Trees fall all the time. It’s part of mother nature. Just recently, my neighbor’s backyard palm tree fell and woke me up in the middle of the night when I felt it hit the ground. It fell toward my home, and thankfully missed without causing any damage.
It got me thinking about writing and discussing a claim that we had a few years ago when a tree hit our client’s home, which caused extensive property damage. No one sustained any injuries because they were away when the damage occurred.
Are Fallen Trees Covered?
During a heavy wind and rainstorm, lightning struck a large tree that fell on our client’s home. The damage was extensive causing the need for a new roof along with damage to the trusses, and water damage to the interior of their home.
The fallen tree itself is not covered for replacement, but the removal of the tree from the property is covered up to a certain amount as per the policy.
What The Insurance Company Claimed
The insurance company inspected the damage and alleged that the tree was rotted which is why the tree fell. They tried to apply the following policy exclusion:
“We do not insure for loss caused directly or indirectly by any of the following: Decay or buried or organic materials”.
Coverage For The Claim
We proved that the lightning strike caused damage to the tree which is what led to it falling on their property. We provided photos in support of our findings together with confirmed weather data.
Ultimately the carrier agreed to place coverage on the claim and we were able to get them paid for all their damage.
When you have an insurance company that listens to reason and reviews the documentation provided, it is a good day. Sometimes that is not always the case when proof and facts get overlooked.
How To Choose The Right Public Adjuster
There are benefits if hiring a public adjuster. Make sure the public adjuster has knowledge, experience, has attention to detail, and good negotiation skills.
Not having these skills can make or break your insurance claim. At Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we have all these skills and more, and treat every client’s claim as if it were our own.
We handle new, underpaid, and denied claims. Call us for your insurance claim needs today.
We all feel that because we pay for property insurance, our insurance companies should be there for us when we need them the most.
Our Client, Maryjo (not her real name for privacy reasons) arrived home from her chemo treatment to find water damage to her kitchen flooring and cabinets.
Not understanding Florida insurance policies for water damage, she promptly called her insurance company and filed an insurance claim.
Not knowing the advantages of using a public insurance adjuster, she let the insurance company inspect her property. She showed them the damage which she assumed was coming from the plumbing system.
Who’s Back Does The Insurance Company Have?
The insurance company then sent a leak detection company to inspect the property. Rather than performing a complete inspection of the entire plumbing system and appliances, they only inspected the reverse osmosis system which was in one of the damaged cabinets under the sink.
The primary focus of their inspection was her roof. The leak detection company told her the roof was compromised, which allowed the water to enter through the roof and damaged her cabinets and flooring.
Under her policy, the ensuing water damage from a roof leak is not covered unless a covered peril first creates an opening to the exterior of the building allowing the water to enter though the opening.
Relying on their expert's report, and since there was no opening, the insurance company denied her claim.
Do Your Due Diligence
Maryjo hired a handyman in her community. He found that the water line to the refrigerator was leaking and was the culprit for all the damage. Why didn’t the leak detection company check that line?
She trusted the insurance company's expert. Prior to her cabinets and flooring getting water damaged, it had not rained for some time. Also, after the inspections, the damage was getting worse, and it was still wet. How would a roof leak have caused the damage?
Why You Need A Public Adjuster
When I received her call for help, I asked a lot of questions. I reviewed the denial letter and the insurance policy at the time of loss. It’s important to make sure there are no water damage limits or exclusions.
I inspected the ceilings and walls and saw there was no water staining on them, nor was there any damage to the upper cabinets. The damage was isolated to the flooring and lower cabinets in the kitchen indicative of a plumbing leak.
Our Knowledge And Experience
You should always have an advocate to represent you who has knowledge and experience.
We have a combined 36 years of experience handling property damage claims for both residential and commercial policyholders. We know what to look for, what to ask, and have all the tools to properly assess property damage.
Remember, not all property damage is a covered loss. If you have a new claim, underpaid claim or denied claim, or need to reopen your claim, we can help.
Contact us today for a complimentary policy and claim review.
The holidays are a festive time of the year filled with so many traditions to celebrate, but they can also present many opportunities for accidents to happen.
Keeping your property safe throughout the holiday season can be more challenging than you imagine because there are several risk factors that many people don’t even think twice about.
Holiday Safety Tips for Your PropertyWe have created a short list of our top holiday safety tips to help keep your family, property, and belongings safe throughout the holidays.
Smoke AlarmsInstalling and testing your smoke alarms is an important part of fire safety prevention confirmed by American Red Cross.
If your smoke alarms are not hard wired, make sure you test them monthly. If they are not working, change the batteries. This will help ensure yours and your family’s safety.
Be Prepared For Hot Stovetops And Grease
Plenty of turkeys, hams, stuffing, and casseroles will get cooked this holiday season. If you aren’t cooking with caution and care, it could lead to a fire, especially when butter, oil, and grease are involved. Avoid leaving food unattended when its cooking on the stove or in a fryer to help reduce the chances of igniting or spreading fires.
Don’t Leave Lit Candles Unattended
Whether you light a menorah, or you like the cozy feeling from twinkling lights of candles, any candles can be a fire hazard waiting to happen. Be sure any combustible or flammable items (paper, Christmas trees, blankets, etc.) are not close to lit any candles.
Consider placing your candles in a holder on sturdy and clean surfaces with a foot of space around the open flame. Never leave a lit candle unattended. In my home, I have replaced decorative candles with beautiful faux options.
Maintain Your Christmas Tree
If you love the scent of a real Christmas tree, you will more than likely be decorating the tree with lights. it is important to check the lights and make sure there are not any frayed wires, and that you unplug the lights when you go to bed. Keeping your trees watered and moist will help them from drying out which can lead to fires.
Enjoy a Safe and Damage-Free Holiday SeasonThere is so much to celebrate and be thankful for throughout the holiday season, and we hope you enjoy yours safely.
At Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we understand that accidents can still happen even if you are prepared. We are here to help you with any property damage claims you may need to file or answer any questions you may have to help keep your property safe throughout the year.
Contact us today to learn how we can help.
It is important that you know who insures your property. After receiving a call from a potential client recently, I realized this topic needs to be discussed.
There are times that we receive calls from individuals after they sustain damage to their property, and they want to know if they should file an insurance claim.
Sometimes they have already called the claim into the insurance company before knowing if there is coverage for the type of loss that has occurred.
Why It’s Important To Know Who Insures Your Property
During the call, I was told by the homeowner that she was insured with a certain insurance company. That carrier’s policy happens to cover the type of loss and damage she sustained.
However, the insurance policy she had was expired, so I asked her to find the renewal copy. As she searched through her file, she did not find the renewal, and told me it automatically renewed and was included in her mortgage payment.
I asked her to look further because the carrier would have sent her the renewal. It was also important to make sure she still had the same coverage for the property damage she sustained.
What she found was a new policy from another carrier. She was no longer insured with her original insurance company.
Unfortunately, her new policy excluded the cause of loss responsible for the damages. Her insurance agent, who should have known that there was no coverage, had filed the claim for her.
Does Your Insurance Agent Handle This?
We come across many individuals who have no idea who their insurance company is. Sometimes when we ask them, they give us the name of their insurance agent or agency.
A good insurance agent that provides customer service and has good communication skills, will always make sure you have a copy of your current policy and that you are aware of what is and is not covered in the policy.
Important Tips You Should Follow
Can You Trust Your Insurance Agent?
In my recent blog “Good Insurance Agents and Bad Insurance Agents”, I focused on the importance of being aware of the distinctions between good agents and bad agents.
It’s important that you are proactive and research the agent and the agency they work for. Read their reviews, and seek recommendations from people you know and trust.
Handling insurance claims and dealing with insurance companies is what we do best. We know which insurance companies treat our clients fairly and those that do not.
If you have a new, underpaid or denied claim, we provide complimentary policy and claim reviews. Contact us today.