Hurricane Irma’s Deductible Surprise & Other Insurance Policy Surprises Hurting the Policyholder

Hurricane Irma’s Deductible Surprise & Other Insurance Policy Surprises Hurting the Policyholder

By now folks in Florida are finding out how little they are going to get paid for their insurance claim damages from Hurricane Irma. Our office is being bombarded with calls and emails from policyholders seeking help and answers about their property insurance losses from Hurricane Irma. Not surprising a lot of the frustration is about the fact that their claim file was closed without payment due to a subjective opinion by independent insurance adjusters working for some insurance companies.

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Recap - Windstorm Insurance Network Conference 2017

Recap - Windstorm Insurance Network Conference 2017

After each Wind Conference I am always amazed at the attendance level, value and depth of knowledge brought by the professionals drawn to this annual event. This year was no exception. There is an old saying that 90% of success is just showing up. That old saying certainty applies to the 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Network Conference.

The last attendance number I heard was that over 1,065 professionals from all over the United States traveled to Orlando, Florida to learn, network, and yes, do a little partying after hours. Make no mistake about it; the folks who taught and those who attended the various workshops are the movers and shakers in the property insurance claims industry. These are folks who for the most part control the claim process and ultimately the money that will be paid out to policyholders when a covered Wind Cat wind loss occurs.

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AOB SOB

AOB SOB

“Well, I’ll be damned!”

These were the first words that came out of my mouth when I read an article reporting on a speech that Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater gave at a recent insurance conference attended by Florida property insurance executives. Then another “I’ll be damned” came out when I read an internet posting of efforts being made by the Florida’s new Insurance Commissioner to crack down on Assignment of Benefits a.k.a. AOB abuse and new legislation being prepared for this year’s legislative session which convenes in March.
 
But first some background on what prompted my shock and awe.  

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Florida Condominium Owner Insurance Claims and the Nightmare Claim Process that Often Follows

Florida Condominium Owner Insurance Claims and the Nightmare Claim Process that Often Follows
Not surprising are the calls we get from property owners living in condos, who are looking for help following property damage to their building that affected their unit. This often takes the form of damage to the unit owner’s property which often includes their personal property, i.e., contents, as well as items such as carpet, other types of floor covering, trim items such as door frames, baseboards, cabinets, and the list goes on depending on the type and severity of the damage and the wording in their condominium documents. When a covered casualty event occurs, whether it is water, fire, the dreaded “mold” word or some other peril, the finger pointing starts and in many cases, the unit owner is caught in the middle. Read More

Troubled Waters - Water Insurance Claims Under Attack

Troubled Waters - Water Insurance Claims Under Attack

Non-weather related water loss insurance claims in Florida are on the rise. So says Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater who heads up the Florida Department of Financial Services. The problem is so great that his Florida Consumer Advocate, Ms. Sha’ Ron James called for a summit and invited all stakeholders to attend. 

Mr. Atwater is not the only one sounding the alarm on water damage claim issues and its companion Assignment of Benefits (AOB). Based on my following the news on this hot topic it seems most insurance carriers in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach county areas are all in agreement that the situation is getting out of control and in fact may be critical, requiring rate increases and further reductions in insurance property policy coverages for water losses.

 
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Managed Repair Tips and Some Personal Observations from My Recent Trip to the Caribbean

Managed Repair Tips and Some Personal Observations from My Recent Trip to the Caribbean
First I want to share some atmospheric observations and conditions that are clearly changing in the Caribbean and may play into the El Niño, La Niña narrative. On my trip last week to the Leeward Island of St Maarten I had the opportunity to visit with old clients, friends and observe changes that have occurred since my last trip in 2015. 

Parts of the Caribbean including the island of St Maarten/St Martin and South America particularly Venezuela have been experiencing severe drought over the last year. The locals I have talked with all contribute this drought to the El Niño weather conditions. But the good news is that the atmosphere seems to be returning to a more normal condition as the rains are returning and at least in the Leeward Islands the vegetation is starting to return to its lush green color one would expect to see on a tropical island. Unfortunately this drought has not been without its cost as many coconut palms and tropical floral have withered and died. This is a result of no measurable rain for a seven-month period.

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Managed Repair and Its Forbearer Option to Repair

Managed Repair and Its Forbearer Option to Repair

The following is a short primer and history lesson for the insured property consumer on these two fool’s errands. For those of us in the property insurance adjusting business, we see the storm clouds gathering given all the recent rhetoric about allowing a policyholder’s insurance company to repair their property following a covered loss.  Given our knowledge and experience, we know the likely outcome of this latest scheme to pump up underwriting profits, but my guess is not many laymen do.  Make no mistake about it, your policy premiums will not drop if these managed repair programs being touted as a savior for you and the insurance industry is approved by the Tallahassee regulators. The irony is that managed repair and its stepchild “option to repair” will most likely be bad for both the insured and the insurer. So given what may be the inevitable, let’s examine both of these repair schemes. 

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The Trouble with Insurance Company Managed Repair Claims Programs

The Trouble with Insurance Company Managed Repair Claims Programs
Insurance companies have started exercising their options to repair under many of their contracts. What this means is that they are bringing in contractors of their choice to fix the damages resulting from a property loss they cover. Let’s be honest.  They have a right to do this, but it often isn’t in the best interest of their customers when they choose to do so. Why?Read More

Managed Repair Insurance Claim Programs – The Real Cost

Managed Repair Insurance Claim Programs – The Real Cost

A great deal of information is being published regarding some insurance companies’ plans to implement so called “Managed Repair” programs. The rationale is that they will reduce costs (and I assume increase profits) by partnering with restoration contractors and some independent adjusting companies who supposedly will oversee the work and provide some sort of due diligence. This will lead to the latest scheme being proposed to a reduction in the cost of insurance premiums. So the most important questions we should be asking are: What’s the real cost to the policyholder and will rate increases continue despite these managed repair programs?

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Managed Repair Property Insurance Claims – Our View

Managed Repair Property Insurance Claims – Our View

For as long as I can remember, property policies had language that allowed insurance carriers to exercise their “right to repair” the policyholder’s property. There was always a catch for some of the insurers since there was generally a requirement that they had to give the policyholder 30 days notice after they received a proof of loss. Some policies may have had slightly different language, but for the most part if they missed a deadline date, they were out of luck.

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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

Charles R. Tutwiler & Associates Inc., DBA Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjusters
Licensed Public Insurance Adjusters & Loss Consultants
Offices: Tampa, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, 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