On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Posts by Charles R. Tutwiler

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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Is Hurricane Irma Boat Dock Damage a Covered Insurance Claim?

Is Hurricane Irma Boat Dock Damage a Covered Insurance Claim?

We are getting a number of inquiries from policyholders regarding damages to docks, piers and other manmade structures built over or close to the water as a result of Hurricane Irma.  Based on personal observations, Hurricane Irma caused unprecedented damage to coastal area structures from wind, water and in some cases, collapse and subsidence which were holding up seawalls and bulkheads. So what’s deal?  Are the docks, piers, seawalls, etc., covered by property insurance policies? 

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Hurricane Irma Roof Damage - Repair or Replace?

Hurricane Irma Roof Damage - Repair or Replace?

As property owners with insurance claims resulting from Hurricane Irma start to receive settlement offers from their insurance company, our public insurance adjusters continue to field calls and questions from people still struggling through the insurance claims process. One question that frequently comes up involves how much roof damage there must be for the entire roof to be replaced.

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Will Your Hurricane Irma Insurance Claim Offer be Sufficient to Cover Repair Estimates?

Will Your Hurricane Irma Insurance Claim Offer be Sufficient to Cover Repair Estimates?

As policyholders begin to hear back from their insurance company, 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. 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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The initial insurance claim inspection process and what happens to your Hurricane Irma claim once the adjuster leaves

The initial insurance claim inspection process and what happens to your Hurricane Irma claim once the adjuster leaves

Many people might be surprised that having an adjuster look at your claim is only the beginning of the insurance claim process. Remember, the field adjuster that inspected your property may not be an employee of the insurance company. They are typically independent adjusters on contract and typically are paid a set fee or percentage for each claim they handle. This is especially true during disaster situations Like Hurricane Irma when there are so many claims to adjust, there is a shortage of qualified adjusters and they are hard pressed to get to as many claims as possible. You should ask them what firm they are with when they come to inspect your property and note how thorough they are recording your damage and if they are “listening” to you.  

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Why Policyholders Can Benefit from Hiring a Public Adjuster for Their Hurricane Irma Property Insurance Claim

Why Policyholders Can Benefit from Hiring a Public Adjuster for Their Hurricane Irma Property Insurance Claim

Based on the volume of phone calls coming into our offices, Florida business and homeowners are quickly turning their attention to recovering from Hurricane Irma. With widespread property damage, many property owners, unfamiliar with the process will be filing an insurance claim for the first time and possibly seeking assistance and advice for their property insurance damage claim. One of the most common questions we receive when calls come into our offices 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 in an attempt 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 a public adjuster and the role they play in the insurance claims process.   

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Additional Living Expenses Explained for Policyholders Displaced by Hurricane Irma Storm Damage

Additional Living Expenses Explained for Policyholders Displaced by Hurricane Irma Storm Damage

If your Florida home was severely damaged by Hurricane Irma to the extent that it is uninhabitable to live in, your insurance policy may provide a coverage called “Additional Living Expense” or “A.L.E.” if it is a covered loss. Under the Additional Living Expense coverage, you and your family may be entitled to rent another home of the same size, like kind and quality as well as be reimbursed for any extra expenses you incur such as food and temporary lodging.

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Hurricane Irma Insurance Claims - Make Sure They Get on the Roof

Hurricane Irma Insurance Claims - Make Sure They Get on the Roof

Due to the widespread and extensive wind damage caused by Hurricane Irma, one thing we are seeing is that in their rush to get damages assessed, both insurance company adjusters and many inexperienced contractors are eyeballing roof damage and recommending partial repairs based on simple visual inspection. And I don’t want to even address those trying to inspect roofs with drones. This is going to cause terrible problems in the future as flying debris can damage the membrane of roofs and set people up for severe water damage in the future. Adjusters simply are not spending enough time assessing policyholder’s damage or taking into affect the increased cost of materials and repairs given the state of conditions. When the adjuster comes calling, please make sure inspectors physically get onto the roof and inspect for damage. While your roof may not look damaged, a closer inspection might reveal that it needs replacing rather than patching.

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Claim Adjuster Shortage and Inexperienced Insurance Adjusters Will Cause Major Problems for Hurricane Irma Policyholders

Claim Adjuster Shortage and Inexperienced Insurance Adjusters Will Cause Major Problems for Hurricane Irma Policyholders

Various media outlets have been publishing articles (Florida is Short on Insurance Adjusters) (Hurricane Irma & Harvey causing Adjuster Shortage) on the shortage of insurance adjusters to handle the volume of claims that are being reported to both the government (FEMA) and the private sector insurance carriers. For those of us in the business we knew this was coming. It was only a matter of time. 

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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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