A Few Thoughts for Fire Prevention Week

Smoke from fire is like an anesthetic.  Rather than awakening you, it will put you into a deep sleep.  And a little known fact is that most fire deaths occur during the night, with most perishing due to smoke inhalation, not fire. A recent fire in Tampa where a mother and daughter perished due to smoke in an otherwise minimal fire is a perfect example.


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Severe Flood and Wind Damage Claims Pose Equal Threat to Bigger Hurricane Events

Given the severe localized flooding to parts of Southern and the east coast of Florida this past week due to heavy rains, it’s timely to point out that it only takes one storm to trigger a property insurance claim that can decimate your property value. It’s interesting to note a recent article that reviews worldwide property loss stats. While we haven’t had a large catastrophe event it points out that a larger group of smaller storms can still impact insurance rates and property values. Smaller losses, as we have seen in our practice, can still create time consuming claim complications. The time to identify your “claims team” is before you suffer your loss. Work with your insurance agent to fully understand the claims process. Then identify trusted public adjusters, restoration contractors, and yes even property insurance attorneys so you don’t fall upon the predatory few that will try to make a buck from your loss.  

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Public Adjusters are an important piece in solving the insurance claim puzzle

As public adjusters, we tend to see property damage resulting in an insurance claim sometimes well after the damage has been done and errors in filing and estimating the claim or just simple lack of documentation has occurred. Fortunately, policyholders can take a number of steps to protect their property claim. A recent article by Consumer Reports: Hurricane warning: Don’t let your house insurer blow you over states that “ the policyholder needs to stand tough and stand up to make sure you get everything you’re entitled to under your policy. They point out 10 ways to do that.

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Using a Public Adjuster Can Help You Get a Fair Claim Settlement

A recent article from CNN Money Damaged home? How to get an insurer to pay up states that utilizing a public adjuster can help policyholders obtain a fair recovery. As the article states, “Often, policyholders accept low-ball offers from insurers because they don't know what they're entitled to, don't realize how much repairs cost or they're just worn down.” Public adjusters are typically insurance industry veterans who understand the claims process and know how to talk the industry language. Especially with large or complicated losses or during a disaster, involving a public adjuster early in the process can help the homeowner avoid costly mistakes and subsequent denials that require legal action. 

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All Risk Insurance Coverage for Space Debris - Ask Your Agent or Broker About This

If floods, landslides, fires, earthquakes and hurricanes are not enough to worry about, it seems a new peril is lurking that we just did not know about or pay attention to and may need to be added to the list of property insurance claims. Remember the asteroid that streaked across the northern Russian sky a few months back? Well, it seems another one was just recorded on a car dash cam and posted to all the internet news outlets. Not to be an alarmist, but there may be some credibility to this threat given the attention three former U.S. NASA astronauts have given to this.
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FEMA Flood Extension Gives Testament to the Complexity of Proof of Loss Filing

Since October of 2013 our office has been cranking out claim packages for all of our clients so they fully comply with the terms and conditions of their flood policies.  One of those tasks is the filing of the Proof of Loss, which to the layman can be as complex as building a house with no construction experience.  

For a third time, FEMA has extended the deadline for filing Superstorm Sandy NFIP flood policy claims, 6 months to October 29, 2014. This is allowing policyholders who have supplemental claims or who have had repairs delayed due to code issues or other situations to gather the proper documentation.

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Florida Property Insurance Claims - Life is Like a Box of Chocolates, You Never Know What You’ll Get

A four-page unsolicited letter I received last week from an attorney filled me in on some of the inner workings of the powers to be in Tallahassee and reminded me of this famous line from the Forrest Gump movie. This letter was like a box of chocolates as each paragraph revealed something new. Apparently, he has been following some of my writings, specifically about the reduction in coverage for the  water peril, the most frequent cause of losses for property damage and wanted to give me some background on how this all went down. 

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Flood Maps & Flood Insurance Hit Homeowners in Unexpected Ways

Flood Maps & Flood Insurance Hit Homeowners in Unexpected Ways
Today’s NPR article: Overhaul Of A FEMA Program Has Homeowners Calling Congress discusses the dire consequences new FEMA flood maps in conjunction with the newly implemented NFIP flood insurance rates is having. An issue not talked about is the requirement for communities who opted into the flood coverage program to follow the mitigation requirements established by FEMA/NFIP, which are strictly enforced. So new construction or substantially remodeled homes must comply with the newly revised flood map elevation height requirements.
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Association Boards - Update Your Knowledge Related to Property Insurance Claim Regulations

Association Boards - Update Your Knowledge Related to Property Insurance Claim Regulations
We exhibited at the Suncoast CAI CA Day in Tampa on Thursday getting up to date with Association Property Managers and Board Members. As we meet with Condo Boards about various claim situations, we continue to see Boards that have not updated their knowledge about laws enacted in 2013. If you’re on a Condo Board, please be aware of these changes and review section 718. 111(11) j of the Fl statue on what is or is not covered in a condo claim, that started July 1 2013.

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Sinkhole Insurance and Repair Advice from Our Expert

As part of the national news coverage of the Dunedin, Florida sinkhole collapse, many questions were brought up about the laws governing sinkhole insurance coverage. It was apparent many homeowners and even some media were confused. As part of the coverage Tutwiler & Associates public adjuster Keith Grams was interview by NBC national news. We thank Keith for his contributions and have placed the entire interview below.

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"On Property" Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Tips and advice about how to properly file and protect your property damage insurance claim and get a fair settlement. We invite all readers to ask questions about their claim so our public adjusters can post answers for others to benefit. Insurance claim expert guest bloggers welcome to submit posts via our contact form.


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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