On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

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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Understanding Depreciation Estimates for Your Property Insurance Claim

When there is a storm event such as the flooding in the Pensacola, Destin, Gulf Breeze and the Ft. Walton Beach areas we always get questions about how depreciation works. As public adjusters, we deal with this type of situation all the time when we are managing a policyholder’s claim. Deprecation is figured in a number of ways depending on who is making the calculations. As an example; in the insurance adjusting field, the text book example is to come up with a percentage based on the age of an item and its full life expectancy. So if an item is one year old and the average life is 20 years the percent to be applied for deprecation is 5%.  If the cost of the item new is $5,000 then $250.00 in deprecation should be taken for each year of life. If an item is 5 years old and the life expectancy is 15 years then 33% would be reasonable.

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How to Deal with Low Ball Offers from Panhandle Insurance Claims

Home and business owners who were impacted by the flooding and water intrusion in Pensacola, Destin, Gulf Breeze and the Ft. Walton Beach areas are starting to hear back from their insurance company about their claims. Many will learn that the claim settlement amount(s) fall short and will not cover the cost of repairing storm damages.Read More

The Liability of Fixing Sinkholes

If you have been following the news media lately, particularly the print media then no doubt you have read a number of stories about sinkholes and the remediation method that homeowners are fighting with their insurance companies about. The Dunedin story has fanned the flames of this issue big time and laser focused some interesting issues the average property owner is probably not aware of.Read More

Sinkholes, Property Insurance, the Option to Repair and Assignments of Insurance Benefits….Watch out!

A recent media article following the new catastrophic sinkhole loss in Dunedin, Florida caught my attention the other day as it looks like we have two forces on a collision path. And wouldn’t you know that the poor insured policyholder is caught in the middle.

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Public Adjuster Offers Further Comments on Florida Sinkhole Insurance

Public adjuster Keith Grams of Tutwiler & Associates was recently interviewed by WFLA and NBC News about sinkhole insurance repair issues. He offers further comments regarding concerns about the direction the insurance companies and legislature are taking.

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Massive Sinkhole in Florida…….Is it Time to Revisit the Law……Again!

Massive Sinkhole in Florida…….Is it Time to Revisit the Law……Again!
The catastrophic sinkhole that opened up in Dunedin, Florida has brought attention to limits of the new law that was passed in 2011 by the Florida Legislature. This law made it extremely difficult for homeowners to get proper coverage or alternatively pay a hefty price for a very limited sinkhole policy. Many of the changes are not good for property owners as the new law also negatively impacts the way insurance companies handle and pay for sinkhole claims when they arise.Read More

Policyholder Question on Ceiling Collapse Insurance Claim

Q. We own a home that was built in 1964. Last Saturday our family room ceiling collapsed. There does not appear to be any moisture. The insurance company is telling us it’s normal wear and tear, the insulation was too heavy and thus the damage is not covered. There are no cracks in the ceiling, no sagging and our home is well maintained. Any thoughts on the cause? Our roof was replaced in May of 2010.Read More

Policyholder Question on Sewer Back-up Third Party Claim

Here’s a question I was asked to answer on the United Policyholders website: 
Q. My home was contaminated by sewer on May 7 and again on May 22 this year by a prime contractor hired by a state municipality MSD Metropolitan sewer District here in Asheville North Carolina. From what I understand, this is a third-party claim. The insurance company has done absolutely nothing to help me. I have been dealing with this for the last four months with pretty much no progress until this past week. They sent their first offer on Friday which is not close to reality. Is this considered a third-party claim? I have a copy of the pollution liability policy and it does not say anything about how it will replace my contents, actual cash value or replacement cost, nor does it say anything about provisions for Additional Living Expenses. Is there a possibility that is in a different policy? I just had an environmental company do some sampling for mold and other airborne fungi to be sure this has not spread in other parts of the house because it's been so long with no cleanup and decontamination. I’d like to know if any of your professionals have experience dealing with third-party claims and sewer damage and mold contamination.Read More

Insurance Appraisals and Lawyers - A Little History Lesson

At Citizens, lawyers win, public loses” was the Tampa Bay Times featured editorial headline on Friday, September 27, 2013. This followed an earlier article in the Times “Citizens racks up millions in attorney’s fees and it denies claims” exposing the astronomical legal fees that have been paid to both plaintiff lawyers (policyholders advocates) and defense lawyers who represent the insurance companies.Read More