Holiday & Covid Safety Tips
Thanksgiving is a festive time of year to enjoy delicious food and time spend time with our families and loved ones. Cooking and baking are an essential part of the holiday and we never think anything will happen. Do you know that many property damage claims and injuries can result from unexpected accidents while cooking and preparing for the holidays?
Here are some safety tips that you may not think about, but they can help to avoid injury and property damage:
If you are traveling during these trying times of Covid, we wish you safe travels. Because you may be unaware of the sanitizing process in many public places, the unknown can create unnecessary stress. It is important to remember to where a mask, social distance, wash your hands as much as possible and to keep hand sanitizer or alcohol wipes/spray with you at all times. This will not only help to protect you and your loved ones, but it can also help protect those who are more vulnerable with pre-existing health issues.
From our homes to yours, we wish you a very safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
As Tropical Storm Eta passed through South Florida, many home and business owners sustained property damage from flooding and roof leaks that left them with interior damages to their property. Do you know if your insurance policy covers property damage?
My friend owns a business and leases a large warehouse with office space and a showroom in Boca Raton, FL. He called me in a panic that the showroom and office were flooded and expensive gym equipment was sitting in water. When I arrived, it was worse than what he explained. Wet ceiling tiles had fallen on all the machines and the ceiling tiles, walls and wood flooring were damaged. I quickly began photographing all the damage before the clean up began.
As he was searching for his insurance policy, I began reviewing his lease, and although he is a tenant, he is responsible for all damages to the interior of the building. The landlord is only responsible for the roof and exterior of the building.
The showroom houses expensive gym equipment that has to be stored in air conditioned climate controlled space until delivered and set up in his client’s gym’s. Essentially, he is the go between from the manufacturer delivering the equipment to him and then he delivers the equipment and sets up his client’s gyms. The equipment was scheduled to be installed within a week or so once the buildout of his customer's space was completed.
He handed me his policy and as I read “Commercial Property – No Coverage” I thought this must be a mistake. I then realized it was a general liability policy which would protect him while working in his business or in his client’s business only. I thought he handed me the wrong policy, but it was the only policy he had. I wasn’t sure how I was going to break the news to him that he wasn’t covered and when I did I thought he was going to explode!
When his agent researched insurance for his business, he never asked to see his lease and therefore never knew that my friend as the tenant, was solely responsible for property damage inside the building. An insurance agent should ask you questions and review any documentation to help secure the right insurance policies for your home or business.
We provide comprehensive pre-loss property inspections for home and businesses which includes a FREE insurance policy review. Contact us here for more information on the affordable packages we provide.
Have you ever heard of a “Loss Consultant”? This is a new term that originated only a few years ago by unlicensed individuals asserting they can represent policyholders with property damage insurance claims. I bring this up after receiving a call yesterday from a woman seemingly desperate for help. I cannot stress enough and may sound like a broken record, but I wouldn’t be doing you any justice if I didn’t keep reiterating that unlicensed activity is harming Florida consumers and is rampant throughout our state and can be a costly mistake.
She explained that the person representing her with her claim told her he was a loss consultant and she didn’t need a public adjuster. “Loss consultants” don’t exist and only a licensed public adjuster or attorney can legally represent a policyholder with an insurance claim.
To make matters worse, he met with her insurance company and told them what he “thought” was causing the damage. Without fully investigating and determining what really caused the damage, he said it looked like her roof leaked and walked the adjuster through the rooms of damage and said the roof needed to be replaced. Because of his lack of knowledge and understanding, he never read her insurance policy and had no idea what was covered or excluded.
Why would someone act as an adjuster when they are not? I’m of the opinion that many do so to avoid the legal requirements and costs of having to be licensed, bonded and properly educated to represent policyholders. After all, the insurance companies are dealing with them so they are getting away with it and have no incentive to do things right.
She continued to say that after the initial inspection with her insurance company, her consultant then professed that he was a contractor and could repair her home and save her money. Not checking his credentials, and trusting what he told her, she allowed him to repair her roof and the damage inside of her home.
According to the insurance company, the roof was not covered because there was no damage to her roof caused by a covered loss in her policy. Unfortunately for her, the policy also did not cover the ensuing interior water damage from the roof leak and her claim was denied. While the insurance company dealt with this unlicensed individual, they then sent her a letter asking for a roof inspection report that her roof was in good condition and not in need of replacement or they would cancel her insurance. When she called her “loss consultant”, it turns out that he is an unlicensed plumber and not even a qualified roofer and he was unable to provide her with the letter she needed and avoided her calls.
As a consumer myself, it is my obligation to help others and I will continue to bring awareness about unlicensed activity and how harmful it is. Additionally, Loss Consultants legally do not exist and unsuspecting consumers think they are hiring a public insurance adjuster when they are not. You must, must, must always make sure that anyone doing work for you is properly licensed and insured whether they are a contractor, roofer, plumber or electrician and yes, even a public adjuster or attorney!
I have always been organized and know exactly where something is when asked at any given moment. For me, having everything organized and in place, creates a calm and peaceful environment. When Scott and I became business partners, we immediately realized we were very similar and understood that being organized was an essential part of our business running smoothly.
In today’s electronic and cloud world, having everything at your fingertips, literally, makes for an easy find. We are required to submit documents for our clients on a regular basis and we do this electronically through email. I cannot tell you how many times we have requested documents from a new client, and they have to go on a search in hopes of finding them. The all too familiar “I know I have them but have no idea where they are” only creates unnecessary stress for you.
Having information and important documents stored in a file in your computer will provide easy access and everything in one place. It frees up space, declutters your home and also rids you of the paper collection you once thought you needed. You can create a personal file on your computer and then add sub files within that file for all your important documents such as insurance policies, closing documents, homeowner association documents, life and healthcare documents, photos, wills and important legal documents. You get the idea.
Having your files backed-up to a cloud storage is also important in case of a disaster. You should also keep important names and numbers for your doctor, family members, police department and medication list on hand, so you can easily access them in an emergency. If you missed our hurricane supply checklist which includes documents and supplies, you can access our previous blog here and download it for free.
You may feel uncomfortable with storing documents on your computer and I would suggest storing them on a zip drive and keeping the zip drive in a safe place as well as a back-up copy stored off premises of your home in case of a disaster. And, you can always store your documents in separate files in a plastic waterproof bin.