Months ago, life as we all knew it changed overnight. As I am always optimistic, I am certain that we will overcome this and come out of this stronger than before as we always do when faced with adversity. I will never forget 9/11 which is proof positive that we are strong, we stand together and we can overcome anything.
There is certainly a new normal as states and counties reopen. From day one during all of this, I have said and will continue to say, that you must take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself is not selfish, it is wise, and you cannot poor from an "empty cup" if you don't take care of yourself first. Keep your body moving and find the positive in every single day! There is amazing beauty that surrounds us, and I choose to take it in every day. Are there some days when I stop and say “What the heck! When will things be normal again?” Yes, but those days are few and far between.
Truth be told, I do feel normal because I do everything I can to stay healthy both physically and mentally. Daily workouts, walks at dusk, breathing fresh air and enjoying the wildlife that surrounds me, eating healthy, drinking a lot of water and taking my vitamins. Read a good book, listen to music and dance like nobody is watching! I cannot stress this enough and if you do these simple things you have right at your fingertips, you too will feel good and realize how important it is for your overall mental and physical health.
Some of you are feeling the added stress from assisting your children or family members with virtual schooling. Who knew you’d be going back to school at this stage of your life. But here you are, and you are killing it and doing great! Make sure to pat yourself on the back because you certainly deserve it. Also keep in mind that your children are not used to sitting in front of a computer all day to learn, and there is something very important in my advice above for them as well. It is extremely important for them to adopt these same habits. If they see you doing it, they will want to follow along and do it with you!
Thought for the day ... Practice self care so you can be healthy and happy for everyone, including you so your cup remains full. Have a great day!
During recent weeks, we heard industry rumors that some insurance carriers will no longer be insuring roofs at replacement cost value (RCV) and will only be insuring it at actual cash value (ACV). I know you are saying. “What does this mean and how will this affect me?”
Being that we are in hurricane season and most roof damage is caused by hail and hurricanes, I will use this example …“Hurricane We’re Screwed” strikes Florida and damages your roof causing water to enter your property, which then causes water damage to the interior. You report your claim to your insurance company and Mr. Adjuster conducts an inspection of your property. He agrees that the damage to your roof warrants replacement of the roof. You finally receive a check and think to yourself, “this can’t possibly cover all my damage!”
Well, you are correct. Although your insurance company agrees to pay your roof replacement, they have depreciated the replacement of your roof by the age of your roof and, in addition to that, the depreciation may no longer recoverable.
Roofs are normally paid based on replacement cost value, minus a deduction for recoverable depreciation and minus your deductible. Once the repairs are completed, the depreciation is reimbursed to you. Now, for those insurance companies only insuring a roof at actual cash value, there is no recoverable depreciation. Once one carrier adopts this into their policy, other carriers will follow. If you are insured with a carrier that has this in their policies, your roof will now be depreciated and paid based on it’s age.
If you are a homeowner, a homeowner association or a condominium association, this is important information you should not miss as your policy could change upon renewal. This type of policy change is not favorable to consumers!
We offer free insurance policy reviews. If you have any questions call 561-288-6434.
Pre-purchase home inspection reports are very important to determine if there is existing damage to the property you are interested in buying. It gives the seller of the property an opportunity to repair what is broken and certainly gives you the opportunity of not purchasing the property. It is also a good tool when you have an insurance claim. Why? Because it shows the condition of the property before the property was owned by you.
As we approach the statutory deadline to file a Hurricane Irma insurance claim, we are getting an increase in calls from homeowners telling us that someone has knocked on their door telling them they can get them a new roof and handle their entire claim. My first questions is “who knocked on your door?” After talking to some of these homeowners, I realized that these door knockers are NOT licensed insurance professionals and they are soliciting for roofing companies and contractors.
We always ask a lot of questions because information gathering is key and very important with any insurance claim. One homeowner told me that she was not the original property owner and purchased the property about 7 years ago. I requested a copy of the pre-purchase inspection report and we set out to inspect her roof. Unfortunate for her, the damage to her roof was pre-existing and the same exact damage was in the inspection report when she purchased the home. She was shocked and had no idea when I told her. I cannot stress how important it is to read these reports. As a property owner, it is your responsibility to know the condition of the home you are buying.
What this unsuspecting homeowner didn’t know is that this unlicensed activity by door knockers and the people they work for is not only a 3rd degree felony, but also insurance fraud if she were to have signed a contract for them to represent her with an insurance claim. This leads to a rise in our insurance premiums when these individuals make false reports on your property. Please report any unlicensed activity here.
Reliant Insurance Adjusters provides Pre-Loss Property Inspections and drone services. If you do not have a pre-purchase home inspection report, or you have owned your home for more than 10 years, you need to have one. This report will certainly come in handy if you ever have an insurance claim, so you can show that the damage you are claiming is not pre-existing. We have different packages to accommodate homeowners, condominium owners and building owners. For more information, contact us here or call 561-288-6434.
Everyone likes to keep in a routine and have very little change, especially when it comes to finding new property insurance coverage. You feel secure knowing your home or business is covered. That old statement, “nothing lasts forever” certainly applies to this topic. One morning, I received a call from a client whose water damage claim I had been handling. She was in a panic after receiving a none renewal notice from her insurance carrier and thought it was due to her claim.
I promised her that it certainly could not be because of the claim as we were in the beginning stages of her claim and had not even settled the claim yet when she received the notice. She called her agent and the insurance company, kicking and screaming to the top of the ladder, and she was told that it had nothing to do with her claim. The carrier was no longer insuring properties for less than $500,000 nor were they writing anymore policies in her area.
There was nothing she could do but to try to secure a policy with a different insurance carrier. It was challenging due to all the “managed repair” policies flooding the market. She was concerned with price, but I helped her weed through a few different prospects. Since then, it has become increasingly difficult to secure insurance even with “well known” insurance companies because they have begun doing this as well and are trying to “limit their exposure”.
Limit their exposure? What they really mean is that they want to limit their losses and increase their profit. It’s really that simple! So, what does this mean to you? It means that you will have limited insurance companies writing policies, limited coverage, more managed repair policies and insurance rates will continue to rise.
It is important for you to do your due diligence and understand your insurance policy and the company insuring your property. I am confident you don’t want any surprises down the road if you have an insurance claim. We like to help and educate our client so you can make an informed decision.
When renewing your policy, please don’t assume it has the same coverage because many times, it changes upon renewal. If you are searching for a new insurance company, know the coverage and know the company insuring your home! If you have any questions, you can always call 561-288-6434 or contact us here.
Recently, I received a call from an individual that left me a little perplexed. For privacy purposes I will refer to this person as Ms. Hanner and she requested help with her insurance claim. She said that she called her insurance agent to file a claim and that he told her not to file the claim because her damage was under deductible. She said I don’t know how this could be, my deductible is only $2,500.00 and there was a great deal of damage.
I asked her if the agent visited her home to see the damage. She explained he did not and that she only spoke with him on the phone. In fairness to the agent, they generally do not visit properties to inspect damage. But also, he should not have told her not to file a claim, as it was not possible for the agent to understand the amount of damage from just a brief phone call.
During my call with Ms. Hanner, I asked her a series of questions to determine what happened to the property. It was during my inquiry that I got a better understanding of what caused her loss as well as the damage to her home. The key word here is inquiry … I asked a lot of questions and did not assume anything. During my inspection of her property, it was clear to me that the claim was not under deductible due to the damage in many rooms in her home.
I cannot stress this enough and this is why it is always important to get an honest opinion from a licensed insurance professional. We always ask questions, get as many details as possible, conduct an inspection of the property and review the insurance policy. There are some instances when there is minimal damage to one’s property and the repairs can fall below your deductible. In cases like these, a claim should not be filed. But in this instance, that was not the case.
We are always here to help protect policyholders and answer any questions any time. We provide free insurance policy and claim reviews and you can contact us here or call 561-288-6434.
are you stressed from Covid, the Rioting and the news? Here are Some Helpful tips to help relieve and ease your stress!
During these stressful times that have affected all of us due to Covid and the recent riots and discord around our country, the amount of stress created can sometimes feel daunting. I received a call yesterday from a family member who was feeling a little sad about all of this. I decided that today’s blog should be about de-stressing, positive vibes and spreading the love.
I can honestly say that although I certainly get stressed and feel it at times, I remain positive, upbeat and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us every day. This is essential to have peace in my days. During stressful times, I always know that no matter what, it can always be worse and the feeling at that moment is not the end all be all! This too shall pass and tomorrow will always be a better day.
Throughout the years, I have always shared with those in my life the importance of finding their “yoga”. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to actually do yoga, but you need do something that makes you happy, brings you peace and relieves you of stress. Moving your body is key not only to relieving stress, but moving your body is important for good heart health as well and strong bones.
Find your yoga! Take a brisk walk or go for a run, swim, play golf or tennis, workout to strengthen your muscles and bones. If you are concerned with going to the back to your gym or studio, there are online yoga, pilates, dance, aerobics, and spin classes available. Last but certainly not least, make sure stretch your body, take in deep breaths and release and let go of your stress!
My last piece of advice is to stop watching the news and step away from the media created stress. Go outside and breath fresh air and just move your body. I know from personal experience that you will feel better for doing this. So have a happy Wednesday and go get your yoga on!
If you love the peace and tranquility of your home as much as I do, then you certainly wouldn’t want it disrupted in any way. There are times, and it has happened to me, when you have property damage from a either a leak, a fire, a hurricane and so on and your home life is completely disrupted. All you want to do is get back to normal and repair your home.
Wait! Before you rush to repair your property, you need to know what your “Duties After Loss” are within your insurance policy so you do not jeopardize your insurance claim. It is important to prove your damage and show your damage. Each policy is a little different and below is just a small example of the language (not all the language) so please make sure you read and understand your “Duties After Loss” in your policy.
Duties After Loss … In case of a loss to covered property, we have no duty to provide coverage under this policy if the failure to comply with the following duties is prejudicial to us. These duties must be performed either by you, an “insured” seeking coverage, or a representative of either:
1.Give us prompt notice to us or our agent;
Except for Reasonable Emergency Measures taken under Additional Coverage 2. There is no coverage for repairs that begin before the earlier of:
a.72 hours after we are notified of the loss;
b.The time of loss inspection by us; or
c.The time of other approval by us.
2.a. To the degree reasonably possible, retain the damaged property; and
b. Allow us to inspect, subject to 2.a. above, all damaged property prior to its removal from the “premises”.
3.a. Notify the police in case of loss by theft ..
b. Notify the credit card or electronic fund transfer card or access device company in case of loss as provided for in D.6. Credit
4.Protect the covered property from further damage …
5.Cooperate with us in the investigation of a claim;
6.Prepare an inventory of the damaged personal property …
7.As often as we reasonably require:
a.Show us the damaged property and the cause of loss …
b.Provide us with records and documents we request and permit us to make copies;
c.Any and all “insureds” must submit to recorded statements when requested by us;
d.In the County where the premises is located you, your agents, your representatives and any and all “insureds” must submit to an examination under oath while not in the presence of the other …
e.Permit us to take samples of damaged and undamaged property for inspection, testing and analysis; and
f.Any and all “insureds” must execute all authorizations for the release of information when requested by us.
8. You must give notice of a claim, a supplement claim, or a reopened claim for loss or damage caused by the peril of windstorm or hurricane within three years after the hurricane first made landfall or the windstorm caused the covered damage …
9.Send to us, within 60 days after our request, your signed sworn proof of loss which sets forth, to the best of your knowledge and belief:
a.The time and cause of loss;
b.The interests of all “insureds” and all others in the property involved and all liens on the property;
c.Other insurance which may cover the loss;
d.Changes in title or occupancy of the property during term of policy;
e.Specifications of damaged buildings and detailed repair estimates;
f.The inventory of damaged personal property described in C.6 above;
g.Receipts of additional living expenses incurred and records that support the fair rental value loss; and
h.Evidence or affidavit that supports a claim under D.6 …
If you do not comply with your duties after a loss and repair the damaged property before the insurance company has an opportunity to investigate and inspect the damages, you risk having your claim denied. There are also documents that you may be required to complete and will need the assistance of a public insurance adjuster to prepare and submit them to the insurance company.
When you have damage to your property, you expect that your insurance company will pay your insurance claim and cover the damage. There are times when a dispute arises because your insurance company feels they only owe a certain amount to repair your damaged property and you feel they owe a different amount. This happens more than you realize and there are dispute resolutions options available to you in your insurance policy.
Most policies provide the option for either Mediation or Appraisal. When the appraisal provision is included in the policy, it will read something like the following (they differ from policy to policy, but you will get the gist):
Mediation Or Appraisal. If you and we :
“Fail to agree on the amount of loss, either party may demand an appraisal of the loss. If you or we demand appraisal of the loss, the demand for appraisal must be in writing and shall include an estimate of the amount of any dispute that results from the covered cause of loss. The estimate shall include a description of each item of damaged property in dispute as a result of the covered loss, along with the extent of damage and the estimated amount to repair or replace each item. In this event, each party will choose a competent and impartial appraiser within 20 days after receiving a written request from the other. The two appraisers will choose an umpire …
The only additional cost to you and the insurance company through this process is bearing the cost of the umpire equally if one should need to be retained. Although the two appraisers will agree to the selection of the umpire, the umpire is not needed unless the two appraisers are unable to resolve the dispute. At that time, the umpire will be called in to assist.
The appraisal process is sometimes the path of least resistance when trying to resolve an insurance claim. In addition to being licensed public insurance adjusters, we are also Certified Property Insurance Appraisers and Umpires (CPAU) and are members of the Insurance Appraisal & Umpire Association and the Windstorm Insurance Network. We have resolved many insurance claim disputes over the years, both as appraisers and umpires throughout the state of Florida. If you have any questions, you can reach us here or call 561-288-6434.
In a prior blog, Don’t Shop Price, Shop Coverage, I discussed the importance of insurance coverage for your property. It is really important to make sure you have enough coverage for the limits in your policy. Here's why ...
A potential client had water damage to his condominium that came from the unit above. Everything from the ceiling to the floors had to be replaced and there were obvious signs of mold. Upon reviewing his insurance policy, I found he only had a policy limit for Coverage A – Dwelling of $10,000.00. This amount also includes the dry out the mitigation company performed to dry his property. He was concerned about the presence of mold which the declarations page of his insurance policy stated he had $10,000.00 mold coverage.
In this example, the mold coverage is inclusive when you have reached your Coverage A – Dwelling policy limit, it is not an additional coverage under the policy. After explaining the policy to him, he was understandably concerned with the lack of coverage and said he will make sure he changes his policy. His exact words were, “I never realized I needed more!”
Most individuals do not look at their coverage limits, and if they do, they think they have enough. My explanation on how to view your coverage and determine if you are adequately covered is simple. Imagine a catastrophic loss occurring, such as a fire, and it destroyed your property. Would the coverage limit you currently have be enough to cover the rebuild of your property? I know that many of you think this will never happen to you, but it certainly can, and you need to be properly insured so you do not have to come out of pocket for repairs.
For additional information or answers to any questions you have, please contact us here or call 561-288-6434.
The Wedontsee Insurance Company has inspected the damage to your property and you are told that they will review the claim and get back to you. You receive a letter informing you “our adjuster’s estimate to repair your damaged property is below the amount of your deductible so therefore, we are unable to issue a payment at this time”. You think to yourself, “great, my claim has been denied and I don’t have enough money to repair the damage. What am I going to do?” Not so fast! First of all, your claim has not been denied and I will explain.
The letter you received reads something like this:
Damage to Coverage A: $1,567.24
Deductible Applied: $2,500.00
Net Claim Amount: $ - 932.76
In the sometimes confusing and head scratching language of insurance speak, the insurance company has actually made a payment on the claim. They feel that they owe $1,567.24 to repair the property and have afforded coverage for your claim. But because the deductible amount is greater than the payment amount, they cannot issue a payment. This is a far cry from getting your claim denied.
Here is where a public insurance adjuster can come to the rescue (enter stage left). Often times when asked to review these types of claims, we find that the insurance company has under paid for a variety of reasons. The Wedontsee Insurance Company and either overlooked damages, missed damages that could be hidden from view or they misapplied coverage. We have been very successful in re-opening these claims and getting our clients the proper claim settlements they need to repair their property.
Yankees all-star catcher Yogi Berra is famous for saying “it ain’t over till it’s over”. At Reliant Insurance Adjusters we say “it ain’t over till we say so!” For additional information, a FREE claim review or answers to any of your questions please contact us here or call 561-288-6434.