On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Posts by Charles R. Tutwiler

Hurricane Dorian and The Bahamas – The Time for Giving is Now

Hurricane Dorian and The Bahamas – The Time for Giving is Now

The unimaginable destruction of property and loss of life on Grand Bahama Island and the Marsh Harbor community is heart- wrenching to say the least. I have seen a lot of the destruction and the human misery that follows in the aftermath of hurricanes and other disasters in my 45-year career as an insurance professional and public adjuster, but the videos and now live reporting coming out of the Bahamas is simply unprecedented.

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Numerous Hurricane Michael Claims Still Unsettled

Numerous Hurricane Michael Claims Still Unsettled

Our adjusters continue to battle for fair claim settlements for Hurricane Michael policyholders. It takes patience and persistence. Note todays article: 10 Months after Michael Florida Still Doesn’t Know Wy So May Insurance Claims Are Open . If the state wants some insight into why these claims remain outstanding, they only need to speak with our public adjusters and the law firms in Florida who are fighting these claims on a day to day basis. If you still have an outstanding claim or are unhappy with your settlement, give us a call. You may have more options that you think.

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Policyholder Question – Was My Overhead & Profit Calculated Properly for My Property Insurance Claim?

Policyholder Question – Was My Overhead & Profit Calculated Properly for My Property Insurance Claim?

Q. In my case, the insurance adjuster added $10,300.00 to my Irma hurricane claim to cover Overhead & Profit. This amount and the ACV were paid to me by Frontline upfront under my Replacement Value hurricane policy. The recoverable depreciation was held back until the work was completed. I required six trades to complete the work...roofer, painter, solar system, plumber, gutters and garage door. I did not hire a general contractor. I dealt with each trade directly. After the roof and painting were completed this past April (2019), I filed my claim for about $1,700.00 additional expenses relating to the roof and painting, plus the recoverable depreciation relating to the roof and painting (approx. $7300.00 RD). There was no dispute with respect to the $1,700.00 add'l expenses. The balance of the work (gutters, garage door, etc.) will be completed this winter/spring. My out of pocket expenses paid to the roofer and painter was only about $400.00 more than the ACV plus recoverable depreciation. Frontline clawed back almost all of my Overhead & Profit recovery relating to the roof and painting and offset it against the Recoverable Depreciation. The result was that I received a check for about $400.00, rather than a check for $9000.00 that I expected ($1,700 add'l expenses plus $7300 recoverable depreciation). Frontline's explanation is that I am only entitled to receive the amount of my out of pocket expenses so, to achieve this result, they can claw back some, or all, of the Overhead & Profit amount previously paid. The effect of this is that older homes with higher depreciation such as our 45 year old bungalow will have almost all, if not all, of the previously paid O & P clawed back, while a newer home with lower depreciation, like my neighbor's 4 year old home, will have very little of the O & P clawed back. In both cases we have acted as our own general contractor. Has my recoverable depreciation claim been properly handled? My home is in Florida. Thank you

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Policyholder Question – Public Adjuster Fee

Policyholder Question – Public Adjuster Fee

This is a frequent question we get after a policyholder has tried to handle their own claim and learns the settlement amount will not return their property to its prior condition.

Q. Does a public adjuster get paid on the full amount of the claim or just the disputed amount?

A. If a prior payment was made before the PA was hired, the PA should not be paid a fee on that amount. Basically, a PA should only be paid on new money they were able to recover after they were hired.

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The Property Insurance Claims Game – The Storm After the Storm Continues

The Property Insurance Claims Game – The Storm After the Storm Continues

The Tampa Bay Times published an article in their editorial page this past week titled, “Stop Giving Hurricane Victims the Run Around” which in my humble opinion is well worth the time to read. For the most part I could not agree more with this commentary as we have seen this “run around” for years.  Clearly history has shown us that when mass catastrophic events occur, one’s expectations are that significant confusion and chaos in the early weeks, especially when first responders are mobilizing to respond to life, health, and safety issues will be the rule.

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The Independent and Impartial Appraisal: Can the appraiser discuss their opinions and findings of the loss with their policyholder client before the appraisal panel begins their deliberation?

The Independent and Impartial Appraisal: Can the appraiser discuss their opinions and findings of the loss with their policyholder client before the appraisal panel begins their deliberation?

A policyholder wrote in and recently asked:

Q. I’m hoping you can help me with an answer to a quick question. I hired a public adjuster to do an insurance appraisal because the insurance company has been jerking me around. The public adjuster will not share the dollar amount of his appraisal with me. Is that standard practice? He is stating that there is a clause in my policy that requires the appraiser to be independent and impartial, which then prohibits him from sharing his appraisal value with me. I think he is incorrect and is simply waiting for the insurance company’s appraiser to submit his value before writing up his own. Can you please advise? Thank you.

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The Property Insurance Claims Games Continue for Hurricane Michael Policyholders

The Property Insurance Claims Games Continue for Hurricane Michael Policyholders

Read an excellent feature article by the Tampa Bay Times this weekend on how policyholders are still being denied claims dollars that will help them recover from Hurricane Michael. Our public adjusters continue to battle and negotiate for homeowners and business owners. Some insurance companies are very professional while others continue to play the deny and delay game.

 https://www.tampabay.com/florida/2019/06/26/hurricane-michael-destroyed-their-homes-then-the-insurance-heartache-began/

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Policyholder Question – Will the bank holding my mortgage release my insurance settlement?

Policyholder Question – Will the bank holding my mortgage release my insurance settlement?

When a homeowner files an insurance claim, the last thing they expect is having to include their mortgage holder on the check. But this is usually the case and cause settlement delays and confusion depending on how the mortgage holder processes the settlement. The following is a related insurance claim question we answered submitted by a policyholder.

Q. I have a VA loan through TD Bank whose main office is in Lewiston, Maine. I live in Florida and retained a public adjuster to help me deal with my insurance claim. I suffered severe damage from Hurricane Michael on 10/10/18. Do you think I will have any problems with the bank releasing insurance proceeds directly to me seeing as it could be an inconvenience for the bank with me living so far away? Also, what records will the insurance company require if I do some of the work myself and have others help me?

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Citizens Insurance putting limits on water losses

Citizens Insurance putting limits on water losses

Citizens has changed the coverage in their policies for non-weather water losses. Now the limit is $10,000 unless you use one of their managed repair companies. Unfortunately, AOB abuse and the resulting spike in litigation have prompted these restrictions further putting the insured at risk and lessening the value of their coverage. Keep in mind that there will still be older policies out there that have not changed based on renewal dates. But going forward be aware of this limit for water losses with Citizens.

Also note that Citizens aggressively pursues questionable water losses. If you are a policyholder, make sure your claim is legit and don’t be pushed into a claim by an overly aggressive restoration company or public adjuster.

https://www.citizensfla.com/documents/20702/10091213/20190612+08B+SIU+Cases+of+Interest.pdf/dfac956d-e86f-4fd0-92d6-96081d69ed2f

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AOB (Assignment of Benefits) abuse, is it over? Best read the new law to find out.

AOB (Assignment of Benefits) abuse, is it over?  Best read the new law to find out.

Make no mistake about it, the assignment of benefits controversy as evidenced by its reported abuse in the property insurance arena in the last decade has to have been one of the top scams I have witnessed in my 46-year career. And to top it off, it was all legal, albeit I would guess at times a bitter pill to swallow for some of those engaged in the activity, but what the heck, it was clearly profitable.

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