your insurance claim that will make the process easier and possibly protect your claim from denial or other problems, especially if you have to evacuate:

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Tips for Handling Your Hurricane Harvey Flood Claim from Public Insurance Adjusters

Tips for Handling Your Hurricane Harvey Flood Claim from Public Insurance Adjusters

I asked my talented staff of public adjusters to share some of the best tips they could think of for handling a flood claim. The following are some tips that hopefully will help folks should they have flood coverage.

Flood Damage Claim Tips

  1. Take photographs of all damaged content items including discarded objects, structural damage you intend to claim.
  2. Make a list of damaged or lost items by the room and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts.
  3. Take photographs of the water line (standing flood water levels) both inside and outside the residence. Note how long the water remained in the house if possible. 
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Hurricane Harvey Insurance Claims – Some Common Sense Advice from an Experienced Adjuster

Hurricane Harvey Insurance Claims – Some Common Sense Advice from an Experienced Adjuster

Our hearts go out to all the folks in Texas and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Harvey and the brave first responders risking their safety to assist others. Based on damage reports and our own public adjuster staff who are monitoring the situation, there is no doubt this event will rival Katrina and create insurance claim disputes unlike we’ve seen before. And if property damage wasn’t enough, the loss of power added misery to the mix.  To deal with these perils it behooves property owners to keep their eye on the ball or in this case the money. High percentage hurricane deductibles are being applied and many folks may be surprised that despite their wind or hurricane coverage, they may be out of pocket for the mitigation and replacement costs due to lack of flood coverage or exclusions for water - sewer back-up. 

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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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Hurricane Season and a Special Concern for Condominium Community Claims

Hurricane Season and a Special Concern for Condominium Community Claims

Florida’s condominium community, it’s heads up time up for this year’s hurricane season and the escalating threat as we approach the most active time for tropical storm development. A few new releases from some of the weather pundits raised the possibility of more tropical storms this year. This is the second time this year the threat level has been raised for an increase in tropical storms in 2017. One respected weather guru who publishes a daily blog is sharing his concerns about all the weather waves moving off of Africa. So as they say, game on! 

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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 - Can my property insurance company take back claim settlement?

Policyholder Question - Can my property insurance company take back claim settlement?

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

Q. We had a dishwasher leak into my cabinets and on my engineered hardwood floors. A claim was filed. Independent adjuster came out. When I got my estimates done they came out higher. Insurance already sent a check to us for 45kand repairs are at 65k. Now they want to send out a staff adjuster. My question is can they take money back if their staff adjuster doesn't come out with the same figures when they've already sent payment and notice? We did well on our first adjustment but I am worried that the second adjuster might not be as much in my favor.

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Policyholder Question – Why is my insurance carrier claiming non-recoverable depreciation?

Policyholder Question – Why is my insurance carrier claiming non-recoverable depreciation?

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

Q. In my original claim, my insurance company said that my 98 year old mother had replacement coverage. We've gone through her contents and submitted a statement of loss. In our findings, most of her contents were 40, 50 or even 100+ year old collectables. In the subsequent settlement, the insurance company increased their payout; however, they now claimed over $30k of items under "non-recoverable" depreciation. How do you verify what is or what is not recoverable under this clause? The policy documents are very vague, tough to read even when you can find them.

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