Insurance Claim Tips as Hurricane Eta Approaches Tampa Bay

Insurance Claim Tips as Hurricane Eta Approaches Tampa Bay

There is no escaping the property damage that Hurricane Eta will cause to the Tampa Bay region. This type of storm can throw off tornadic activity and pockets of heavy wind gusts. As a result, thousands of homeowners may be contacting their insurance company to file an insurance claim. Resources are likely to be stretched and frustration with claims will grow as our public insurance adjusters have seen with past storms. We want everyone to stay safe and also be in a condition to recover as best they can. If you experience property damage from Hurricane Eta, here are a few claim tips for filing your insurance claim that will make the process easier and possibly protect your claim from denial or other problems, especially if you have to evacuate.

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Electrical fires in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally are still a threat

Electrical fires in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally are still a threat

The effects of Hurricane Sally wind and rain damage are still readily apparent in the Pensacola area. Roofing crews and blue tarps are still visible wherever you travel and many out of state owners have yet to visit their damaged property or await adjuster claims analysis. What may not be so obvious, are storm related damages impacting electrical and mechanical systems in your home or business. From my perspective, too many policyholders blindly follow a contractor or even their insurance company’s desire to “fix up” the damage and move on to the next claim, putting themselves and their property in danger.

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Surviving Hurricane Sally Insurance Claims

Surviving Hurricane Sally Insurance Claims

When it comes to the insurance claim side of the equation, it’s no surprise that property owners are reaching that “critical point” that we so often see following a catastrophic loss to their property, especially if that property was their primary residence or a business that generated income. The policyholder “critical point,” I speak of is that awkward feeling of sheer frustration and anger that soon turns into retribution as people who have faithfully paid their insurance premiums year after year without ever filing a claim before receive their initial settlement checks that are a mere fraction of what the true cost of repairs will actually be.  Those who elected to choose that big 5% deductible may be receiving denial claims stating that their damage estimates and cost of repairs fall under their hurricane deductible.

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Hurricane Sally Insurance Claim Settlement Checks – Check the Details and Watch What You Sign

Hurricane Sally Insurance Claim Settlement Checks – Check the Details and Watch What You Sign

Your home or business suffered damage during Hurricane Sally. You promptly filed a claim or had a public insurance adjuster document and file the claim for you. A check from the insurance company appears in the mail. Great! How easy could it be? But wait, there’s a catch! On the back of your check there is language that states you are releasing the insurance company from any further costs related to the claim.

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Hurricane Sally Insurance Claim Update – The Public Adjuster’s On-the-Ground Perspective

Hurricane Sally Insurance Claim Update – The Public Adjuster’s On-the-Ground Perspective

It’s been a little over a month since Hurricane Sally roared ashore. My fellow adjusters and I have seen some serious damage in the Pensacola area and we plan to be here for the long-haul. Many policyholders are just starting to receive their insurance checks in the mail and much to their surprise, the settlement checks received are grossly insufficient and barely cover a fraction of what the true cost of repairs will actually be. Some brave souls are trying to handle their own claim. We see this same scenario play out in every storm that we have worked over the years.

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How to Deal with Hurricane Sally Low-Ball Insurance Claim Settlement Offers

How to Deal with Hurricane Sally Low-Ball Insurance Claim Settlement Offers

If the feedback we are getting on the ground in the Pensacola area and the inquiries coming into our offices are any guide, policyholders are none too happy with the settlement offers they are receiving for their Hurricane Sally property damage claims. Most often we are told the offer does not remotely cover the cost of repairs based on estimates local contractors are providing.

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More Surprises in Your Insurance Policy for your Hurricane Sally Claim

More Surprises in Your Insurance Policy for your Hurricane Sally Claim

Hurricane Sally has exposed what I consider some very questionable underwriting tactics that recently have been written into some property insurance policies. A few examples are, limiting emergency service to a fixed cost or not to exceed a set amount which exposes the policyholder to higher out of pocket expenses. As an example, emergency services for mitigation efforts were not limited in Coverage A (your building limit of liability) in prior policy periods. Now we are seeing examples where only a small percent of Coverage A is being made available for emergency services.

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Have you received your Hurricane Sally LOWBALL claim settlement offer yet?

Have you received your Hurricane Sally LOWBALL claim settlement offer yet?

If you have experienced damage from Hurricane Sally, get prepared for the inevitable. We are hearing from commercial and residential property owners daily about their Hurricane Sally claims and their biggest complaint is, “Why is my settlement so small”?There are many possible reasons for this.  Among the most common are:

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Will Hurricane Sally Insurance Claim Repair Estimates Cover Your Losses?

Will Hurricane Sally Insurance Claim Repair Estimates Cover Your Losses?

As policyholders begin to hear back from their insurance company regarding their Hurricane Sally insurance claim, many will learn that the amount offered by their respective insurer is not sufficient to pay for their complete loss and damages. Some may even learn part of their claim is denied. This is common when there is widespread damage to a geographic area and especially true with more complicated commercial claims to businesses, condominiums and hotels where methods to fix or replace damage can become complicated. There can be many reasons for this including overworked adjusters not documenting specific damages, out of state adjusters not familiar with the market or inside claim adjusters who have never personally seen the claim simply denying certain parts of the claim. 

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The Art & Science of Hurricane Sally Repair Estimates

The Art & Science of Hurricane Sally Repair Estimates

Most homeowners and business people do not understand the complexities of estimating repair costs. Even with a policy in-hand, there is much to be interpreted and many unique factors that can impact each claim. As the recovery process for Hurricane Sally continues, we’ve received anecdotal evidence from independent adjusters who are telling us they are submitting their estimates and reports only to have the carriers send them back or make in-house changes without their knowledge. Basically, they find out the estimate they wrote was chopped up to save the carrier money. This is not happening everywhere, but enough to cause concern.

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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