Public Adjusters: Your Best Ally During Insurance Settlements

Three things are certain in life: death, taxes, and disasters. For human beings, especially to fatalists, it’s sometimes difficult to grasp the concept of death, but not much can really be done about it because it will eventually come for us no matter what we do. As for taxes, it’s something that we just can’t avoid. As for disasters, they are an occurrence that we can never really be prepared for, even if we are the most careful people in the world.

There are two types of disasters: natural and man-made. The occurrence of fire is present in both natural and manmade disasters. As homeowners, we can try to prevent a fire from ravaging our properties by fireproofing everything, but what if an unavoidable accident occurs? What if our homes suddenly got swept by a resilient fire, whether natural or manmade? It sucks that we can never really be prepared for disasters even if we played our cards right, so the best thing we can do is to have a solid plan that we can execute in the event that a disaster occurs in our homes.

Dealing with the aftermath of a house fire is very exhausting and stressful, especially if most of your valuables got obliterated by the catastrophe. Luckily you can minimize your losses by a significant amount if your home is insured, but dealing with insurance companies is another challenge since they have a knack for prolonging the process of claims or straight up denying settlements. That’s where a public adjuster comes in.

Public adjusters are the saviors of homeowners who got victimized by catastrophes because they can smoothen the entire insurance claims process. Since they are employed by the policyholder of an insurance and not by any other entity, you can expect that they are going to represent your best interests to the fullest. Also, public adjusters are experts in the area of insurance settlements and are knowledgeable in dealing with the delaying and denying tactics of insurance companies, which means that they are capable of speeding up the entire claims process and getting you the maximum payout that’s stated in your policy.

Insurance companies usually delay the process of paying off settlements because they can avoid paying anything at all if they delay long enough. Sometimes they can also deny paying settlements by trying to find errors in your documents. But with the help of a public adjuster, you can rest easy knowing that your claim is going to be settled no matter what shady tactics an insurance company tries to do. Why? Because once an insurance company finds out that you hired a public adjuster, they will know that you mean business.
Never allow an insurance company to screw you over for something that you paid for. Get the help of a Florida public adjuster now so you can get the most out of your insurance settlement at a quicker rate.

Three Reasons Why You Need To Hire A Public Adjuster After A House Fire

When fire sweeps through a home, it can cause a lot of damage. Not only can house fires destroy homes, they can also put your life on hold. After a fire, there is a period of time in which you will have to collect what you can from the home and rebuild. But this process cannot begin until your insurance company pays off. Unfortunately, many insurance companies drag their feet and make the process difficult. Luckily, there is a way around this and today, we are going to learn three reasons why you should hire a public adjuster to help with your claim.

They Will Help Speed Up the Process

Insurance companies and their many lawyers are notorious for dragging things out. When a homeowner tries to file a claim on their own, these companies often know they are dealing with someone that doesn’t know all the rules. When you hire a public adjuster, it sends a clear message to the insurance company that you mean business, and this will help speed up the process. You will have your claim settled and get the compensation you need to put your life back together.

Your Stress Level Will Be Much Lower

We all know that dealing with a house fire is one of the most stressful things you can go through. When you add dealing with the insurance company to the mix, things can get even more hectic. To rid your life of as much stress as possible, you can hire a public adjuster who will take over the entire claim’s process and handle the insurance company for you. This will allow you to focus on what really matters, which is your family.

They Will Help You Get the Maximum Amount

When it comes to cutting corners, insurance companies try their best to pay out as little as possible. This can be heartbreaking to those homeowners who have lost everything. Hiring a public adjuster will help you get the most from insurance companies. They will work hard to ensure that your payout matches the damage that has been done so that you can fully rebuild your home.

If your family has been displaced by a house fire, the first step to recovery is to hire a professional public adjuster. By doing so, you will get the maximum amount for your claim and you will not have to wait months to receive a check.

Five Steps You Should Take After a Fire Damage

fire damage resources

You and your family were away from vacation and you have just come home to a very devastating news.  This tragic news has turned your family upside down, but luckily, no one was home during the fire.  But what happens next?  Where does your family turn and what steps do you need to take?  These are questions that need answers.  If your home has suffered fire damage in Ft. Pierce FL, there are some things that you will need to do right away.  Below you will find five steps that will help get your life back to normal after a devastating house fire.

Five Important Steps to Take After Fire Damage

  1. Call your insurance company:

    After the fire has been put out, it’s time to call your homeowner’s insurance company and let them know what has happened.  In a few short days, they will send out an insurance adjustor to inspect any fire damage that has occurred.

  2. Gather your personal information:

    If you had a safe in your home, 9 times out of 10 it made it through the fire without damage to the items inside.  Make sure to recover the safe so that you will have your personal documents ready in case you need them.

  3. Look for sentimental items:

    Often times you will be able to find some sentimental items such as pictures that made it through the fire with little to no damage.  Make sure to look around for these items as soon as you can to prevent any further damage that might happen.

  4. Secure a place to stay while your home is being repaired:

    Contact friends or family members to see if your family can stay with them during the restoration process. If no one can accommodate you, try to find a hotel that allows for an extended stay.

  5. Get a second opinion:

    After your insurance company has had the chance to go over the fire damage to your home, get a second opinion.  By hiring an independent public adjusting firm to conduct an adjustment on your home, you will be better protected.  Insurance companies often try to offer the least amount possible for your fire damage.  This practice is industry wide, and the only real way to get what you deserve is by having an independent adjuster speak up for you.

What You Need to Know About Fire Damage

During the summer months, property damage claims are on the rise.  Some of the most common types of damage that property owners report during the summertime are fire damage, flood damage, mold damage and hurricane wind damage.  These are all common problems this time of year.  Because the Southeast has experienced such a dry start to the summer, today we are going to focus on fire damage.  Wildfires and household fires are major problems that unfortunately some of us have to face.  Today we are going to learn more about fire damage and what you should do if you are faced with this awful problem.

After The Fire is Out the Real Work Begins

If your home or business has fallen victim to fire damage you are going to need to know what to do.  After the firetrucks have left and your family is safe, you are often left with a huge mess.  Below are a few steps that will help you on your road to recovery.

  • Ask when it’s safe to go back inside:

    The first thing you are going to need to do is to ask if your home or business is safe to enter. Most of the time, the damages to the structure of your home or office will determine if you can safely go back inside.

  • Collect personal items:

    Once it’s safe to go back in try to salvage pictures, personal documents and sentimental items that you may hold dear to you. These items can help you hold onto good memories and forget the bad memories the fire has just caused you.

  • Contact your insurance company:

    Call your insurance company as soon as possible. They will be able to quickly send out someone to assess the damage.  The insurance inspector will also be looking for flood damage and mold damage caused by the water used to put out the fire.

  • Hire a public adjuster:

    Many times insurance companies will give you the lowest possible claim amount. This is just the nature of the insurance industry.  But luckily for you, there is something you can do to get the most for your damaged property.  By hiring a public adjuster to go over the damage and your claim, you will get the maximum settlement amount.  This will allow you to rebuild your home quickly and restore it to the way it was before the fire.

  • Hire a fire damage restoration company:

    Once you have your insurance settlement check, it is time to begin repairs. But instead of hiring just any private contractor, hire a company that specializes in fire damage and mold damage restoration.  This will ensure that the repairs done on your home will be done the right way.

Insurance Claims Management Tips for Businesses

So, you’ve been tasked with managing an insurance claim for your business, now what? Unless you are part of a large company’s dedicated legal or insurance team, managing a business insurance claim may be new to you. While you may welcome the change of pace, you’ll soon find that dealing with insurance adjusters, contractors, inspectors, and others involved in your claim is more time-consuming than you bargained for.

Use the tips below to better manage the entire claims process:

  • Treat it like a project – Invite everyone involved to your online project or task management software so that you have a centralized repository for claim related documents as well as collaboration and scheduling tools.
  • Learn about the commercial claims process – You have a lot to learn including: your company’s business insurance coverage, insurance terminology, claims procedures, how to document damage, your company’s responsibilities, additional coverage that may apply (such as business interruption coverage), commercial construction, and more.
  • Take a proactive approach, diligently looking after your business needs – Every day your business is down translates into thousands of dollars lost. Not only that, a great deal of money is at stake in the form of hidden or unclaimed losses. Remember, you are representing your business’s best interests while your insurance claims adjuster is looking after the insurance company’s best interests. Keep this in mind at all times and provide the insurance company with the facts it needs to pay your company’s claim in full.

Finally, consider working with a public insurance adjuster rather than relying solely on your insurance company’s representative. We manage the entire claim, allowing you to focus on performing your job while we pursue the highest settlement possible.

What to Do After a Storm Damages Your Home

Every year, storms and severe weather events cause billions of dollars of property damage. Just last year, property owners in Georgia bore the brunt of numerous storms — to the tune of more than $151 million dollars. It’s devastating to realize that your home or business has been damaged, and you may not know what to do. Here are the most important steps to take right away:

  1. Do not enter your storm damaged home until authorities have determined it safe to enter.
  2. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible.
  3. Take appropriate measures to secure the home to protect it and your belongings from additional damage. Depending on the nature of the damage, this may be as simple as boarding up broken windows. You may need to hire a contractor for emergency repairs.
  4. Take photos, photos, and more photos. Go room to room, documenting everything from a variety of angles. Take close-ups of identifying tags and serial numbers to help ensure you are properly compensated.
  5. Do not throw away damaged property until your insurance company has inventoried it and authorized its disposal. This is evidence, after all. You need it to support your claim!
  6. Keep all of your receipts for expenses incurred after the loss. For example, you could be entitled to compensation for temporary living arrangements and meals — but only if you have receipts.
  7. Get organized. It’s going to be a long haul with claims forms, correspondence, estimates, inventories, and more. Get a file box, folders, labels, and other office supplies to help you keep everything neat, organized, and readily accessible.
  8. Seek professional help. Public insurance adjusters help policyholders like you settle property damage claims. Tap into our insurance claim expertise and let us handle all aspects of your claim. We work hard to ensure that you get every penny that your insurance company owes you.

Contact a public adjuster today to learn more.

Property Damage in the United States

The National Weather Service released its Natural Hazard Statistics Report for 2013 earlier this summer. In all, extreme weather events caused over $12.7 billion in property and crop damage in 2013, down significantly from 2012’s $38.7 billion. Of the $12.7 billion, property damage accounted for $8.8 billion in losses.


Costliest Types of Property Damage

What caused the most property damage last year?

  • Tornadoes – $3.6 billion
  • Flash and river flooding – $2.2 billion
  • Thunderstorms / high winds – $1.2 billion

At a more local level, Georgia had over $151 million in property damage in 2013; Florida came in at just over $64 million; North Carolina had over $48 million in property damage while its neighbor to the south, South Carolina, received over $18 million in property damage.

What does all of this mean to you, the property owner in the southeastern United States? Severe weather events are a fact of life in the coastal Atlantic states, and we still have many weeks left in 2014. As the hurricane season winds down, we’ll soon be bracing ourselves for winter storms.

What to Do Now

We’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the best time to prepare is now, before a weather event wreaks havoc on your property. Make sure to get your home ready for winter by clearing out your gutters, checking slopes for proper drainage, sealing windows and doors, inspecting storm shutters, and stocking your emergency disaster kit. We also recommend reviewing your insurance policy to ensure you have sufficient insurance (and that it keeps up with inflation).

While you’re at it, get out your smartphone and take lots of photos of your home and your belongings. Having a complete home inventory along with documented proof of your home’s pre-loss condition can save you a lot of heartache and work should your property become severely damaged.

What to Do If Your Property Becomes Damaged

Know this: You don’t have to file your insurance claim on your own. Contact us as soon as it is practical for a free consultation.


Optimizing Commercial Insurance Claims

For those that missed several of my last poste, here you are.

Public Adjusters Can Save What Would Have Been Lost

Accredited Public Adjusters

When natural disasters strike, properties get damaged or destroyed.  Floods, fires, hail storms, broken pipes and strong winds can destroy homes and businesses.  When these unfortunate events happen you must be ready to file your claim with the insurance company.  You may need a little paint or perhaps a whole new roof, but it could be much worse.  All of your property in might need to be replaced or at a minimum cleaned or repaired.  Insurance is meant to protect us, at least that what insurance companies tell us.  We pay small monthly premiums in exchange for protection when a disaster strikes.  Do you remember signing up for insurance?  I imagine the sales people were all very nice and friendly.  They probably offered you the best deals and tried over and over again to ensure you that their company would take care of you in the event of a disaster.

Most insured’s find it is the complete opposite when you try to collect after a loss.  Insurance companies do not want to pay out what is rightfully due.  In fact, when you file a property damage claim, the insurance company automatically assigns someone to your case.  This person is called an insurance loss adjuster or a claims file examiner. I call them desk jockeys, because this person in my opinion has one function and only one function.  Making sure your claim pays out as little as possible.  Does that sound promising?  It might sound ironic, but you will need to protect yourself from the company that is supposedly protecting you.  How do you go about doing this?  Solicit the help of a public insurance adjuster.

A public adjuster is a third party contracted by you.  This person will have your best interests at heart, they will try and maximize your settlement.  If you begin thinking you can handle the claim on your own, think again.  Insurance companies and their agents have decades of experience in manipulating cases and ensuring minimal payouts.  They know all the rules and the ways in between them.  You probably are no insurance claims expert.  The good news is, public adjusters are the experts in dealing with insurance companies.  They know how to help you through all the paperwork, documentation and hassle so you won’t have to.  Your life has been filled with enough stress, dealing with disasters itself.

A public adjuster will help lower your blood pressure in this time of need.  If possible it is wise to do a small amount of preparation before disasters strike.  Collect documentation on everything you own over one hundred dollars in value.  Take pictures of your property.  After the loss, contact a public adjuster immediately so that they can begin to work on your case and submit the claim as soon as possible.  Navigate the great wide world of insurance claims alone can leave you feeling lost, abused and betrayed by your insurer.