When dealing with property damage and filing an insurance claim, many policyholders are unsure whether to hire a Public Adjuster or an attorney to help them through the process.
While both professionals can provide valuable guidance and support, there are some key differences in roles and responsibilities. Understanding these distinctions and evaluating your specific needs can be the difference in helping you make the right choice for your insurance claim.
To provide you with a better understanding of the immense value an experienced Public Adjuster can provide, let’s discuss the benefits of first hiring a Public Adjuster as your professional advocate in the claims process.
What is a Public Adjuster?
A Public Adjuster acts as your advocate and helps you by supplying thorough estimates, pictures, and documentation to support your insurance claim and they are present for all inspections with insurance company. They are experts in the insurance claims process and work to ensure that you receive the maximum settlement amount for your claim.
The practice of insurance companies delaying, postponing, refusing, or attempting to settle claims for much less than they are worth are just a few of the reasons you should consider hiring a reputable Public Adjuster.
2 Top Benefits of Hiring a Public Adjuster First
#1 Expertise in the Insurance Claims Process
One of the main benefits of hiring a Public Adjuster is their experience and expertise in the insurance claims process. They understand the complex policies and procedures involved in filing a claim and can navigate the process efficiently.
Public Adjusters can interpret all the legalese used in working an insurance claim. A Public Adjuster will investigate and compile all losses including additional costs incurred as a result of any disruption to your home or business.
#2 Ability to Maximize Your Insurance Claim
Public Adjusters are skilled negotiators and can help policyholders receive the maximum settlement amount for their claim. They know how to present the claim to the insurance company and will provide detailed evidence to support the claim.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Public Adjuster
When choosing a Public Adjuster, it's important to consider their knowledge, experience, and credentials. Look for someone who has experience working on claims like yours, is licensed, bonded and insured in your state, and is transparent with their fees. Consider reading reviews or testimonials from previous clients to get a sense of their level of expertise and the service they provide.
Making the Right Choice for Your Insurance Claim
The bottom line is simple that, in most cases, you should hire a Public Adjuster before an attorney. You can get assistance from a Public Adjuster throughout the initial stages of your insurance claim and working with a Public Adjuster helps to ensure that you receive the settlement you deserve.
However, if your Public Adjuster and insurance company cannot agree on a fair settlement, there are typically three dispute resolution methods available - mediation, appraisal, or filing a lawsuit. Since attorneys deal with substantive and procedural law, they frequently settle conflicts through time-consuming and expensive litigation.
Partner with the Experts
At Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we have over 76 years of combined experience, and we handle each client's property damage claim as if it were our own. While other professionals might provide comparable services, Reliant is committed to giving you the knowledge and expertise for your residential or commercial claim.
Let us guide you through the claims process and provide you with the best outcome for your insurance claim. Contact us for a free consultation and policy review.
Do you know what a public adjuster does or what services to expect?
Simply stated, public adjusters are insurance experts. The key is that they provide insurance adjusting services working exclusively for policyholders. In the state of Florida, public adjusters are licensed and regulated by the state.
The insurance experts at Reliant Insurance Adjusters have decades of hands-on experience, not just in public adjusting, but also in insurance appraisals. They serve as appraisers and umpires for the binding dispute resolution option of appraisal.
What is an Appraisal?
A policy provision known as Appraisal can be found under the Loss Settlement section of your insurance policy. It is an alternative dispute resolution that can be used to settle disputes when the policyholder and carrier cannot agree on the amount of the loss. It serves as an alternative to a lawsuit. The appraisal process does not address coverage issues, but depending on the state, it may include or exclude items based on causation.
While most insurance policies can differ, most policies include language addressing dispute resolution.
Appraisal language in a typical HO3 policy may read as follows:
If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either may demand an appraisal of the loss. In this event, each party will choose competent appraiser within 20 days after receiving a written request from the other. The two appraisers will choose an umpire. If they cannot agree upon an umpire within 15 days, you or we may request that the choice be made by a judge of a court of record in the state where the “residence premises” is located. The appraisers will separately set the amount of the loss. If the appraisers submit a written report of an agreement to us, the amount agreed upon will be the amount of loss. If they fail to agree, they will submit their differences to the umpire. A decision agreed to by any two will set the amount of loss.
The Responsibilities of an Appraiser
The appraisers of the insured and the insurance carrier will meet at the property, estimate the damage and attempt to reach an agreement on the amount of loss.
If they cannot reach an agreement, the appraisers will present their disagreements to the umpire. The amount of the loss will be determined by an itemized decision agreed upon by two of these three. This decision is legally binding.
The cost of umpire will be split evenly between each party, and each will be responsible to pay for their own appraiser.
The experts at Reliant Insurance Adjusters have successfully completed all their education requirements with the Insurance Appraisal & Umpire Association, Windstorm Insurance Network and Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.
Choose a Team You Can Trust
Settling insurance claims is a complicated, and often, overwhelming process. Allow us to give your claim our personal attention, whether you need a public adjuster, appraiser, or umpire. Contact us to get started.
As previously discussed in my last blog, water damage is one of the most common claims made by property owners and causes losses in the billions of dollars in the United States each year.
There is no denying the strength of water in large amounts. However, most people don't understand that simply a few inches of water may inflict thousands of dollars in damage to a property. Given that, it is critical for property owners to be aware of the kinds of water hazards that are covered by their property insurance.
Since every insurance policy is unique, it is recommended that you carefully read your policy so that you are prepared when the worst occurs. The good news, when it comes to deciphering the details concerning water damage coverage, is that most policies are comparable.
Here is what you need to know about the various forms of water damage and what is generally covered by a typical property insurance policy.
Sudden and Accidental
As a general rule, only "sudden and accidental" water damage will be covered by your insurance policy. This may involve damage resulting from burst pipes or unintentional leaks, as well as from fire, storm, or roof leak damage. Other items typically covered include:
While the majority of property insurance policies cover unexpected or sudden water damage, it can be exceedingly challenging to get your losses covered for water damage that has occurred gradually.
Partnering with a reliable public adjuster can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim.
Common Causes of Covered Water Damage
Here are two of the most common causes of covered water damage.
#1 Water damage caused by burst pipes
Burst or broken pipes are one of the leading sources of water damage in properties, whether they are brought on by a break or whole in a pipe, clogs, increases in water pressure, or even frozen water. High water pressure can cause pipes to balloon and finally break, spewing water everywhere while causing damage to insulation, drywall, carpeting, and flooring in the process.
A standard property insurance policy will typically cover water damage caused by a burst pipe. However, damage brought on by a sewage backup and blocked drains is typically not covered. You can supplement your insurance with sewer backup coverage for total security against backup-related incidents.
#2 Water damage caused by a storm or extreme weather event
Your property insurance coverage likely covers water damage resulting from hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other weather-related calamities. For damage resulting from these occurrences, you can file a successful water damage insurance claim.
You could file a claim if strong winds cause damage to your roof and rain leaks in causing property damage. Some policies may have exclusions that the roof or exterior must first be damaged allowing the rain water to enter. So, if you want to file a claim for the damage, it's crucial to understand the limitations of your coverage.
Insurance Claims for Water Damage
If you sustain water damage, you should contact a reputable and licensed public adjuster to find out what you need do to prevent further damage and if you have enough damage to file an insurance claim.
It is important to take pictures of the damage as soon as you become aware, so that you have a record of when the damage occurred.
In order to ascertain whether your claim is covered, your insurance company will send an independent insurance adjuster, who works on behalf of the insurance company, to evaluate the damage. If you need to make temporary or urgent repairs prior the adjuster arriving, it is important to take pictures and save your receipts.
Your claim could be denied by your insurance company depending on the coverage, or lack thereof, in your policy. Claims are sometimes complex and stressful. You can hire a public adjuster as your advocate to make sure all your damage is well documented and all deadlines within your policy are met. This will assist in a more favorable outcome of your claim.
When damage happens, choose to work with trustworthy, experienced professionals such as our team at Reliant Insurance Adjusters. We have your best interests at heart and treat every client’s claim as if it were our own.
Water damage affects thousands of Florida property owners each year. Flooding from hurricanes or other natural disasters, broken pipes, backed-up sewer lines, and leaks in hoses, water heaters, and roofs are just a few of the numerous causes of water damage. At best, the resulting damage is a nuisance, and at its worst, it is devastating to the property owner.
Water Damage Limits
One of the most frequent reasons to file a property damage insurance claim is, in fact, water damage. Unexpected water damage may be both inconvenient and outright disastrous for property owners, but you can be prepared simply by understanding the limits of your water damage coverage in your insurance policy.
There are various forms of water damage and it’s important to learn what is and is not covered by a typical property insurance policy.
Understanding Policy Limitations
In order to avoid surprises, it is imperative to evaluate your policy and understand what is covered. Your insurance claim's outcome will be influenced by the cause of the damage, whether sudden or accidental, or gradual over a period of time.
More often than not, coverage extends to sudden water damage. However, many property damage claims only receive a partial claim payment because the insurance policy has a $10,000 limitation within the policy.
With this limitation, mitigation of your damage is also included. It may be challenging to make repairs to your property when the damage exceeds that amount, yet you are still required to prevent further damage by protecting your property.
Sudden or Accidental Damage
Typically, insurance policies specify that covered water damage must come from an internal or unanticipated occurrence.
Rising water entering your property from the exterior is considered flood and not covered under your property insurance policy. I encourage and urge you to make sure you have a separate flood insurance policy.
Examples of other Causes of Water Damage
Damage that occurs gradually over time is not covered by standard insurance policies. Because of the range of complex systems with hidden plumbing, electrical wiring, and other intricate parts inside property structures, it can be challenging to spot a problem.
Your insurance company may deny your claim if the damage appears to have been going on over a period of time, but some policies have wording to protect policyholders and allow coverage if the damage is hidden and unknown and not visible.
Examples of Gradual Causes of Water Damage
Wear, Tear, Deterioration and Mold
Unless specific wording is included in your policy as noted above, wear, tear and deterioration are not covered by most policies.
Although mold is caused by moisture, it’s important to speak with your insurance agent to determine whether your policy has mold coverage, and if not, you must add this important coverage.
The first step to filing a successful water damage insurance claim is understanding your coverage and the type of water damage your property is experiencing.
Hire a Public Adjuster to Help
Your insurance company may miss damage and underpay or deny your claim. A public adjuster can help by reviewing your policy and explaining what is and is not covered, and help you navigate the complicated claim process.
At Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we ensure your best interests are top priority and treat every client’s claim as if it were our own. Contact us today for more information.
There have been several bills filed in the House and Senate that would certainly weaken legislation meant to help consumers be treated fairly and honestly.
As our insurance premiums keep rising, we continue to be covered for less and less. As I wrote in my last blog post, how could this happen and where is the accountability? Why are insurance companies never held accountable for their bad behavior for delays and non-payment of covered claims?
I always thought that when we pay our insurance premiums, we would be covered should we sustain damage to our property. This is not happening and our legislators who were elected by us, to protect us, are not doing so. They are only protecting big insurance companies.
How is this Ethical?
A recent story was published in The Washington Post slamming insurance companies for slashing Hurricane Ian payouts far below damage estimates when their own adjusters wrote larger estimates. One adjuster said his stomach dropped when he saw his estimate drastically whittled down with entire portions removed. See news story by NBC2.
As a true consumer advocate, I have witnessed this unconscionable behavior by insurance companies when they remove covered damages the field adjuster and I agree is damaged.
Last week, news media exploded when our former President came out against Gov. DeSantis for the “Worst Insurance Scam in the Entire Country by bailing out insurance companies and leaving Florida homeowners not able to repair their damaged homes”. Sadly, he is not wrong.
Published reports state that Gov. DeSantis received more than $3 million dollars in donations from Insurance company executives and agents. CFO Patronis, who regulates these same companies, received almost $2 million.
It is also truly mind boggling to me how our legislators are not standing up for consumer rights but are, instead, trying to remove your rights.
More Protections Taken Away
In a special session called by Gov. DeSantis in December 2022, a very important protection in place for countless years was taken away from every consumer in Florida.
If you had a dispute with your insurance company and they did not pay enough for your damage and they delayed or denied your claim, you had the option to file a lawsuit against them, and your attorney fees would be covered by the carrier. Not any longer.
Even while insurance company executives were taking big bonuses and collecting large salaries, they were also delaying, underpaying, and denying valid claims, and complaining to legislators that attorneys and public adjusters are the root of the problem and that they are losing money.
Legislators Can Right The Wrong
Big insurance companies want to blame everyone for their losses, yet they never point the finger at themselves for their poor claims management, claim delays and nonpayment of covered insurance claims.
Florida legislators can do something about it by holding insurance companies accountable and stop ignoring their bad behavior and how poorly they treat consumers. They should give back the consumer protections we have lost and start protecting us the way they used to.
Protect Your Rights
The bills filed contain more restrictions that will limit your access to help if you choose to get help. This should be your choice, not the choice of legislators or big insurance companies. Your voice matters - call your legislators today in opposition of HB 1185 and SB 1398. Click here to locate your legislator.
We are all consumers, we pay our insurance and we expect that the legislators that were elected by us, their constituents, would protect us and not big insurance! This is not happening, and anti-consumer bills HB 1185 & SB 1398 filed last week are far from protecting consumers.
Our insurance premiums continue to increase year after year, but our coverage keeps eroding, and we are covered for less and less. Big insurance companies want to blame everyone for their losses, yet they never point the finger at themselves for their poor claims management, claim delays and nonpayment of covered insurance claims.
What Is Going On?
Legislators want to take more of your rights away should you have a property damage insurance claim and want to restrict your ability to get help when you need it most. From the language in these bills, I believe they expect you to determine and document all your damages in critical times without the help of a public adjuster. Shouldn’t that be your choice and not theirs? Could you imagine having to get on your own roof and prove it was damaged?
Why Is This Allowed?
Yesterday, I called all our legislators and left messages asking them to oppose these bills and explained a current claim where my elderly client sustained tornado damage to her property and needed my help throughout the claim process. Her roof is irreparable, the damage is extensive, and the tile is no longer available amongst other damages to her home.
We provided the insurance company with a full report from a local contractor with proof confirming this and demanded they pay to replace her roof. Although the insurance company asked for this report, they continued to ignore the findings and requested additional roof inspections by local roofers.
Due to the continued delays and additional inspections, which confirmed what we had already confirmed, her insurance company went out of business before a payment for the roof replacement could be issued. However, during the process of delaying and underpaying their policyholder’s claims, the insurance company executives still received exorbitant bonuses all while under the watchful eye of the Office of Insurance Regulation. How could this happen?
Why aren’t insurance companies held accountable for their bad behavior? Why are the numerous consumer complaints filed with leadership being ignored? After all, our very own CFO said on television he would help, call him first. Yet, there is no help because they are tragically understaffed, nor will they get on your roof or fight with your insurance company on your behalf. Time and time again we see there is no action against insurance companies – proof as my above client’s complaint still has gone unanswered.
There have been very minimal complaints about public adjusters, I can count them on one hand, in comparison to the numerous complaints against insurance companies.
Protect Your Rights
Public Adjusters in Florida are already highly regulated more than any other state. These bills contain more restrictions that will limit your access to help if you choose to get help.
As consumers, small business owners, and true consumer advocates for 17 years, we have always put our client's needs before our own. We work tirelessly to prepare and submit claim packages, conduct all inspections with your insurance company and negotiate fair and proper claim settlements for you, our clients.
What Can You Do?
The time is now, we need your help. Please contact our legislators in opposition to these bills. Just click the link below to access their contact information.
If you have any questions about these bills, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss them with you.
Meet Co-Owner Karen Schiffmiller
You've probably heard the term "public adjuster," but do you actually know what a public adjuster does? A Florida Public Adjuster is licensed and regulated by the state.
Public adjusters are insurance experts that work exclusively for policyholders to provide insurance adjusting services. Our team at Reliant Insurance Adjusters have over 76 years of combined experience that make them the go-to experts for your insurance appraisal and claim needs.
Meet Karen Schiffmiller
Karen made the move from New York to the sunny state of Florida almost 30 years ago. She has even more years of combined legal and public adjusting experience than that! In fact, over a period of 37 years, Karen has worked and gained specialized knowledge that gives her the ability to understand insurance policies, and more importantly, the rights of policyholders.
As a proud co-owner of Reliant Insurance Adjusters, Karen's fortitude and tenacity enable her to effectively represent her clients by securing all the compensation to which they are legally entitled. She explains all the options under their policy and assists her clients in understanding the challenging insurance claim process.
Karen has many certifications and qualifications, and her experience includes adjusting insurance claim losses for residential and commercial property owners caused by water damage, hurricane, fire, flood, sinkhole claims, and more.
For insurance claim disputes, Karen is a Certified Property Insurance Appraiser & Umpire (CPAU). She is a member of the Windstorm Insurance Network and the Insurance Appraisal & Umpire Association (IAUA). Karen is a Past President and proud member of the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA).
Additionally, Karen offers USPAP compliant assessments and values and appraises personal property, including furniture, antiques, and collectibles.
Interests and Hobbies
Karen is passionate about giving back to the community and is the President of the FAPIA Foundation. She volunteers and raises money for people in need within local communities. In addition to community, family is very important to Karen. She values quality time with her family and friends and she loves keeping physically fit so that she can continue to provide excellent service to her clients in her sometimes physically demanding role of “professional roof climber.”
You have probably heard many people talk about their "purpose" or "motivation," the driving force behind the daily pursuit of their goals and aspirations. For Karen, that is and always will be, to help others.
“Helping our clients through the difficult and complex claim process is my passion. When I see how insurance companies do not comply with their own policies nor pay claims properly, it makes me work that much harder for our clients to ensure their rights are protected and their claims are fully paid.”
What Makes Karen Schiffmiller Different?
Karen has an uncanny ability to see the big picture and understands how important the timeliness and detailed manner in which she delivers her expertise can be to her clients.
Karen believes that creating customer satisfaction is as much about building trust and developing relationships as it is about the actual service itself. She prides herself on taking a client’s problem and making it her own while delivering the solution with the same level of attention and care.
Karen and the team at Reliant Insurance Adjusters are dedicated insurance adjusters, appraisers, and umpires who bring professionalism and expertise to the table and will bring final resolution to your disputed claims.
If you have any questions regarding our services or if you need assistance filing a claim, reopening and underpaid or denied claim, please contact Reliant Insurance Adjusters today.
Did you know that the qualified team at Reliant Insurance Adjusters have over 76 years of experience between them? Not every insurance adjuster has the knowledge, skills, or certifications to provide you with the best services possible. But Scott Scovin covers all those bases and more!
Meet Scott Scovin
Scott moved to Florida in 2005 with a wealth of experience in areas that made him especially well-suited for the profession of public insurance adjusting. He previously owned several businesses which made him a natural fit as co-owner of Reliant Insurance adjusters.
Scott previously owned a disaster restoration business that specialized in professionally cleaning homes and businesses that had been damaged from fire, flood, and smoke. He was a preferred vendor for various Connecticut insurance companies who trusted his work and expertise.
Scott was the owner of a business that was dedicated to cleaning contaminated air duct systems, which are frequently impacted in water and fire losses. He earned his certification as an indoor air quality specialist during his time as owner of this business.
He also previously owned and ran a consignment store that specialized in antique furniture and collectibles. So naturally, it was an organic step that Scott would be involved in appraisals. Scott performs USPAP compliant assessments of personal property such as furniture, antiques, and collectibles in addition to his work as a Public Insurance Adjuster.
Scott is a Certified Property Insurance Appraiser & Umpire (CPAU) for insurance claim disputes. He is a member of Insurance Appraisal & Umpire Association (IAUA) and the Windstorm Insurance Network. He is also a proud member of the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA) and is a licensed FAA drone pilot in the state of Florida and is Matterport® Certified.
Scott has over 40 years of experience in handling property damage insurance claims, and his varied experience within the industry is an asset to the clients he serves today. His qualifications and certifications are many, but he prides himself on treating every claim as if it were his own.
Interests and Hobbies
Scott enjoys volunteering as a Eucharistic Minister & Lector at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Deerfield Beach, Florida. He gets immense joy from taking care of rescue cats, but don’t let that softer side of his personality fool you – Scott never turns down an opportunity to attend a great rock concert as he has been a drummer for 45 years. As he would tell you, he is famous in his own garage.
You’ve likely heard people talk about their “Why,” that thing that gets them out of bed each day to pursue their dreams. For Scott, that is helping his clients navigate the difficult claims process and protecting their rights under their insurance policies. Claims are complicated and Scott has the ability to make the complexity simple for his clients.
What Makes Scott Scovin Different?
Reputation and fairness are everything to Scott, and in addition to being your choice for public insurance adjusting, Scott can also act as appraiser or umpire through the appraisal process to bring final resolution to disputed claims. He understands the importance of being up to date in the areas of communication and technology, and Scott believes in always using the best resources and tools for his clients.
Scott and the team at Reliant Insurance Adjusters are dedicated to providing the professionalism, knowledge, and experience needed to get you the best possible settlement of your claim.
If you need assistance filing a claim, reopening an underpaid or denied claim, or just have questions, please contact Reliant Insurance Adjusters today.
After a significant hurricane or weather-related tragedy, opportunists and fraudsters seem to come out of the woodwork to prosper off the vulnerable situation property owners may find themselves in.
In the hectic, chaotic days that follow any storm, dishonest contractors, repair businesses, and service-related representatives prosper with promises of cheap repairs, emergency grant money, or claims of altruistic intentions. During these vulnerable moments, it is more important than ever that property owners be aware of unlicensed individuals who may show up at the door with lofty claims.
Avoid Home Improvement Scams
Be cautious when any salesperson or self-proclaimed expert appears at your door uninvited. Many scammers prey on unsuspecting and vulnerable property owners by going door to door.
Home improvement scams often flourish in the wake of disasters, especially after violent storms such as hurricanes and tornados. However, they “prowl” at all times of year in the hopes of making a quick buck off of property owners. Scammers know concerned owners will spend money to improve a problem with their property.
The claims made by any unsolicited contractors, or any offers that seem too good to be true, should be given a second look. Here are some suggestions for protecting yourself.
Take Precautions When Giving Vital Information
Never divulge your policy number, coverage information, or any other private information to individuals or businesses unless you have thoroughly investigated the contractor and are prepared to sign a contract after doing your due diligence about the company.
Verify Licensing and Credentials
Be sure to check with your insurer, prior to contracting for services, to confirm your coverage and policy requirements. Hire only licensed specialists with a good reputation and acquire itemized estimates for bids or repairs.
Choosing a Contractor
Choose the person who will work on your property carefully by doing your homework. Selecting a contractor with a recognized physical address, Google reviews, and a current phone number is an important base to cover. Take the step of seeking out customer testimonials or referrals to ensure the contractor has a quality reputation.
The best course of action is to obtain quotes from multiple contractors before having any work done on your home. Get the proposals in writing, and make sure the details of the services to be provided are clear.
Carefully Examine Contracts
The majority of home improvement and repair work is done under contract. In fact, for their own protection, reputable companies typically demand contracts. A well-written contract should also safeguard the property owner.
Verify that the written contract contains all the “promises” made to you. Insist on a formal contract that details the work to be done by the contractor, including when it will begin, and when it is estimated to be completed. Make sure the contract specifies the cost of special orders and materials and contains everything the contractor or salesperson promised.
Be Wary of Lofty Claims of Savings
Anyone who approaches you without your permission or claims to be able to perform repairs at a reduced cost should be suspect.
Contractors who demand big deposits or upfront payments should be avoided. Never make checks payable to a person or to "Cash," but rather to a company. This request would be a huge red flag you shouldn’t ignore.
Just say “No” to individuals who tell you to avoid getting permits to save money. Most repairs require a permit, which ensures adherence to building codes and rules, and an inspection of the finished work might be necessary to complete a permit.
Hire a Public Adjuster to Help
Public adjusters may be hired by policyholders to help them with their insurance claims. Even though the majority are trustworthy, after a disaster, unlicensed individuals claiming to be public adjusters may also attempt to take advantage of property owners. Partner with a reputable company such as Reliant Insurance Adjusters to ensure that your best interests at a property owner are their priority.
If you have any questions about your claim or you need to file an insurance claim, contact Reliant Insurance Adjusters today.
In December, Florida Legislators held a special session during which they passed a new bill that was signed into law in an attempt to stabilize Florida's troubled property insurance industry.
Unfortunately for Florida policyholders, it falls far short of its intended purpose, it is not so consumer friendly and ultimately favors the insurance industry.
The legislation raises many issues and questions, making it even more important that you have a qualified public adjuster on your side to obtain a proper insurance claim settlement.
What was the Intended Purpose?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida homeowners, who already pay some of the highest insurance premiums in the nation, have witnessed average rate increases of 33%, with some receiving quotes for increases of up to 10 times their current premiums.
In light of statistics showing that Florida accounts for 7% of all property insurance claims but 74% of all property insurance litigation, the legislature responded with changes outlined in the bill.
What Changes Can be Expected?
Property insurers have long argued that litigation encourages cost increases and that so-called "one-way attorney fees" are to blame. The new legislation takes away one-way attorney fees, which mandated that insurance company’s cover the legal costs of policyholders who prevail in their insurance claims.
Unfavorable Changes for Policyholders:
What You Need to Know Before Selecting a Policy with Binding Mandatory Arbitration:
Policyholders Insured with Citizens Property Insurance Will See Increases
Citizens Property Insurance will now require that all their policyholders carry flood insurance. If you receive a comparable coverage offer from a private insurance carrier, even if the coverage is more costly, you will not be eligible for coverage with Citizens at renewal. If you own property and it is not your primary residence, your insurance rates will increase.
Some Favorable Changes for Policyholders:
Unbeknownst to many policyholders, these contractors were filing lawsuits against insurance companies to recover payment under their AOB. This certainly increased the amount of lawsuits that were filed when there was a claim dispute, and this only resulted in higher premiums for policyholders.
Hire a Public Adjuster to Help
The revisions contained in the bill are an overcorrection that strips homeowners of their rights and leaves property owners at the mercy of their insurance company.
Now more than ever, policyholders need a reputable partner like Reliant Insurance Adjusters to ensure your rights are protected and get you the claim settlement you deserve.