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I called Rick after my insurance company was giving me the run around. He was responsive and thorough. He explained the entire process and was able to get me much more money than my insurance had offered and in a fairly timely manner. Tampa Homeowner

Understanding Residential Property Damage Claims

Tutwiler & Associates handles residential claims of all sizes for single family homes, townhomes, condominium unit owners and apartment residents. We also work with condominium and homeowner associations and their property managers to manage property claims that impact common areas. To help you decide if hiring a Tutwiler & Associates public adjuster will help you, please refer to the following articles in our Getting Started section.

When a loss happens at your home, its effect can be devastating. Fortunately not all losses are so severe that your home will be unlivable.  Regardless of the cause or the damage it is important to make sure you are protected and any insurance adjustment and the resulting repairs are done correctly.

The larger the loss the more you need to consider hiring your own professional public adjuster to avoid costly mistakes. Just the benefit of having someone on your side that knows the issues and can guide you through the initial stages will in most cases justify the fee.

If you are going to choose a public adjuster the number one criteria is checking the experience level of the person you are considering to help you with your loss. Ask for references and call until you are satisfied this is the person you want to handle your claim. Most of all don’t make rash decisions in a time of catastrophe and high stress.

Protect your insurance claim and do not take a chance on costly mistakes. Remember it is your policy limits that are at stake. They should not be wasted on unnecessary restoration work or prices that exceed the going market rate for repairs and replacement.

Residential property includes single family homes, attached town homes, and high rise condos and make up the largest portion of real property in this country. Not surprising, the greatest insurance losses in terms of numbers comes from this sector. The number one cause of loss to residential property results from some water event. Water losses can be very problematic for a number of reasons. If repairs including dry-out are not done correctly, mold and other damages may result which can make a water loss turn into a full blown tear-out and repair project.

Most homeowners have never dealt with a property claim and many simply think they are covered for all types of losses. Only when the insurance company starts to demand certain documents or deny or devalue certain claims does the reality of the complicated and time consuming nature of handling a property claim set in. In many cases the insurance company expects you to “prove” your claim. Having an experienced public adjuster on your side can remove the uncertainly that comes with dealing with an insurance carrier's demands and settlement offers and make the difference in recovering the true value of your claim.

We have of late seen a shift in how insurance companies handle claims. In the past most insurance companies had trained in-house staff adjusters that handled their losses. Now, probably because of cost issues, claims are either outsourced to independent insurance adjusters or in some cases restoration companies are sent out to act as the adjuster/repairer. In our view neither of these options is good for the homeowner who has suffered a loss. Most field adjusters are unable to make decisions and must report back to an inside claims adjuster that in many cases may never visit your damaged property.

If an independent adjuster is sent out to your loss, he or she of course represents the insurance company, not you. The same result can be expected with a restoration firm that may also try and bill as much as possible so as to maximize their profit. If a dispute results in the billing, the insurance company will usually say you hired the company by signing the work authorization so they will only pay what they feel is reasonable leaving you exposed to a construction lien by the restoration firm. Therefore never hire a firm to do repair work unless your insurance carrier has provided you authorization in writing.

Typically when a claim is reported to your insurance company this information is forwarded to a central index bureau that records all losses for your property address. A CLUE (Compressive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report can subsequently be obtained which will show you had a water loss at your property. This makes it a good idea to have all repairs completed and maintain the records in the event the old loss comes up in a sale or future underwriting situation.

For over 27 years businesses of all sizes and their risk managers have turned to or referred their colleagues to Tutwiler and Associates.  As experienced public adjusters, we understand the claims process and have all the resources to help you recover your claim.  Our knowledge of the insurance policy, claims process and field experience have yielded us a longstanding positive reputation in the industry. 

We pride ourselves on obtaining the maximum claims settlement under your policy provisions so you can be paid to recover as quickly as possible. If you would like help with your residential property insurance claim and understand your options, give us a call at 813-412-8357 or contact us.   

FAQs About Residential Claims

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Yes it is possible to reach agreement on one part of a claim which will allow it to be paid and continue with other parts that may require more time or investigation. 

Yes we are very much involved in both. Both have unique issues and we have a deep and experienced track record given our long history and reputation in the lost adjusting field.

Absolutely, you are the insured and can always speak with your insurance company. We do recommend however that you also keep us involved in any conversation as it always helps to keep all parties informed on the issues and/or agreements in the adjusting process. You and your public adjuster should act as a team. 

Yes we value your input and we will need information from you in order to do a professional job for you. Once we have prepared your claim you will have an opportunity to review it in detail so we can have your approval to submit it to the insurance company. 
Your insurance company and your public adjuster should all meet at the loss and agree on what work is to be dome and the price. This includes emergency services as well as final repairs. If you sign a work authorization or assignment contract you may be signing over part of your policy limits to a company where you have no idea of what they are going to do in terms of price and the scope of loss.   

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Local Office

Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjusters, Inc.
Licensed Public Insurance Adjusters & Loss Consultants
Offices: Tampa, Orlando, Palm City, Ft. Myers, Florida; Dallas, TX; Pittsburgh, PA

Executive Office
4300 W. Cypress St.
Suite 780
Tampa, FL 33607
Phone: 813.287.8090
Toll Free: 800.321.4488

Licensed in Florida # W840088 &
Texas #1399706 plus 16 other states
and the Virgin Islands