At first glance, nearly every strain of mold looks the same, which makes identifying toxic and non-toxic mold in your home challenging.
Though mold, toxic or otherwise, rarely crosses your mind on a regular basis, there are several signs that can indicate its presence in your home. Mold can begin growing in as little as 1-2 days and is generally not easy to spot until it has spread or you start to experience related health issues.
Black mold produces mycotoxins and is the most common strain of toxic mold. If you are subject to prolonged exposure to this type of mold, it can lead to more serious health issues.
Mold is not always covered by insurance. It must be caused by something that is covered under your insurance policy so, before your rush to file an insurance claim, you should have your policy and coverages reviewed by a licensed public insurance adjuster.
3 Simple Signs to Identify Toxic & Non-Toxic Mold in Your Property
Here are several signs to help you determine if you have either type of mold in your home, and which type it may be. However, sometimes it is difficult to determine without the proper testing by a professional testing company.
#1: Something smells off
Something in your home smells quite musty and it is not the laundry basket. Unfortunately, this could be an indicator of either type of mold growth and may pose a health risk.
#2: It is growing plain as day
One of the more common ways people discover mold is when it becomes visible. Toxic mold typically grows in hidden, dark, and damp spaces, however, it can also grow in open areas like on your ceiling or walls. It may not be a toxic strain, but you should still proceed with and have it properly tested so you know what type of mold it is.
#3: You aren’t feeling so well lately
Toxic mold can lead to severe health problems, especially related to your respiratory system. Some symptoms of toxic mold exposure parallel common allergy symptoms, such as:
● Rashes, hives, and itching
● Shortness of breath
● Sinus congestion
● Memory loss
Toxic and non-toxic mold growth can both result in additional damages to your home and cause problems with your health. If you notice or suspect mold growth, it is important to have it professionally tested and remediated.
Contact Reliant Insurance Adjusters should you have any questions. We will help you every step of the way with your mold damage insurance claim.
Your home is supposed to be dry except for your bathroom, but sometimes things just happen. Suppose you get heavy rain, water from your roof made its way into your home and damaged your walls and flooring. In the same week, you come home after work and discover pools of water from outside that caused a flood inside your property. This is your cue to call an independent adjuster in West Palm Beach to inspect your house.
After studying the damage, your public adjuster may say your flood insurance only covers the damage caused by the flood and not the water damage to your home caused by the heavy rain.
This can sound confusing. Flood damage and water damage insurance policies are not the same because flood damage is not recognized as water damage. Let’s talk about the differences between the two.
Flood Damage Versus Water Damage
Flood is defined by the National Flood Insurance Program as:
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties, at least one is the property of the policyholder from:
Typically, homeowners insurance will only cover water damage. However, we suggest that you review your insurance policy and study the kind of water damage it covers. If there’s terminology you don’t understand, you should consult with a public adjuster for assistance.
Generally, water damage is different from flood damage because it happens before water touches the ground. An example of this is a strong rainstorm that penetrates through your roof causing damage to your walls and your floors.
Another example of water damage is when your plumbing pipes on your second-floor burst and water gets absorbed in your ceiling. Maybe an overflowing toilet soaks the floorboards of your bathroom or you encounter a hailstorm that breaks through your windows causing water to get inside your home.
The Main Difference Between Flood and Water Damage Claim
Ultimately, you can think of it this way: the difference between the two is that flood water originates from a natural source and when two or more properties are affected. This means it’s not just your home that experienced the flooding, but your neighbors’ properties as well, as a result of rising waters or heavy rains. In such a case, you can file a flood insurance claim.
However, if you are experiencing water problems exclusively to your home and your neighbors’ homes are safe, then you’re going to need to submit a water damage claim.
Are You Looking for a Reliable Independent Adjuster in West Palm Beach?
Dealing with either flood or water damage can be scary, but you can make the experience less stressful if you ask for help from an independent adjuster.
At Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we have your best interest at heart. We will treat your property damage as if it were our own. While it’s true that many companies offer the same services as we do, we strive to give you nothing but the best service by offering our knowledge, resources, and experience so that you can get the best settlement for your claim. Give us a call to know more about what we do.
At the end of the day, insurance companies have to meet their bottom lines to remain in business. They must be able to assess risk and avoid as much loss as possible.
Unfortunately, this can mean your insurance provider may cancel your policy if your insured property (home, auto, etc.) is posing too much risk or cost to continue coverage. I feel compelled to write about this because this just happened to a family member of mine and I am assisting her with obtaining new insurance coverage.
While most individuals have continuous coverage from the same provider for several years, others may encounter a hiccup or two and learn their policy is being non-renewed or canceled.
Common Reasons an Insurance Company May Cancel Coverage
There are a variety of reasons why your insurance company may choose to cancel or non-renew your insurance coverage, and it is important to understand why in order to move forward and even potentially retain your coverage.
The following are common reasons why your provider may choose to cancel or non-renew your insurance policy.
What You Should Do If Your Insurance Company Drops You
Should your insurance company choose to cancel your policy, your timing will be everything in order to remain covered. Here are a few things to consider if your insurance company cancels or non-renews your policy.
Review any Claims You Have Made
Insurance companies are in the risk management business, which means they are frequently assessing how insuring you or your property impacts their bottom line. If you have filed several claims and are notified that your policy is being cancelled, this could be why.
Take some time to review the many aspects of your claims, including:
Evaluate Any Changes
If you are planning to plead your case with your insurance provider, it can be worthwhile to evaluate any changes that have occurred and resulted in your cancellation. Providing substantial evidentiary support that things have changed for the better and why it is going to be different can help you retain your insurance policy or provider at the very least.
Here are a few examples of how evaluating changes in your situation can prove beneficial.
Show The Value You Add to Your Insurance Provider
Have you been with this insurance company for years? Have you trusted them to cover all aspects of your property, such as cars, homes, life insurance etc.?
If you have been a long standing policyholder with them, let them know. Remind them how many years you have chosen them to protect you. If you have made upgrades to your home, it is important to let them know. In some cases where the roof or plumbing system in your home is older, the insurance company may require you to replace them in order to continue insuring your property.
Sometimes insurance companies feel they may have more exposure in a certain area, or the claim costs have increased and they can non-renew your policy. If this happens to you, then you will need to seek coverage elsewhere.
Contacting An Insurance Adjuster Can Help Too
If you discover that your insurance company is cancelling your policy, you have to act quickly. There are still some options and steps you can take to keep your policy and provider should you choose.
Consulting or hiring an insurance adjuster can help provide support to any claims that have been made and help properly assess any future claims. If your policy is getting cancelled, you should contact Reliant Insurance Adjusters to see how we can help.
Water is an essential part of our lives, and without it, we wouldn’t be alive. While water provides numerous benefits, sometimes too much of it can cause destruction, like in the case of flooding. What are you going to do if you experience water damage? The first step is to contact an insurance adjuster in Port St. Lucie.
Did you know that water damage ranks at the top list of potential property disasters? When water permeates in places that should be dry, it can warp your floors, discolor your walls, and can potentially result in mold growth.
If water damage is not addressed immediately, it can compromise and destabilize the foundations of your home. An insurance adjuster will assess the damage and determine whether the damage needs to be repaired or replaced – whichever is more cost-effective.
Aside from assessing the damage, your insurance adjuster will review your insurance policy to check if the damage is covered. Flooding isn’t the only problem you need to be aware of. Homeowners and business owners have shelled out thousands of dollars on repairs as a result of a small leak. Check out some of the common causes of water damage.
What Factors Contribute to Water Damage?
Bursting or Leaking Pipes
One of the reasons why homes get damaged is due to a burst or leaking pipe. It may seem trivial, but if you don’t have it fixed quickly, the consequences can be very costly. It can be a result of temperature changes, deterioration of your pipes, or unregulated water pressure.
In northern climates if pipes aren’t insulated, they can freeze during the winter and eventually burst. Your insurance adjuster will help to identify the root cause of the water damage.
Do you know that leaking or broken plumbing pipes are the hardest problem to identify? This is because some pipes are not visible and are located under your home. We suggest that you regularly check your faucets, showers, toilets and under your sinks to make sure they are not leaking.
Worn Down Appliances
Did you know that there are two common household appliances that are notorious for contributing to water damage? They are none other than your washing machine and hot water heater. It’s usually the result of a crack in the pipes or hoses.
You must also check other appliances in your home like your dishwasher and the water line to your refrigerator. These too can break because they are hidden from view.
Another thing to look out for is your air-conditioning unit. When you purchase an air conditioner, part of your responsibility is to ensure that you have your unit serviced and cleaned regularly.
Without regular servicing, there is a good chance your the line can become clogged and leak. Always remember that a damp unit will create a breeding ground for mold to thrive. Water damage goes hand in hand with mold growth and these are problems that you need to address immediately.
When your gutters are not draining water well, it could mean that something is blocking them. The most common cause of a clogged gutter are branches and leaves. If an obstruction is present, water that normally flows through the gutter could run down the edges and make its way into your home.
Proper maintenance and cleaning of your gutters is essential in protecting your property.
Are You Looking for an Experienced Insurance Adjuster in Port St. Lucie?
If you think you may have a leak and you are concerned that it will wreak havoc in your home, call an insurance adjuster as soon as you can to help assess if you have a covered insurance claim. At Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we have your best interest at heart. We treat every property damage as if it were our own. Give us a call to know more about what we do.
There are several indicators, such as mold growth, that signal that water has invaded parts of your home that were designed to stay dry. From plumbing to cleaning, water is necessary for a home to function properly. However, rainwater or pipe bursts can lead to unwelcomed water intrusion, which can result in hefty financial repairs.
Do you know if your insurance policy will cover the damages?
The answer can be a bit tricky because home insurance policies have different definitions of flood and water damage, even though both can require substantial repairs to your floors, walls, structural components or personal belongings.
Understanding Flood Vs. Water Damage
While it takes water to create a flood, it may not necessarily be considered water damage when it comes to your home or property insurance policy.
If you need your insurance to help cover water damage that resulted from a natural disaster (i.e. a flood) or a pipe burst, it is imperative to understand the difference and what your insurance policy actually covers.
As previously alluded to, home and property insurance policies will typically cover water damage resulting from plumbing problems, such as a leak from your HVAC unit, a burst or broken pipe, or toilet overflow.
You may notice these minimal damages immediately and not even need to file a property damage insurance claim. Sometimes if hidden, water could go unnoticed for a few days and result in substantial damage to your home or personal belongings, in which case you would need to file an insurance claim.
In contrast to water damage, home and property insurance policies generally view flood damage entirely different, as the damage results from a flood, which could be caused by heavy rainfalls or hurricanes.
Home and property insurance policies generally do not cover flood damage, which is why many homeowners and business owners choose to purchase additional flood insurance, especially if they live in areas that are prone to severe weather patterns and flooding.
Get the Coverage That’s Right for You
Water is necessary for any property to function properly. With so much water being used daily, water damage can happen at any time, and it is one of the many reasons why you have property insurance.
However, your definition and your insurer’s definitions of flood and water damage may be different. To ensure your property and belongings are best insured for your needs, you should review your insurance policy. You can also schedule a free consultation with us to review your coverage.
If you have water damage to your property or you were underpaid or denied on your insurance claim, you will need a professional public adjuster to help you. Contact Reliant Insurance Adjusters today. At Reliant, we treat every property damage claim as if it were our own.
Did you recently experience property damage to your home? What are you going to do about it? Most homeowners review their insurance policy to check and to see if the damage is covered. Instead, consider seeking assistance from public adjusters in Palm Beach County. Public insurance adjusters can help you get the best settlement for your insurance claim.
Dealing with property damage can be very stressful, especially if you don’t have the time, energy, and knowledge to handle the complexities of filing an insurance claim. The good news is you don’t have to go through it alone.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a Public Insurance Adjuster?
Explains Your Policy to You in Terms You Can Understand
When was the last time someone explained your insurance policy to you? Several years ago? If it was that long, I am sure you don’t remember much of what’s written in the policy and even if you read it now, you will probably have questions about your coverage.
Truth be told, reviewing insurance claims can be daunting, and some terms may be hard for you to understand. When you hire public adjusters, they can explain your policy in simple terms, so you will know your options. Knowing your options will help you better understand your insurance claim and coverages.
Public Adjusters Save You Time
Reading your policy and deciding what to do next can be time-consuming. In fact, processing everything is going to take much of your time, whether the source is wind, smoke, fire, or water damage. You’ll need to set aside an ample amount of time to organize your claim.
When you partner with public insurance adjusters, you can get your mind off the problem and focus on more important matters. You can resume your usual activities and leave it to the professionals do their job.
Claims Are Resolved Quicker
One of the major advantages of having a public insurance adjuster on your side is you get to resolve claims quicker. Most, if not all, homeowners who attempted to handle insurance claims themselves say the process was time-consuming and they did not recover enough to repair their damaged property.
Public adjusters have the knowledge, skills, and experience to expedite the process. We have seen similar obstacles, and we know how to overcome them. A public adjuster will use their knowledge to communicate with your insurance company and prepare the required documentation.
Works On Your Behalf
The wonderful thing about public adjusters is you can feel confident that we have your best interest at heart. We don’t work for the insurance company, we work for you, and want to make sure are fairly compensated for the property damage you sustained.
Basically, public adjusters will handle everything involved in your claims, including scheduling of inspections, making phone calls, assisting with the preparation of the requested documents, and submitting them on your behalf to make sure all deadlines are timely met.
Do You Want to Learn More About Public Insurance Adjusters in Palm Beach County?
Do you need a public insurance adjuster? At Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we have helped thousands of homeowners who have suffered property damage to obtain a fair settlement. We treat every property damage claim as if it were our own. We strive to give you nothing but the best service by offering our knowledge, resources, and experience so that you can get the highest possible settlement for your claim. Give us a call to know more about what we do.
It is not ideal for water in your home to pool up anywhere outside of your showers, toilets, sinks, dishwasher, and washing machine. If so, it could result in mold growth or wood rot, and it could compromise your indoor air quality.
However, there may come a time when you have to deal with a broken or leaking plumbing pipe.
Understanding the common causes, the warning signs, and how best to handle these types of plumbing issues, can help prevent them and even save you money in the event you have to file an insurance claim.
Common Causes & Signs of Pipe Bursts or Leaks
Being aware of the common causes of broken, leaking or a burst pipe can help you better maintain them and help you potentially avoid these issues altogether. Below are a few common causes.
If there is a clog and a substantial amount of water pressure is increasing around the clog, it could result in a burst pipe. This usually happens when the clog is deep down in the pipe and it will symptomatically leak at first.
There may be plumbing trouble ahead if you notice any of the following signs:
● Puddling under the pipes when you turn on the water
● Low water pressure
● Stains on the walls or flooring
● Water discoloration or foul odors
● Significant increase in your water bill
This is typically a result of an imbalance in your water’s pH or rust compromising the pipe’s durability over a significant amount of time.
Though freezing is not common in Florida, your water pipes are sometimes an exception. Water in the pipes can freeze if temperatures fall below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) weakening the bonds in the pipe, resulting in cracks. Conversely, if the water is too hot when the pipes are frozen, it could cause the pipe to burst.
Important Steps to Take If Your Pipe Bursts
If you notice the warning signs mentioned above or that a pipe has burst or is leaking, the first step to take is to shut off the water. This will stop any additional water from infiltrating your space and will lessen the damage to your property and belongings.
It is extremely important to document the condition of the damage with photos and videos before you take the next steps. Be sure to call your public adjuster, as they can help document your damage with photos, review your insurance policy and explain all of your coverages.
Next, you should work to remove any standing water by mopping or using a shop vac so it does not cause further damage. Depending on the amount of water, you may need to call a professional mitigation company to remove the water from your property and begin to dry your property. This will also prevent further damage and the potential for mold growth.
Call your plumber to fix the broken pipe. It is important that you do not discard the broken parts and preserve the evidence. In many instances, your insurance company will require you to prove your damage, and that includes what caused the damage.
In the event you do have an insurance claim, your public adjuster will prepare an estimate of the damage and the required proof of the loss and will help ensure that your claim is properly documented and hold the insurance company accountable to pay for all the resulting damages.
Other companies may offer similar services, but Reliant is dedicated to providing the professionalism, experience, knowledge and resources to get you the highest possible settlement of your insurance claim. Contact us today to help you get started with yours.
Sudden and catastrophic wind events, such as hurricanes and severe thunderstorms can cause damage to your home’s exterior, potentially causing one or more roof leaks. Can you rely on your insurance company to repair a leaking roof caused by this type of storm damage?
The answer is a bit more complex than a simple yes or no because it depends on your policy.
Roof repairs, if the damage to your roof is caused by a covered loss, are typically covered in the dwelling coverage section of your policy. But there are also a few types of roof storm damage that can require separate policies or deductibles, if you don’t already have hurricane or windstorm coverage.
Roof Leak Repair Cost
A full roof replacement, without the help of insurance, can be a steep price tag for many homeowners, but it is a necessary component to your property’s envelope.
Here are a few things to consider when filing a storm damage-related roof insurance claim.
Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover Roof Replacement?
Homeowner’s insurance policies will vary when it comes to covering a roof replacement resulting from a storm.
Most policies cover damages from sudden and accidental losses such as wind, hail, or lightning damage, but may have at a higher deductible. Other policies may exclude these types of storm damages altogether.
Be prepared and review your insurance policy so that you know and understand your property coverage. For example, whether or not you are covered for the ensuing water damage to your property from roof leak or if you are covered for full replacement of your roof from a hurricane, windstorm, hail or lightening. Many Insurance companies are beginning to implement roof depreciation schedules into their policies or not cover roofs at all that are a certain age and older.
Your Roof Leak Insurance Claim is Denied, Now What?
Was the damage from your roof leak insurance claim denied? The verbiage in your homeowner’s insurance policy is important for any claim you make. However, a roof leak repair or full replacement is not something you should wait to handle--whether your claim was denied or not.
If you need a roof replacement, and your insurance provider is denying your claim, you may still have options. Oftentimes, roof replacement claims from storm damage get denied if there is suspicion that the damage resulted from general wear and tear or lack of maintenance.
That is when hiring a public adjuster, like Reliant Insurance Adjusters, can help you get the highest possible settlement of your claim and also potentially avoid an outright denial of your claim..
Contact us today for a free policy review and to learn how we can help get your insurance claim paid should you have one.
Mold is something you never want to deal with. Besides the fact that it can destroy your property, studies show that it could also destroy your health. Typically, it’s a result of water damage caused by a leak or flooding. If your home has recently been hit by a flood or if you have a water leak, you should consider hiring an independent adjuster in Fort Lauderdale to ease the stress and burden that comes with having to deal with property damage claims.
Although mold growth doesn’t happen instantly, it eventually show up in places where there is moisture.
The emotional stress of property damage, the financial stress that comes with costly repairs, and of course the physical stress of getting sick can take a serious toll on your overall wellbeing. To stop the problem from escalating and becoming worse, you should partner with an independent adjuster.
What Should You Do If You Suspect Mold in Your Home
Know What’s Covered in Your Insurance Claims
Whenever there’s water damage, mold will always follow suit. Places that are dark, damp, moist, and have pooling water are more prone to mold growth. You can find mold in drywalls or carpets. If you live in a flood-prone zone, there’s also a possibility that you have a mold infestation in your basement.
Insurance policies normally cover mold caused by a burst pipe or a sewer backup. Unfortunately, claims of property damage as a result of long-standing mold infestation are likely to be rejected because it will be viewed as home maintenance neglect.
Most insurance companies state what’s included and what’s not included for mold water damage. Some homeowners prefer to pay extra to ensure water damage protection, but that choice is up to you. You may add a mold rider to your current insurance coverage.
Mold remediation is costly. It would be wise to address water damage and water leaks as soon as you discover them. When it happens, contact your provider, have your home checked and documented for water damage and hire professional mold cleaners to clear the area. The longer you wait the more mold will grow in different areas in your home. Keep in mind that the more damage mold creates, the higher the costs of the repair.
Confirm the Mold
Mold is unsafe for everyone in your household. It’s important that you know when mold is present so you can take action by:
When mold is ingested it can make you seriously ill. In fact, death can happen if you have pre-existing medical conditions or if you suffer from mold allergy. Individuals who are at great risk of complications are people who have respiratory conditions, the elderly, and infants.
One way to know if you have mold in your home is if you experience sinus congestion and runny nose, sneezing, cough and throat irritation, headaches, skin and eye irritation, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and asthma.
Are You Looking for An Independent Adjuster in Fort Lauderdale?
You don’t have to deal with mold problems alone. We can help you.
At Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we strive to treat your home as our own. Although other companies may offer the same services as we do, one thing we can assure is our dedication to our work. We offer knowledge, professionalism, experience, and resources that will get you the best settlement. Give us a call to know more about what we do.
With hurricane season quickly approaching, you may be wondering what your hurricane preparedness checklist should look like this year. Homeowners and business owners across the state brace for this annual season that begins every June 1st.
These volatile storms can cause severe damage resulting from wind-borne debris, heavy winds and rain.
Homeowners all too often find themselves underprepared and assume there will not be a devastating hurricane, if any at all, because hurricane season can be so unpredictable. With so many factors to consider when creating a hurricane preparedness plan, it is smart to develop a comprehensive plan in advance.
3 Hurricane Preparedness Check Lists to Create
Do not wait for the storm to be looming. Be prepared with a comprehensive hurricane supply, safety and pre and post loss checklist, before the crowds scramble for last-minute supplies and gas.
Hurricane Supply Checklist
When it comes to supplies, acquiring them when you hear a weather alert for an impending storm can result in empty shelves and panic. We created our own Reliant Hurricane Supply Checklist as well. You can download and print it here:
The following is also a supply checklist the Red Cross suggests having readily available, especially during hurricane season.
● 3 Gallons of water
● 3-Day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
● Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
● Extra batteries
● First aid kit
● 7-Day supply of medications and medical items, such as hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, a cane
● Multi-purpose tool
● Copies of personal documents, such as insurance policies, birth certificates, lease, or the deed to your home
● Sanitation and personal hygiene items
● Emergency blanket
● Insect repellent and sunscreens
● Baby supplies, including bottles, formula, baby food, and diapers
● Cell phone with chargers
● Family and emergency contact information
● Extra cash
● Map(s) of the area
● Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
● Extra set of car keys and house keys
● Extra clothing, hat, and sturdy shoes
● Camera for photos of the damage
Hurricane Safety Checklist
Below are a few recommendations from the Red Cross to help ensure you and your loved ones remain safe before, during, and after a hurricane.
● Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS)
● Check, replace, or restock your disaster supplies as needed
● Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind such as bicycles or lawn furniture
● Close your windows and doors boarding them up with plywood or hurricane shutters
● Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances
● Fill your car’s gas tank
● Evacuate as advised by authorities and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges
Pre-Loss Check List
While the most important thing is yours and your family’s safety when hurricane season approaches, keeping your home standing is also important.
During National Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 9-15), the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA) is encouraging homeowners to understand their insurance policy before a storm hits. Read the article here, including a quote from me as the President of FAPIA.
To best prepare, you should be sure your insurance policies are up to date. You should have digital records secure but easily accessible if, in the worst case scenario, the hurricane destroys your paper trail.
You should also conduct a pre-loss inspection before a storm just in case you need to file any claims. By doing so, you are equipping yourself with sufficient evidentiary support and can increase your chances of receiving a full payout for your damages.
Click here to download our Pre and Post Loss Check List for your convenience.
Not everyone has the resources, time, or equipment to comprehensively document the interior and exterior of their home and business with drone footage, videos, and photos before a storm.
At Reliant Insurance Adjusters, we have the resources needed to properly conduct these inspections, which will help with any insurance claims from hurricane damage and more. Contact us today for your pre-loss property assessment and report. We are always here to help.