On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjuster’s Client Featured in Fire Claim News Story

Reporter Andrea Senior of WTSP TV in Tampa recently did a story Single Mom Battles Insurance Co. After Fire on one of our clients who had filed a fire claim with St. John’s Insurance.  It’s unfortunate the media found this newsworthy, but the facts supporting the case and how this was impacting the family right before the Christmas holidays caught their attention.

Our client, Ms. Figueroa from Tampa is a single Mom (a nurse practitioner) with two school aged children. Their home in Carrolwood was severely damaged in an electric fire on Nov. 29 and the damage was so severe that they lost everything…… clothing and personal belongings (some Xmas gifts for the kids).  "It's going to be Christmas. I feel like my kids' Christmas is ruined," she said.

After documenting the claim, public adjuster Rick Tutwiler who is handling the claim asked the insurance company, St. Johns Insurance to advance some money to Mrs. Figueroa so she could get her family settled. This included paying upfront for a 6-month rental, security deposit for the lease, application fees, new clothes, furniture, school supplies, groceries, and a new cell phone so she can communicate.  All total, she paid just over $24,000 out of her pocket.  The insurance company wanted their housing and furniture vendors to be used and when Ms. Figueroa did the math on their costs she quickly realized that her Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage would have exhausted her limits and eventually put her on the street or in serious financial duress.

As of this past Wednesday, Dec 11, she had only received $3,500 from St. John's Insurance Company out of Orlando, even though its independent field adjuster agreed that the home is an undisputed $200,000 + loss. The day after this story ran, the claims manager offered to release the remaining  ALE (Additional Living Expenses) and $30,000 towards the contents loss. We want to recognize the insurance company and claims adjuster for doing the right thing and helping this family get back on their feet before the holidays and hope the remainder of this claim goes forward in a positive manner. We’ll be sure to update our readers on this claim.

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