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Flood insurance claims of South Florida

Summertime in Florida brings scorching heat and intense thunderstorms every year. From Miami to Pensacola, flooded streets, parking lots and front yards are a typical summer scene. Unfortunately, many homeowners believe that flooded homes only happen to the folks that live in or near a hazardous flood zone. Wrong! Nationally, almost 30% of flood claims paid are in non-hazardous flood areas. Not always resulting from overflowing rivers or lakes but from our infrastructure’s inability to handle the volume of water coming from the sky and collecting on the ground. In many older and more established neighborhoods, the infrastructure has not been updated to accommodate the increase in dwellings or businesses being serviced. Storm drainage becomes insufficient to handle the volume of water coming down and the result is wide spread flooding. Even just a few inches of water in your home can cause significant damage. Your homeowner’s or renter’s policy is not going to respond to this event since flood damage is specifically excluded in your policy. This risk can only be transferred to a flood insurance policy which is usually offered by every agent that sells homeowner’s insurance. The good news is that this valuable coverage is relatively cheap when you are not living in a Special Flood Hazard Area. These areas are more susceptible to flooding (historically speaking), and thus command more premium for the policy. The Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is designated as such due to the area’s elevation or proximity to rivers, lakes and other waterways. Also taken into consideration is the area’s proximity to tidal waters. FEMA does not take into consideration however, the ability of the infrastructure (storm drains) to handle water volume or the historical storm activity [...]

By |September 6th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How to prepare for storm season

From June through November every year, the insurance companies pay out money while contractors such as roofers, drywall hangers, carpet installers and virtually every other sub-contractor rake it in. This is the time of year when coastal homeowners leave the weather channel on 24/7 and start restocking their hurricane survival supplies. Those homeowners who have been through the havoc caused by a hurricane or tropical storm have learned to get the storm shutters out of the garage and cover the windows. They know that even when you get a sufficient warning, storms can be unpredictable and you don’t want to be caught without the needed supplies and a running generator. You only need to go to Home Depot or Lowes once right before a Hurricane to see the mayhem that engulfs the store and how quickly the shelves are emptied and the plywood is gone. There are other preparations that should have been made well in advance. Inventory of household belongings should be upgraded; important papers should be filed in waterproof containers or better yet scanned and stored on a cloud drive. Lawn furniture and decorations should be stowed in the garage so they don’t become missiles during the storm. This is certainly not a good time to pay your insurance bill late! Fill the cars with gas and have some extra for the generator. Remember cash? That green stuff we never carry anymore? You’ll need to have some cash available just in case. And don’t forget the batteries. You may be without lights for quite a while. And last but not least, this is a good time to stock up on any meds that you can’t live without. If you use any type of [...]

By |August 12th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Kitchen Fire Insurance Claim

You may be anxious to clean your house after the kitchen fire, but unless you should take time out to get a professional advice, You may be creating further damage or wasting your efforts therefore, it is important that you contact your Public Adjuster to claim the fire damage. The insurance company and their claim adjusters are usually dealing with these kinds of fire damage claims effectively. However, for a common man it is not possible to make out which actions to take. In the majority of the cases, home insurance does cover smoke damage. Smoke developed from the fire can damage the entire home and usually requires the assistance of professional smoke removal companies in order to remove the smell and stains. Moreover, the fire might have caused you some hidden damage. With smoke homeowners also will need help for the soot removal and stains within the buiding. Walls can be stained black, flooring and carpeting too is ruined in the ugly shade of black. If the kitchen fire has also affected your other rooms than the damage is more which means a lot of mess to clean up and following up with the insurance company. Contact your public adjuster to report the claim as soon as possible and notify the type of loss you have suffered. Compile Your Evidence current economic status In order to prepare yourself against possible smoke damage start compelling details of your house well in advance. Make an inventory of all your appliances, clothing, furniture and any other home valuables and call the insurance company so that investigation begins. Make sure to take pictures of the damage loss of the property, if you can shoot a short video with [...]

By |October 31st, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Changes in Cost of Insurance for Homeowners in Florida.

Florida homeowners have been facing a volatile insurance market for property insurance for many years now. Looking at rates over the last few years indicate the market is finally beginning to stabilize. If however, your insurance carrier is Citizens Insurance, such is not the case. This state owned insurance carrier seems to find a way to make headlines on a regular basis. Over the past two years Citizens has come under fire by its policyholders for appearing to be uncaring by finding ways to take back discounts on issued policies at renewal. Their public relations activities are questionable at best. The latest gaff was the way in which they used re-inspections as a vehicle to take back wind mitigation discounts which for many policyholders amounted to hundreds of dollars. Company inspectors continuously claimed they could not verify roof attachment improvements since they could not get into the attic to take photos resulting in large discounts being removed from policies at renewal. Although the standard insurance carriers have vanished, there are now many smaller companies that have stepped up to the plate to write business in Florida. Rates have begun to stabilize since catastrophic claims have been virtually non-existent over the last 5 years. Homes built in 2005 or later that are of masonry construction are now getting very favorable rates as these newer carriers compete for business. Even older homes that have gotten new roofs since about the mid-nineties are getting decent discounts if they have an updated wind mitigation survey. You see, with property insurance, it’s not about the rate, it’s about the discounts. Having a newer roof, masonry construction, favorable credit score and monitored alarm system will get the homeowner the necessary discounts [...]

By |September 9th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How can a Public Adjuster help?

For most people their home is by far their biggest asset. When this asset gets damaged by a peril such as a fire, water or storm, they depend on their insurance company to make them whole again. They assume that the insurance adjuster (who is employed by the company) is going to take the necessary steps to make certain that they can restore their home to the way it was before the damage occurred. Maybe, maybe not! The insurance adjuster is employed by the insurance company whose sole reason for being in business is to make profits for its stakeholders. The adjuster should, according to the insurance contract, do everything possible to indemnify the policyholder. The company adjuster does not however, have a fiduciary responsibility to the policyholder. Knowing this, the insured should always look to a public adjuster for guidance with any kind of insurance claim. If company adjusters always looked out for the best interests of the policyholder, there would not be so many public adjusters thriving in the market place. Public adjusters are highly trained and licensed individuals or firms that know a great deal about construction, rebuilding, insurance contracts and how insurance companies operate when it comes to resolving a claim. They are hired by the property owner to act as an advocate for the property owner. They use the same software (or in many cases better software) that the company adjusters use in order to determine the cost of repairs to the home or building that has been damaged. They walk the policyholder through the claims process and offer a level of comfort that the insured will not have on their own. Public adjusters work on a contingency basis similar [...]

By |September 4th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments