There is no secret that insurance companies try to increase their profits and limit their losses. I understand that they are running a business, however, minimizing their losses should not be to the detriment of you the consumer, the policyholder. You pay your insurance premiums when they are due and you expect to be paid when you have damage to your property. That’s not unreasonable. You should be paid what you are owed if you have an insurance claim. Yet when you file a claim, they try to limit your payout.
Insurance companies want everyone to believe they are losing money so they can justify their rate increases, when in fact they are making money, and have the large salaries to prove it. This leads me to share a story. A client of mine who had three young children was brought to tears one day. She had a broken waste line pipe in the kitchen wall that not only damaged her kitchen cabinets, it resulted in additional water damage to the home and caused mold. The insurance company grossly underpaid their claim. I don’t know how they expected her replace her kitchen and do all the repairs for $2500.00!
I know. Believe me, they were just as shocked, just like you are reading this. We submitted all the requested documentation to the insurance company together with a very detailed estimate, photos, reports and a valuable explanation supporting our client’s request for payment. After discussing the claim in further detail with the adjuster and providing clarification for him on a few items, we were hopeful that someone was finally going to listen and be reasonable. Then the adjuster called me and said “I have no authority to settle the claim. It’s going to be up to management what they do next.”
So, the “powers that be” get to decide, based solely on numbers and not facts, whether she would get paid for the claim or not. This person had not seen any of the documentation we provided and had not discussed the claim with me at all. All they saw were dollar signs, not circumstances or facts. Although they should, the powers that be do not put your best interests before that of the their own.
So, when insurance companies claim they are losing money and request rate increases, I say that the people who regulate these insurance companies should dig deeper into the facts and do more to protect Florida consumers.
Your roof is attached to your neighbor’s. who is responsible to replace your damaged roof – you or your HOA?
When you live in a villa or a townhome and your building is under one roof system, who is responsible to replace the roof when the roof needs replacement? That can sometimes be tricky. If your HOA documents state the roof is owned by you, then technically, the roof is your responsibility and it falls on you. But how are you supposed to replace only your roof when your roof is shared with your neighbors under one roof system?
Generally, in situations like this, the HOA will set funds aside for the roof replacement in their “reserves”. This is an important factor that you should know and understand. You should contact your association to find out what their role will be in this situation.
Back after Hurricane Wilma in 2005, I represented a client who owned a townhome. Although the roofs were the responsibility of the individual homeowners, they were also attached to their neighbor’s roofs. At that time, the association had been poorly run and many homeowners were defaulting on their monthly payments. The association was out of funds and could not assist the community with their roof replacements. Each homeowner filed their own insurance claim and some began replacing their roofs.
Once this happened, the roofs in the community no longer matched and they lost consistency in the appearance. In addition to this, because one homeowner replaced their roof and another didn’t, the tie into the other roof was difficult and the “old” roof system leaked causing damage to the unit with the new roof. I know this for a fact because it happened to my client, and although she replaced her roof and completed all her interior repairs, her neighbors did not replace their roof and it leaked into her home causing interior damage again.
It is important to read and understand your homeowner association documents to know what portion of repairs is your responsibility and what are the association’s responsibility. I also recommend that you know the financials of your association and attend all meetings when they are scheduled.
You can always rely on Reliant for any questions relating to your insurance policy and homeowner’s documents. Call 561-288-6343 or contact us HERE for a free policy and document review.
Often times when you file a property damage insurance claim, your insurance company requires you to provide certain documentation in support of your claim. This is a requirement in your insurance policy under your Duties After Loss. One of those duties, when requested by the insurance company, is to provide a Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss within sixty days of their request. However, there are a few insurance companies that require this document be submitted, without being requested and have made it an actual requirement in their policies. Most property owners would not even know this language exists in their policies, much less know how to complete this document or where to obtain the information needed.
A Sworn Statement in Proof of Loss, also referred to as a Proof of Loss or POL, is a document which sets forth information that is contained in your insurance policy, the date and time of loss, the type of loss, your information as the owner of the property and information on anyone who also owns an interest in your property. It also requires you to provide the amounts of your loss which is also accompanied by supporting documentation.
There has never been a time when this request was made of our clients, that they knew what to do. We always prepare them on behalf of our clients and submit the Proof of Loss to the carrier together with the supporting documentation. We can 100% back up what is being claimed with our detailed itemized estimates and photos and any additional support documentation which is included in the valuation of your property damage.
This is why we are referred to as insurance professionals. With our knowledge and expertise in the industry, along with being in business for over 15 years, we know exactly what is required. We make it our business practice to prepare and submit this document before it is requested by the insurance company. Also, by submitting the Proof of Loss, we place the insurance company on notice and they are required to respond within the time period specified in the policy.
Always let a licensed, knowledgeable public insurance adjuster assist you to complete the required document submission for your insurance claim. You can always rely on Reliant! Call us 561-288-6434 or contact us here.
During the past 15 years, insurance companies have removed coverage from your insurance policy little by little, thereby eroding important coverage needed to repair your property if you have an insurance claim. Some of them have “offered” for you to buy back the coverage they removed at an additional cost in your premium. Such a nice gesture, right? Wrong! What’s happening here is that your premium continues to increase year after year for less and less coverage.
Also, if you have an insurance claim, some insurance companies make you feel that they are doing you a favor by paying anything at all on your claim! I have had clients tell me that their insurance adjuster treated them as if the money being paid on the claim was coming from their pocket instead of the insurance company. Yes, you read right and it is mind boggling to me.
You pay your insurance premiums all these years and expect to be covered when you have an insurance claim and need it the most. Unfortunately, they see it very differently. You have become a “number” in their system, and they need to keep the payout on that number as low as possible. We have also noticed that some insurance companies conveniently have blinders on when there is visible damage to property, such as mold, and leave that coverage completely undiscussed.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t just affect one policyholder, it affects every homeowner, condominium owner and building owner with not only less coverage, but rising insurance premiums and fewer insurance companies to choose from to insure your property.
With our knowledge and expertise in the industry, and being in business for over 15 years, we know exactly what is required to make sure all coverages are addressed in your insurance claim. You can rely on Reliant! Call us 561-288-6434 or contact us here for a FREE insurance policy and claim review.
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!