The other day I was on the phone with a potential client discussing a water damage claim when the subject of her deductible came up. She explained that the reason she was hesitant to file a claim with her insurance company was that she could not afford to pay the deductible. You know the old saying, “if I had a dollar for every time….” It seems that at least once a week I have this conversation with a policy holder. In actuality, no one really “pays” the deductible. The reason it’s called a deductible is that it is deducted from any payout that an insurance company makes on your insurance claim.
For example, let’s say that Swamp Grass Property & Casualty is going to pay $10,000 you for water damage to your property and the deductible in your policy is $2,500. That amount will be deducted from the $10,000 and you will receive a check for $7,500.
Let’s look at another scenario involving a hurricane deductible which is much higher than the regular or “all other perils” deductible example above. These deductibles are usually 2% to 5% of Coverage A. Coverage A is the amount that your building is insured for and this information can be found on the Declarations page of your homeowners insurance policy. Let’s say that Coverage A is $350,000 and your hurricane deductible is 2%. That means your friends at Swamp Grass Property & Casualty will deduct $7,000 from any payment issued if you have hurricane damage to your property (ouch!).
I hope this clears up any confusion regarding deductibles. Don’t miss next week’s blog “Insurance Policy Misconceptions Part 2” where we will discuss under deductible insurance claim payments.
If you have any questions, please contact us here or call 561-288-6434 and we will be happy to assist you.
With July 4th quickly approaching we all want to celebrate, have fun, enjoy the day and forget about Covid-19. As the numbers are once again on the rise, we must be mindful and celebrate carefully. I am never opposed to seeing a magnificent fireworks display and have always enjoyed attending them. I remember like it was yesterday, how I felt as a child being blown away by the beautiful bursts of color through the night sky. I am of the belief that we all still want that same feeling year after year. Unfortunately, this year is different.
For me, the thought of being among so many people in close proximity leaves me a bit apprehensive and I question to myself, “Did they adhere to the guidelines? What precautions have they taken over these past few months? Do they wash their hands regularly? Do they have the virus and not know?” No matter what, we need to keep doing our part to help stop the spread by wearing our masks and washing our hands.
Although some public fireworks celebrations that draw large crowds are being canceled and others will still be televised. You can also purchase your own fireworks and enjoy them just as much and you can certainly enjoy professional like fireworks displays from surrounding communities just by sitting outside.
Maybe attending a small family gathering with your own fireworks is the key knowing that you all have been careful during Covid-19. Whatever you decide to do, just keep it safe and protect your loved ones. Enjoy the delicious food offerings, cool beverages and amazing desserts. Be active outdoors and watching the expressions on the faces of the innocent children spinning sparklers will make for a perfect day. Social distance as best you can and wear a mask if needed.
From our homes to yours, we wish you all a happy and safe July 4th.
Throughout the years, we have represented both homeowners and condo and homeowner associations with property damage insurance claims. There are specific items that each party is responsible to repair such as roof, exterior of building, drywall, interior finishes, plumbing and electrical. It is important to keep your Condo or HOA documents together with your insurance policy because these documents clearly state what repairs are the responsibility of each party i.e. the homeowner or the association. A copy of these documents are provided to you when you purchase your home or condo.
Let’s say you live in a condo and the roof leaks and causes water damage to the interior of your condo. You promptly report the leak to the association and they state “we are not responsible for the damage you need to file a claim with your insurance company” You do so immediately. After all, you trust your association and believe they are giving you the correct information because they have your back right?
Your insurance company visits the property and inspects the damage only to tell you there is NO coverage in your policy and you receive a claim denial letter that reads in part:
“Your policy does not provide coverage for rain, snow, sleet, sand or dust to the interior of the building unless a covered peril first damages the building causing an opening in a roof or wall and the rain, snow, sand or dust enters through this opening”
Why is the association responsible for these damages? First and foremost, in a case like this, you do not own the roof, the association does. They are responsible for the maintenance of the roof and any and all repairs to the roof. Secondly, and unless otherwise stated in the condominium documents, the association also owns the drywall, insulation and exterior of the building. Therefore, the association should be filing an insurance claim for the damage to your home, NOT you!
I have also reviewed condominium documents that state the homeowners are responsible for all repairs to the interior of their home which also include drywall, insulation, windows, doors, plumbing, electrical. This is why it is important to always keep both sets of documents together. In a scenario like this, when our client’s insurance company says they do not owe for these items, we prove they do and have always been able to get them covered for our clients.
Let us help you understand your insurance policy and schedule your FREE insurance policy review today. Contact us here or call 561-288-6434.
As a homeowner, I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping the waste line pipes in your home clean. As Public Insurance Adjusters, what we often see while inspecting damage to a home caused from a broken pipe or back-up can take your breath away, literally. You are first hit with an odor that makes your eyes water and then comes the vision!
No one wants this to happen so you must do your due diligence in preventing damage from occurring. Here are some important tips to help keep your pipes clean and avoid blockages and back-ups in your home:
We are always careful in our own homes and probably more so from what we see as Public Adjusters. Call us at 561-288-6434 or contact us here if you have any questions. Make sure you do your part and protect your property to prevent the peace and tranquility of your home from being disrupted.
We are all consumers and pay our insurance premiums and we certainly expect to be covered when we have an insurance claim. Have you filed an insurance claim and the insurance company denied coverage? Has the insurance company underpaid your claim or failed to pay for some of the damage?
I received a call from an individual who never heard of a public insurance adjuster and was asked … Why do I need a Public Adjuster? Simply put, does the IRS prepare your taxes for you? If you are in a legal dispute, do you let the opposing side decide if you are correct and how much you should pay? The same is true of the insurance claim process. A qualified public insurance adjuster is licensed and bonded through the state and provides insurance adjusting services exclusively to the public, not insurance companies.
There are so many moving parts to an insurance claim. Reliant Insurance Adjusters not only reviews your insurance policy, we determine the extent of your damage and advise you if your loss is covered or if you were adequately paid. In addition, we have the right equipment necessary to make a proper assessment and prepare very detailed reports with photographs of how much it will realistically cost to repair and recover financially from your loss. Policyholders should always get the professional assistance of a qualified, licensed public insurance adjuster to ensure that their interests are being protected.
Does every claim need the assistance of a public adjuster? Not necessarily. We conduct a free onsite, comprehensive inspection of any potential client’s property damage to determine if a claim should be filed, and if it should, is the property owner better off handling the claim on their own, or will they need our professional expertise and help to recover all the funds needed to restore the property to pre-loss conditions.
We always put an insured’s best interests before our own. Call us today for a free claim assessment 561-288-6434 or contact us here if you have any questions.
As a follow up to last week's blog on Unlicensed Activity & Insurance Fraud, contractors and roofers have jumped on this bandwagon of handling insurance claims when they are not licensed to do so. How are they getting away with this you ask? They require you to sign the oh so tricky “Assignment of Benefits” also known as an “AOB”.
What is an AOB? It is a contract and by signing this document, you “assign” your insurance claim “benefits” over to another party such as a contractor, roofer or mitigation company. By doing this, you lose any rights and control over your own claim! Also, there is tricky cancellation wording that you will still owe some money if you attempt to cancel the contract. Reputable restoration companies and contractors will limit their contracts to only the work you authorize them to perform.
I was recently referred to a lovely family who needed help with their insurance claim. They continued to tell me they wanted to hire their own contractors to do repairs and I was unsure why they kept saying this. I asked if they signed any documentation prohibiting them from doing so and they showed me the AOB. I can understand that they needed to signed a contract for the emergency services to dry their property. However, the company also checked off to do mold remediation and the rebuild but never provided estimates for these additional services.
I am always a bit stunned why anyone would sign a document like this without receiving any estimates for the work to be performed, much less signing their rights away on their insurance claim away.
Being a former paralegal, I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing what you are signing. Do not sign any contract without a thorough review, and if you are unsure what something means or why it is there, ask questions!
We will always provide you with a free damage assessment and policy review and help you to understand your coverage and obligations. Call us 561-288-6434 or visit us here.
While having dinner right before the stay at home order was put in place, I overhead a woman nearby say that a roofing company knocked on her door and said she had wind damage to her roof and they would get her a new roof! I did not want to seem as though I was eavesdropping, but I certainly was!
She went on to say that her roof was 25 years old. Yes, you read correctly, 25 years old! When she purchased her home about 6 years ago, she said there were soft spots on her roof so she knew she would have to replace her roof at some point but why not let her insurance company pay for it! Listening to this, I knew she did not have any damage from Hurricane Irma a few years ago, yet she still let the roofer misrepresent her claim for a new roof. I see two problems here … UPPA and Insurance Fraud.
UPPA is the Unlicensed Practice of Public Adjusting (UPPA) which is a 3rd degree felony in Florida. You must be a licensed and bonded public adjuster to represent policyholders in Florida with an insurance claim. Presenting a false claim to your insurance company is insurance fraud and these both seem to go hand in hand these days. I was shaking my head and could not believe she was discussing this as if there was no wrongdoing on her part.
What is more frustrating is that insurance companies complain about the increase in claims and the associated costs to pay these claims, yet they continue to engage and deal with these unlicensed individuals only further proliferating the problem.
Do you really think insurance companies are absorbing these costs if they pay these fraudulent claims? Definitely not! Each and every one of us gets a premium increase every year even though we may have never filed an insurance claim.
If you are unsure that damage to your property is covered under your insurance policy, it is always best to seek advice from a licensed professional, rather than a door knocker. These individuals only have their interests in mind, not yours. If you have damage to your property and are unsure if you are covered or you received an inadequate claim settlement from your insurance company, Reliant Insurance Adjusters will provide a free damage assessment and policy review. Call us 561-288-6434 or visit us here.
Thought for the day … Honesty, integrity and always doing the right thing goes a long way.
As Florida continues to reopen, there are many of us concerned whether people will still take precautions and continue to wear masks. The first day Palm Beach County reopened, I was shocked to see patrons entering the grocery store without masks, walking about as though nothing had happened. I stood for a moment and felt like I was in the twilight zone. I wondered why it seemed as if I were the only one concerned about the severity of the virus and how contagious it is. I mean, one of us could be a carrier with no symptoms but still pass the virus onto someone more vulnerable.
On the second day of reopening, friends of mine had visited a Delray restaurant that they regularly dined in before the virus. They were seated and realized that not one single staff member was wearing a mask or gloves. They decided to leave the restaurant and I honestly don’t blame them. The following morning, I read an article that the restaurants in Delray were not adhering to the social distancing requirements as diners were seated next to each other while nobody, including staff members, wore a mask.
After all, we do live in America and have many freedoms that other countries do not. We have the right to choose if we want to wear a mask or not, but under the right circumstances. Albeit, the news media has a history of hype and their continuous reporting tends to scare people, but we have a duty to each other to be smart and logical about this. I had three friends who contracted the virus, and I for one, never want to get this virus. While they suffered with horrific symptoms for over a month, they wondered every day if they would ever feel better and get back to their life, which thankfully they have.
From day one, Reliant Insurance Adjusters has practiced social distancing and keeping others safe. We will continue to do our part and wear masks and gloves when meeting with clients and insurance company adjusters. If we are requested to do so, we will also wear booties when entering a home or business.
Thought for the day … Treat others as you want to be treated and respect others as you want to be respected.
I am not so sure everyone is as prepared as they should be for hurricane season. I hear many individuals say “we won’t get a hurricane this year” and then all the news media stations start airing coverage of the next storm coming our way and the cone encompasses the state of Florida.
Before you know it, everyone begins to panic and runs to get supplies at the last minute with gas lines blocks long and grocery store shelves left bare. Although Hurricane season starts June 1st and lasts through November 30th the season can sometimes start early. With 4 major storms predicted this season, don’t wait until the last minute to be prepared.
Download our suggested supply checklist below so you can prepare now. We also recommend documenting your home and business with photos, video of the interior and exterior of your home and drone coverage of your roof, all in their pre-loss condition before you have an insurance claim and will help protect the value and condition of your property. Please see our Pre and Post Loss Check List and contact us today for your pre-loss assessment and report as Reliant Insurance Adjusters provides all these services.
To help out during these difficult times, we are currently offering a discount on our services. We are taking extra precautions to protect you and wear masks and gloves. Just mention Covid-19 when you call 561-288-6434 or email us with any questions to email@example.com. We are always here to help.
While the rains have not come so heavily yet, we need to protect our property as best we can. During the drier weeks when the sun beats for longer hours during the day, it is important to remove any dry leaves and branches from your property. If we are not restricted with limited water use during these dryer months, I make it a habit to water my lawn and garden daily for 15 minutes at dusk.
Barbeques and eating delicious meals outdoors in our backyards is a summer favorite. It is usually safe to grill outdoors, but you should make sure your grill is not to close too your home nor directly under the eve of your roof. This will avoid a fire that can quickly spread to the inside of your home causing major damage.
Also, having a yearly check of your electrical panel, breakers, outlets and switches is a good preventative against electrical fires. You should make sure to keep all outlets free from clutter, paper or any items that can easily catch fire.
Below are a few tips on how to keep safe during a fire:
I know this may be repetitive, but I cannot tell you how many times we review a client’s policy and there is not enough coverage to rebuild your entire home if a catastrophic event like a fire were to occur. Call us today for a FREE policy review 561-288-6343 or visit us here so that we can help protect your biggest investment.