There are plenty of reasons why a homeowner who is facing property damage should contact a Broward County Public Adjuster.  This article is just one example.

News Flash, “Florida”  Home damage insurance company taken to court over underhanded and deceptive tactics.This news article was recently reported by a South Florida news agency.  While the specific case is unique, this type of situation happens over and over.  Often the disgruntled homeowner will accept the situation “As is” tap into their savings and absorb to expense.  However, it doesn’t need to be this way.  We are Fox Public Adjusters and we have helped many homeowners with their property damage claims.  Based in Boynton Beach, many home and business owners have hired us as their Palm Beach, Martin County and Broward County Public Adjuster.  If you are facing a water damage situation, call us for help. 

Due to a damaged kitchen refrigerator, a South Florida, homeowner had to take this insurance company to court because they refused to repair his kitchen damage properly.  A homes kitchen includes many appliances that require water usage, because of this water damage in kitchens is a common occurrence.  In this case a water line fitting broke causing a stream of water to flood the kitchen.  When the homeowner found the kitchen filled with water, the insurance company was called.  After he filed the property damage claim, the insurance company, (Which I will keep nameless) sent over a water damage restoration company to remove the water and dry out the kitchen.  In addition the insurance company had the damage inspected by the company insurance adjuster.

Because the homeowner’s policy included a managed repair, or right to repair clause the insurance company sent it’s own service contractors.  Had the policy holder called a Public Adjuster this clause would have been addressed sooner.     

Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Sink, all can cause a flood.
Your Refrigerator, Sink and Dishwasher can all cause a major kitchen flood. When this happens to you, don’t settle for a second rate water damage company. Call Fox Public Adjuster and have you kitchen and receive a settlement that covers the cost of a skilled professional restoration company.

As a Palm Beach, Martin County & Broward County Public Adjuster, we recommend that homeowners make sure there is no managed repair or right to repair clause in any property insurance policy.  Because many insurance companies use the method of managed repair type clauses in their fine print, homeowners may never realize that they are giving up their right to hire the home damage contractor of their choice.  It’s a very bad situation for homeowner who expects their home to be repaired and restored to pre-damage condition.  

Read more about Managed Repair here:  Tied up by your insurance company?

When the homeowner started the policy the insurance company agreed to lower the cost $75.00 per year.  As a Florida Public Adjuster we often see this tactic used. 

 When it comes to household or property maintenance expenses, a homeowners desire to save money is certainly understandable, however these additional clauses are not just sold as a way of saving homeowner expenses.  Some insurance companies also, claim that their preferred contractors are the best in the industry and the company itself has vetted them.  Since most homeowner has never faced home damage, they feel secure given that their insurance agent personally sold them this additional feature.

Once the company insurance adjuster finished his inspection it became clear that the $75.00 savings was a huge mistake.

Here is what happened, the company adjuster refused to inspect all the areas that had water damage.  Since some of the areas, which were previously covered with water, had appeared to dry naturally, the inspector only targeted certain specific areas.  When the homeowner stepped on parts of the floor, liquid could be seen between the gaps.  When pressed to inspect these areas the inspector refused. Next the company insurance adjuster presented a repair work authorization form.  The form asked the homeowner to sign the section that indicated the scope of the repair work. As it turned out this section was which blank.  Not agreeing to sign a blank form, the homeowner refused.

Sensing something was wrong, the homeowner decided to contact a Florida Public Adjuster. 

 Several days later the insurance adjuster, visited the home again asking the homeowner to sign off on the blank scope of work form. Again the homeowner refused.  By this time the Public Adjuster had tried to contact both the insurance agent and the insurance company inspector, neither one responded.  Finally, the homeowner asked the insurance company to settle his claim and pay an amount that would allow him to hire his own contractor.  Once the insurance company refused the homeowner decided to take the matter to court.  Since this case is still in the hands of the court to decide there is no outcome to report.

According to WINK News, which covers parts of Florida, this isn’t the first time this type of insurance policy nightmare has happened. Often area homeowners state that they had no idea that they had a managed repair clause in their policy.  Other homeowners have complained that their homes were left in water-damaged states for months.  In other cases homeowners had decided that the repairs performed by the managed repair preferred contractors were not complete and the homeowner had to dip into savings to finish the repairs.  Not wanting to name any specific insurance companies, there have been other reports of homeowners who have been able to settle and receive additional money to make further repairs.

Should you hire a Palm Beach County, Martin County or Broward County Public Adjuster?

The simple answer is YES.  Why?  Because if you do have a managed repair or right to repair clause buried in your policy, you can prepare for the potential consequences.  Once a Public Adjuster reviews your policy they will advise you as to the best way to respond.  Can a Public Adjuster get you out to a managed repair clause?  This depends on each situation.  There are certain rules that state how this clause must be worded; I believe there is even a rule regarding the specific font the clause needs to be written in.  This clause could be hidden is several different parts of your policy.  As a Public Adjuster who serves the Palm Beach, Broward and Martin County areas we know what to look for, and how to find this clause.

Managed Repair is not the only tactic that insurance companies use to reduce settlements.

Other tactics include, a cap on water damage settlements, only removing water damage and ignoring the possible concealed mold.  Stalling on handling claims, offering a first time low-ball offer, verbally denying a claim, before it’s submitted.  The ways a company insurance company can cut costs and offer a lower settlement is almost unlimited.  This is one of the reasons why calling a public adjuster first is the smartest move a homeowner can make.

Actually the rationale for hiring a public adjuster is simple:  A public adjuster works for the homeowner with the goal of making sure, the homeowner receives the best possible settlement.  On the other hand, a company insurance adjuster, is an employee of the insurance company, so with that said, who would you suppose is going to offer a homeowner a higher settlement?

Working as a Broward County Public Adjuster we handle a wide range of water damage claims.

This picture is from a water damage mold situation that resulted from a broken bathroom toilet.  We received a call from a frantic Broward County homeowner because there was water coming from under a vanity.  

Mold in a Broward County bathroom
Once we removed the vanity it was obvious that mold growth had started on the floor and behind the wall.

ABOVE: Check out this mold damage which was hidden under the bathroom’s vanity.  The problem started when the wax seal under the toilet disintergrated and allowed water intrusion.  Over time the water pooled under the vanity and behind the bathroom wall.  Removing the mold required cutting out the infected drywall and removing the mold.

Broward County Public Adjuster
One of the first signs of water damage is cracking at the seam between the wall and floor. In this picture you can see how the sheetrock is separating.

Working as a public adjuster, it’s our job to remove the mold, and manage the growth of mold spores.  Many people think that you can stop the water leak problem, then either replace the vanity and toilet, maybe paint over the dry mold.  However, the is not a good solution to a water and mold damage problem.

Picture of bathroom wall that has had mold damage removed.
This picture shows the same bathroom once we have cut out the infected mold damaged drywall.

When comparing a public adjuster in Broward County to a company insurance adjuster, it’s the choice of who to call first is clear.  In many cases, a public adjuster will send a preferred water damage repair person or in the case of a managed repair agreement, the person who handles the repair is a freelance contractor hired by the insurance company.  Whenever, we inspect a home, we look much deeper than simply having a plumber fix the leak and clean the mess.

Hiring a public insurance adjuster in Broward County is you best choice for many reasons.   

Did you know that homeowners who hire a public adjuster usually receive a settlement that is much higher than simply calling you company insurance adjuster.  This is because a public adjuster received compensation from the amount of the settlement.  It’s in the best interest of the homeowner and the public adjuster to see to it that the homeowner receives the highest possible settlement.

If you have home damage, and would like to highest damage settlement, call Fox Public Adjusters at (561) 789-4369