If you are unfortunate to have damage and you need to turn in an insurance claim your insurance claims process will be tedious and exhausting. Here are seven tips from someone who works for you, a public adjuster, not the insurance company (we get paid only if you get paid):
1) Be careful when signing a contract with a dry out or remediation company. It is the middle of the night and you are so relieved to get help to dry out your flooded home you may not realize that the paperwork you are being handed to sign includes dry out, mold remediation and unknowingly reconstruction. If you are having a dry out performed, only authorize them to do the dry out. Later, if you wish, the company can come back and sign you up to to the remediation step. Same goes for reconstruction. Don’t sign any agreement in the middle of the night beyond getting your place dried. Bottom Line: Do you want that emergency services company to rebuild for you or do you want to use your own contractors? Don’t you want a choice?
2) Rebuilding the entire house from the ground up can cost less than restoring a damaged house. If you have a catastrophic loss perhaps you want to total the house rather than rebuild. We can help you.
3) If there is a mortgage on the property, insurance checks will be made out to both you and the mortgage holder. Depending on at least 100 different variables, the bank may hold your insurance policy proceeds in escrow and pay them out in installments, not releasing the full amount until after all the work is done. This can complicate the financial aspect of getting repairs done. Check with your lender the moment you start your claim to find out what your lender’s requirements are.
4) You shouldn’t sign a full and final release on your insurance claim without seeking advice from a competent public adjuster and an attorney knowledgeable in the area of construction law. This has legal ramifications which can prevent you from getting the money you would otherwise be legally due in the claims process.
5) If you have damage to or theft of luxury items, you are entitled to full replacement value. (on most Homeowner’s policies) you should not accept valuations at face value for your replacement items. Make sure that if you bought your lost or damaged possessions at stores like Saks or Macy’s that the insurance company does not price your replacement items from Big Lots or Tuesday Morning type discount stores.
6) If you are evacuated or if your home becomes uninhabitable, you do not have to sleep at a shelter. Most policies have provisions which will help you cover the cost of hotels, food and other essentials. These costs are called additional living expenses (ALE). ALE is reimbursed at the level of “like, kind and quality”.
7) It is common for people to settle for less than they are due just because they are overwhelmed during the claims process. You do not need to be one of those people. You can get the support you need by hiring a public adjuster and letting us take care of it.
To even the scale of things and have a fighting chance, it’s best to have a public adjuster on your side. We are Florida’s Best Public adjusters and we don’t receive a penny unless you do too. Only a public adjuster not hired by the insurance company has your best interest in mind. So if you have damage to your home, condo or business, from the most trivial looking damage to a catastrophic loss, call us at 800-952-7693 to reduce stress and to get more money….the money you deserve!