Condominium Association Insurance Claims Can Turn Sour
There is no questioning the devastation that a hurricane can bring. From severe winds, flooding, wind driven rain, tornadoes, power outages, even the slightest hurricane can cause massive damage. This storm season is no different with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria incurring property insurance claims well outside their main core.
Having been in business since 1984, our public adjuster staff has seen pretty much everything there is to see, especially during catastrophic events when all are exposed and the once friendly insurance companies who made a promise to stand by your side as they collected their insurance premiums, begins to test the waters with their settlement offers.
However, some things quickly change and the stories that unfold can be heartbreaking. It is unfortunate that most people are unaware that a public adjuster even exists. Some get lucky and quickly learn of the concept when their insurance company tell them not to hire a public adjuster, (as we are seeing with recent storms) so they quickly do their research and learn the potential for having their own claim advocate. For many others, there are simply not enough licensed and professional public adjusters to service everyone. And then there is the recent case of the Virgin Islands, Department of Insurance inflicting onerous price controls on what a public adjuster can charge as a contingency fee. The 5% fee will keep adjusters away and hurt the very people with small claims that have never had to deal with a claim from retaining insurance claim assistance, which is simply unfortunate and short sighted.
But even still, there are people who experience problems and issues with their respective insurance companies even when they do everything right and have their team of professionals lined up prior to any catastrophic event occurring.
Such is the case here in a well documented article Surviving Waves of Adversity from The Florida Community Association Journal regarding a 30-story condominium building on Daytona Beach that was hit by Hurricane Matthew on October 7, 2016. In this case, all the stars were aligned pre-storm and post-storm, however this particular insurance company did not fulfill their end of the bargain and to this very day owners are displaced, missing rental income opportunities and many are still dealing with their own insurance carriers directly. To add insult to injury, 27 of the 100 owners were denied coverage on the basis that it was "wind-driven rain" and therefore were not afforded coverage. Thankfully, the association has some very smart people working hard and left no stone unturned to assist folks in their desperate time of need. Eventually, those 27 unit owner denials were overturned, but the Master Association is still dealing with the aftermath of the storm and insurance claim process more than one (1) year later!
So for those affected by Harvey, Irma, and Maria and especially condominium and homeowner associations who can have complicated claim issues, let this story be your wake-up call because what you have been promised today may quickly change tomorrow.
If you have questions regarding any property insurance related issue caused by Hurricane Irma please call 800-321-4488 or contact a licensed Florida Public Adjuster to submit a question to one of our insurance claim experts.