Hurricane Michael – Your Insurance Claim and why you Need a Public Adjuster

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Hurricane Michael was one of the most intense Atlantic hurricanes to ever make landfall in the United States of America, wreaking havoc on some states including Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. From its formation on October 7, 2018 up to its dissipation on October 16 of the same year, Hurricane Michael had caused over $8.1 billion dollars in damages and claimed a total of 54 lives, putting many families in a difficult situation.

Are you one of the unfortunate victims of Hurricane Michael? Fortunately for you, if your property is insured, then there’s a chance that you will be rightfully compensated for the damages that your property experienced, whether it’s residential or commercial.

Most insurance companies, however, will make it very difficult for you to get your insurance claim. They either deny it, give you a lowball offer, or delay the entire claiming process. As a policyholder who is recovering from the effects of a traumatic natural disaster, you don’t deserve to be treated like that by the insurance companies. That’s why you should get a public adjuster – to help you get the most out of your insurance claim, minus the stress that usually goes with it.

Insurance companies are notorious for playing hardball when it comes to the claims of their policyholders, even in the wake of a well-known disaster like Hurricane Michael. By getting a public adjuster to help you early on with your claim, an insurance company will know that you mean business and think twice before applying their shady tactics to you, which usually include delaying settlements and denying payments.

Public adjusters are dedicated to serving the best interests of policyholders, not the insurance companies’, which is why hiring them to represent your claim is your best bet to getting a fair property insurance claim settlement. Of course, you can opt to manage your claim yourself, but don’t you think that it’s better to have an expert handle everything for you?

With the help of a public adjuster, you will be getting a lot of free time that you can use to put your life back together. Time is something that is always expended during an insurance claim, as the entire process involves numerous steps that require a lot of energy and effort to do. Apart from the convenience in terms of time, a public adjuster is an expert when it comes to polishing your documentation and making it free of errors, which insurance companies typically use to deny even the most valid of claims.

So, if you want to get the insurance settlement you rightfully deserve without having to go through the trouble of dealing with a hardhearted insurance company, then hire a public adjuster to smoothen out the entire process. The havoc that Hurricane Michael wreaked on your property is not fair, but your insurance settlement should be.

Insurance Claims For Hurricane Irma In The Florida Keys

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Hurricane Irma has traversed the length of Florida and The Florida Keys sustained major damage. With an estimated 100 billion dollars in damages, Floridians are scrambling to recover quickly so that they may go back to their normal way of life. If you live between Key West and Marathon, FL it is important to move quickly with the rebuilding process. Here are a few steps you can take to streamline the process and recuperate quicker.

Alert Your Insurance & Gather Evidence

Call your insurance company and notify them that you will be submitting a claim. Giving them a heads up before submission can help you accumulate information that you may need throughout the claims process such as a deadline for submission or specific procedures that they will need you to follow. Procedures should be laid out in your policy, but speaking to a representative can help clear up any steps you are unsure on. To submit your claim you will need to document all of the damage incurred during Hurricane Irma. Take pictures and notes of the damage dealt to the property and personal belongings.

Dealing with Insurance Adjusters

After Hurricane Irma, there is a reported shortage of insurance adjusters. Insurance adjusters are being spread thin in an uphill battle to get a handle on the mass amounts of claims trying to be submitted. To this end, insurance adjusters are not always fighting for the insured to receive a fair payout from their insurance companies. This is where a public adjuster becomes not only a viable, but necessary option. By allowing a trusted public adjuster to not only fight on your behalf, but also handle the time consuming process of filing a claim, you are giving yourself your best chance at getting everything owed to you.

Experienced companies like Accredited Public Adjusters, LLC understand the verbiage of your insurance policy and will utilize that knowledge in helping you file for varying types of damages that come with a hurricane. Wind, water, flood, and tornado are all damages that can occur and need to be differentiated and documented differently.  Without the skills to do so, claims can be denied or underpaid, leaving the insured to bear the remaining costs.

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.

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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.

Source:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats.shtml

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.

Public Adjusters Verses Other Adjusters?

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Knowing the difference:

It is in your best interest to know the difference!

There are three types of adjusters licensed by the State of Florida:

  1. Company Adjuster – is employed by the Insurance Company to represent the company in dealing with your loss and damages. The Company Adjusters main responsibility is to protect the interests of the Insurance Company.
  2. Independent Adjuster – is hired by the Insurance Company to represent the company in dealing with your loss and damages. The Independent Adjusters main responsibility is to protect the interests of the Insurance Company.
  3. Public Adjuster – is the only Adjuster specifically licensed by the State of Florida to represent you, the Insured. The Public Adjusters main responsibility is to protect you and your interests in claims against a loss with the Insurance Company.

Why Hire a Public Adjuster?

If you have just suffered an insurance loss, from a fire, hurricane or some other traumatic event, you may not feel confident in representing yourself and your interests before an Insurance Company. Consider these three points.

  • 1. It is up to you to prove the extent of your loss to the Insurance Company. A typical insurance policy is dozens of pages long and contains numerous provisions and stipulations written in technical and legal terms. Additionally, it contains various forms and endorsements which are constantly changing from year to year. Most Insured’s have difficulty in understanding all of them. To be compensated for your loss, there are certain conditions which must be satisfied Failure to do so could reduce your settlement amount or even cause your claim to be denied.
  • 2. No matter how organized you and your documentation is, filing and receiving payment on a claim can be a time consuming and tedious process.

If you are not sufficiently organized and your loss documented, you may not realize the compensation you have paid for and are entitled to receive.

  • 3. A Public Adjuster has the experience, knowledge and expertise to obtain your maximum entitlements under your policy. 

Remember that the Insurance Company Adjuster is representing the insurance company. It is not uncommon for the Insurance Company to misinterpret their own insurance policy or forget to apply case law or Florida Statutes which supersede their own policy. A Public Adjuster will know current laws as they affect insurance losses and how to best represent you. A Public Adjuster has resources to help you through the maze of estimating, documenting, and filing your insurance claims.