On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Tampa Flood Victims Need to Educate Themselves About Water Restoration Work – Be Careful What you Sign!

Tampa Flood Victims Need to Educate Themselves About Water Restoration Work – Be Careful What you Sign!
As Tampa area businesses and homeowners deal with the serious flood and water damage, they will need the help of a water restoration firm to clean-up and dry out their property. Once local authorities give the all clear and it’s safe to return, mitigation efforts should be started immediately to avoid further damage or mold issues. If insured for the loss, you will find that most insurance policies require that you take reasonable and necessary measures to protect and preserve your property from further damage. This can be a difficult and challenging undertaking that requires decisions often involving a great deal of money at a time when your insurance adjuster may not have seen your loss or given the OK to start the dry-out or restoration process. Our recommendation is to hire the restoration company to do the drying and clean-up work only. You can then get quotes for reconstruction once things are sorted out with your insurance company. If possible, have the restoration company give you the scope of work and pricing in writing and then give it to the insurance adjuster or send it the insurance company for their approval. If possible, schedule a meeting at the site with all parties present. If this is not practical, make sure you take pictures of the damage and document all expenses for your insurance company. If you don’t document your damages, the insurance adjuster may not include it in the damage assessment. Read More

Tampa Flood Victims Need to Understand the Nuances of Flood Insurance

Tampa Flood Victims Need to Understand the Nuances of Flood Insurance

For those who do have flood insurance, we encourage you to review and pay close attention to your flood policy’s terms and conditions. The policies issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are unique because they fall under a Federal Government program with its own rules and regulations. As an example, the NFIP policy requires you to file a proof-of-loss within 60 days of the flood event. In layman terms, you must have figured out your loss and arrived at a sum certain amount to put on a document called a “proof of loss” and have it submitted to the appropriate person handling your claim. Unless this time period (60 Days) is waived by an authorized official of FEMA/NFIP (as was the case with Superstorm Sandy) the claim may be denied in total for failure to comply with the policy terms and conditions. 

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Additional Living Expenses Explained for Tampa Flood Homeowners

Additional Living Expenses Explained for Tampa Flood Homeowners
If your home was severely damaged from the recent Tampa Bay flooding 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.” 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 may incur such as food and temporary lodging.Read More

Ten Insurance Claim Mistakes Tampa Bay Flood Victims Should Avoid

Ten Insurance Claim Mistakes Tampa Bay Flood Victims Should Avoid
The no name storm in Tampa has caused widespread water and flood damage in the St. Petersburg and Tampa area. Now that cleanup has begun, many residential and commercial policyholders will submit either a flood (if you have flood insurance) or water damage insurance claim. Make sure you understand the difference between the two before you file. The public adjusters at Tutwiler & Associates urge policyholders to take the proper steps to protect their claim and avoid settlement problems with the following 10 tips.Read More

Water Damage Insurance Claims – Do You Think You’re Fully Covered?

Water Damage Insurance Claims – Do You Think You’re Fully Covered?
Water losses are by far the most frequent claims reported to the insurance industry. I suspect water losses are also the most frequent perils that impact property owners. Since many are not reported however, we really have no accurate data to determine the full scope of damages that water causes notwithstanding the CLUE reports (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) that are filed for reported claims. Yes, both you and your claim data are being stored and indexed by big brother insurance. Who would have thought with all the privacy concerns that your prior property loss information is stored and shared! With flooding everywhere in the southeast and especially Florida and the Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg area due to a stagnant weather low system, it seems timely to cover a few of the issues policyholders are facing with water losses and their insurance claims.Read More

Beware Roof Collapse, Ice Dams and Frozen Pipe Burst from Winter’s Deep-Freeze and a Tip from the Red Cross

Beware Roof Collapse, Ice Dams and Frozen Pipe Burst from Winter’s Deep-Freeze and a Tip from the Red Cross

With New England and now the eastern United States in a deep freeze from record snow and ice accumulation, remember the old saying, it’s the darkest before the dawn.  Yes, there will be a spring and it’s just around the corner according to the Old Farmers Almanac. Spring, also called the vernal equinox comes in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20th at 6:45pm to be exact. This shouldn’t minimize the extensive property damage being caused this winter as this excellent article on Ice Dams discusses. Many of our staff are gearing up to head north in order to help current clients and work with our public adjuster partners.

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Policyholder Question: Public Adjuster clarifies property insurance claim coverage question for a shower pan leak

Policyholder Question: Public Adjuster clarifies property insurance claim coverage question for a shower pan leak

Q. A shower pan leak caused wood floor damage. Our insurance company says damage from a shower pan is not covered. That seems absurd to me. There is no way we could have known there was a leak until we saw the wood warping. Should our insurance claim be covered?

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Winter Storm Juno and the Insurance Claims to Come

Winter Storm Juno and the Insurance Claims to Come
Listening to the weather wonks, it sure looks like Winter Storm Juno may be one for the record books. It may also be a notable one for the insurance industry with all the expected claims from water losses due to frozen pipe breaks, collapsed roofs due to heavy snow loads, and most unfortunately fires from faulty heating appliances and improper use of space heaters. Policyholders in New England, New York and New Jersey need to take notice.Read More

Policyholders must beware of roofers and contractors acting as insurance adjusters

A rising problem that we in the public adjusting profession have been dealing with for years seems to finally have caught the attention of Florida officials. That is, the practice of insurance adjusting without a license by roofers and restoration contractors who sometimes are also unlicensed. A recent article, Illegal for roofers to act as insurance adjusters, experts warn perfectly illustrates the growing problem that takes advantage of homeowners who are in a stressful situation trying to repair their property and get a fair settlement. Hats off to Nancy Dominquez of The Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters who states, “when you have individuals or companies trying to convince homeowners that their contracting or roofing license permits them to handle insurance claims, that's incorrect. Not only is it incorrect, it's against the law.”

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Water Damage Insurance Claims Pendulum Swinging the Wrong Way for Florida Policyholders

I want to thank Florida Public Adjuster Michael Platts for penning this excellent commentary. 

By Michael W. Platts
We are rapidly approaching the end of the hurricane season. It has been an unprecedented nine years since a hurricane has struck the State of Florida. Nonetheless, many citizens are not seeing much if any reduction in their property insurance premiums and worse yet, the overall environment seems to be one in which the consumer continues to receive less and less coverage whether it is a result of unfavorable court rulings, legislative machinations which strengthen the hand of the insurance companies or more restrictive language within the insurance companies’ contracts (their policies).

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