On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

How the insurance appraisal process might play a role in your Hurricane Sally claims settlement

How the insurance appraisal process might play a role in your Hurricane Sally claims settlement

We’ve seen anecdotal evidence that some insurance companies as well as adjusters are already talking to policyholders about invoking the Appraisal Clause in their property insurance policy. While appraisal can play an important role in the insurance claim settlement process, it is not for everyone and policyholders need to understand both the costs and limitations. We have several certified appraisers on our staff and one of the first things we do when asked to represent a client is to review the suitability based on the claim facts. Here is a Q&A I did for the media after Hurricane Michael (and now Hurricane Sally) to help policyholders better understand property damage Appraisal.

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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 Policyholders Begin to Learn How Law & Ordinance Coverage Will Impact Their Insurance Claim

Hurricane Sally Policyholders Begin to Learn How Law & Ordinance Coverage Will Impact Their Insurance Claim

Some properties that experienced Hurricane Sally losses will experience Law & Ordinance issues as they attempt to rebuild. Law & Ordinance kicks in when both Florida and local building code requirements impact what will be required to obtain a CO (Certificate of Occupancy) in order to reoccupy the damaged structure. It is a separate coverage in your policy that you must elect and covers some of the cost of required code upgrades. If your property (be it commercial or residential) suffers a loss where the cost of repairs is greater than 50% of the pre-loss value of the real property, your repairs must incorporate current building code upgrades. This is especially true for older properties that may no longer meet newer building codes. Meeting those codes can become quite expensive.

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Hurricane Sally Mold Damage – Understand Your Insurance Claim Options

Hurricane Sally Mold Damage – Understand Your Insurance Claim Options

Policyholders who experienced any type of water intrusion from Hurricane Sally may experience mold infiltration. When claims are delayed and repairs put on hold, it can become a real problem because mold can grow unseen for months and create a serious health hazard. Coming to an agreement with your insurance company on how to deal with mold can create major disagreements due to the fact that certain “fixes” can be expensive. So make sure you understand all your options.

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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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