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.

DSCN1670

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.

When to Hire a Public Adjuster

Wind damage for tornado

Imagine this scenario: a tornado blows through your town and inflicts substantial amounts of damage on your home, with high winds tearing off parts of your roof and flattening your garage. You contact your insurance company to make a claim and their adjustor will only agree to pay out a fraction of the cost of repairs. Do you have any recourse? You do if you hire a public adjuster: here’s a quick overview of how this type of professional can help.

 Unlike an adjuster who works for your insurance company, a public adjuster works for YOU: the policy-holder. He will bring in a team of inspection professionals who can make their own determinations and bring a more impartial view to the claims process. He will act as your representative and negotiate on the scope of damages on your behalf. In many cases, a public adjuster can negotiate significant increases in property insurance settlements so you can better get your life back in order.

So when should you hire a public adjuster? A good rule of thumb is to bring one in whenever you make a property insurance claim that runs into the thousands of dollars. You want to be sure that your interests are being looked after and that the insurance company is treating you fairly. When choosing a public adjuster, be sure to select one that is accredited, has years of experience in the field, is licensed in your particular state and holds an ACA accreditation.