Why your homeowner’s claim could be denied, and what to do about it.
If you are searching using the words, best public adjuster near me, then it’s my guess you are dealing with a difficult home damage situation. When faced with any home damage problem, you owe it to yourself to find the “BEST” public adjuster in your area. Not having a public adjuster on your side, could mean, denied claims, underpaid settlements, horrible repair work or restoration work and lot’s of other problems. luckily, Fox Public Adjusters is the best public adjuster near you. That is, if you live in South Florida. At Fox Public Adjusters we serve all the following areas: Boca Raton, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Pompano Beach, Wellington, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Stuart, or any place in Palm Beach County, Broward County and Martin County.
Finding the best public adjuster in your area, should be a top priority.
Take heart. Some homeowners policies will cover you if a meteor comes crashing into your home, which recently happened to a Canadian woman. A meteor chunk actually hit the roof of her house and came through the ceiling of her bedroom. Sadly, it’s some of the more common issues that may not be covered – certain types of flooding, including sewer backups or hurricanes, issues due to poor maintenance, renovations done without proper permits, and more. Read: Not covered by homeowners insurance. Each year, about 5% of homeowners file a claim under their homeowners’ policies. Many of these claims are denied so how can you protect yourself? One way to protect yourself is by searching for best public adjuster near me. Once you find Fox Public Adjusters, call us at (561) 789-4369
- Know What Your Policy Does Cover and For How Much.
If you have questions, make sure you get any answers from your insurance agent in writing. Better yet, talk with a South Florida public adjuster and have them look over your policy. The time to find out what is and is not covered is before you submit a home damage claim. Keep in mind that your insurance agent is not your agent; he/she is the agent of the insurer. Even though some agents will work very hard on your behalf, their ultimate allegiance is to the insurer. In South Florida, you will need special flood insurance to compensate for living in such a tropical area. You probably also have an exclusion for flooding due to sewer backups so you will need that to be included in a policy as well. If you build an addition (make sure it is permitted properly or damage won’t be covered), notify your insurer before you begin to add it to your coverage. You may need a rider to cover your new Steinway piano or expensive jewelry, or it may not be covered. Take an inventory of the contents of your home with serial numbers for the big items and photographs of your valuables. Look carefully at replacement value and make sure it would cover what is necessary to build a replacement home on your property in these inflationary and supply-chain shortage times.
- Know How to Maintain Your House and Keep Records
For your major systems such as air-conditioning and heating, use a professionally licensed company so it is easy to document that you are taking care of them. After a major storm, and at least once a year, have your roof inspected by a licensed inspector to make sure there aren’t any loose or missing shingles, damaged flashing, or other issues. The standards for roofs in South Florida have changed and are now much stricter; if your roof is near the end of its life, you may want to update it, so it meets the higher standard and protects your house better. Contact your insurer to see if you would be eligible for a discount on your policy.
What about the state of your windows? Your insurer may even give you a discount on your policy if you get better windows more appropriate for hurricane country. Plumbing is trickier, but if you see any water leaks, immediately call a licensed plumber to locate the source. Water leaks are one of the largest sources of home damage. Many of the distress calls we receive are the result of plumbing and appliance leaks. Check out the pictures below. This client called us because the came home one day and found a wet floor.
ABOVE AND BELOW: When we arrive to inspect a home with potential water and mold damage, the first thing we do is find the source of the leaking water. Once that has been remedied we can go to work on the dry out aspect of water damage remove. By using special commercial grade dryers, (as seen in the above picture.) we can dry the area before any mold growth starts. It’s important to stop the water from sitting too long because mold will start to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
As a homeowner if you have damage that is preventable, or if the damage is worse because you neglected to take action, you may not be able to collect from your insurance company. There is also a duty to “mitigate.” That means, for example, if your roof is damaged, you can’t wait long to put a temporary covering on it; any further damage created by your inaction will not be covered in most cases. The is one very important reason why you should call a public adjuster in South Florida first before reaching out to your insurance company. Once the insurance adjuster learns that a bad situation was made worst as a result of inaction on part of the homeowner, the policy may become void. Now remember, every situation is unique and every insurance company had different rules. However, doesn’t it make sense that calling a private inspector who works for the homeowner is a smarter choice than contacting a company adjuster who works for the insurance company.
- Know How Long You Have to File a Claim
When it comes to filing a hurricane claim, homeowners in Southern Florida have up to 3 years after the hurricane made landfall according to Florida law. However, the longer you wait, the harder it may be to prove the connection. This provision also does include supplemental and reopening of claims – when you discover the hurricane did other damage than you originally thought. However, for most other claims, it will depend on your insurer. Do not miss the notice requirement deadline! Read your policy carefully. Insurers will use the late notice as a reason to deny your claim.
- Make Sure You Document Your Claim Before Starting to Repair It on Your Own
Maybe you’re one of those people who can’t stand anything out-of-place. Before you start cleaning up, make sure you take tons of photos and video of the damage. If you tear out your carpet and throw it away, how will the insurer know what was there before?
- Consider Using a Public Adjuster, Especially If You Have Significant Damage
Even right after it happens, a Public Adjuster, who must be licensed in the State of Florida, can help you. The Adjuster will represent you and make sure your claim is properly filed, taking into account all of the damage – damage that you are too upset to even know about. The State of Florida generally caps fees. Also, even if you filed a claim, and you think your own insurer is lowballing you, call a Public Adjuster to negotiate with the insurer. If you filed a claim, and later discover additional damage, you can call the Adjuster to help show that the damage is the result of the original event.
If you follow all of these steps, it still will not be easy or pleasant. However, you will have a much greater chance of collecting an amount from your insurance company that will allow you to restore your original home to its pre-event condition (or, if the building code has changed, an improved condition). If you decide to search for a public adjuster in your area, call on outside help to find someone who actually represents your needs, a Public Adjuster is an excellent choice.
At Fox Public Adjusters, we serve all of South Florida including, Boynton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton, Wellington, Palm Beach, Jupiter, Greenacres, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Stuart, Deerfield Beach, and all of Palm Beach County, Broward County and Martin County.
New addition with helpful info:
Hurricane Season Tips from a Public Adjuster in your area.
Although the 2021 hurricane season has passed, now is a good time to prepare for next year. . Even though South Florida has escaped a good number of storms last year. Looking back at the big ones, such as Hurricane David in 1979, should be enough to put you into action.
- Do You Have Flood Insurance?
According to the The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). There is a 30 day waiting period before your purchased flood insurance becomes active. It says, “you should consider the purchase of flood insurance whether your property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area or not.” Read the link below.
- Do You Have a Home Inventory?
If someone asked you to list everything you owned off the top of your head, what would you forget? How about the exact number of earrings or that coin collection or sports cards? The best way to protect yourself is to take photos or make videos of your valuables; if possible, take a photo of the serial numbers of any expensive items. Make sure you back it up on your computer or phone to the Cloud or, at least, make sure a close family member also has the file. For more details about the process, go to Home inventory help. While you’re at it, you should read over your insurance policy to make sure you have replacement coverage in the event of a disaster and that coverage allows for rebuilding your home today. In light of the unending increasing prices due to supply chain issues, this is more important than previously. Also, if you have specific jewelry or art pieces or a special collection, you should call your insurance company to see if you need a rider to your policy for coverage.
- Are Your Windows and Roof in Good Shape?
If you want to protect your home, you may want to start thinking of replacing your windows with special high impact glass windows; you may get a discount on your homeowner’s policy. There are cheaper alternatives, including storm shutters, and AstroGuard Hurricane Fabric is a more reasonably priced choice . This is not the same as window film which should not be used. Remember, don’t crack your windows during a storm!
Think about having your roof inspected after any major storm by a licensed contractor to make sure that there aren’t any missing shingles or damage to the flashing. Considering the number of storms, it is always a good idea to have your roof inspected at least once a year if you live in South Florida.
The State of Florida has implemented new roof construction provisions as of January of 2021. If your roof is near the end of its useful life, you may want to install a new roof which will protect your house under these new stringent requirements to protect it against storms. Always make sure you keep your gutters cleaned and your trees trimmed back. Remember, don’t make any repairs to your roof yourself! It is actually illegal under Florida law
- What Happens If You Do Have Storm Damage?
You certainly want to know the time frame to report it to your insurance company. You don’t want to clean everything up quickly yourself without assessing the damage. Take photos of the damage you can see. If you have significant damage, you may want to contact a Public Adjuster. Under the laws of the State of Florida, Public Adjusters must be licensed. They can help you assess your claim, contact your insurance company, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. You may ask why you need someone in addition to your insurance agent who sold you the policy? The reality is that your insurance agent is solely the agent for the insurance company and does not represent your interests. Therefore, you may need your own agent to help you through the trauma of damage to your home. While the insurer may think the damage is only superficial, the Adjuster may find that there is mold or other damage that is not readily visible to you or your insurance company.
While South Florida is more fortunate than many of its Floridian neighbors in terms of storms, the threat continues to grow as climate change continues its path. There are so many preventive measures you can take, including buying a backup generator, storing water, preparing an emergency kit, and having your heating/air conditioning system inspected at least once a year by a licensed contractor. However, if you have done everything right, your property could still sustain damage from a storm. If so, consider contacting a Public Adjuster to guide you through the process so you receive what you are entitled to under your insurance policy.
If you have suffered home or property damage and are searching for a Public Adjuster near me and you found this website, please contact us at (561) 789-4369