Roof leaks are notorious problems among old homes. Hailstorms, snow, intense heat, and other outdoor elements will take its toll on your roof. But what if it starts leaking? Will your insurance policy cover the expenses? Here, we will give you some tips on filing a roof leak insurance claim and whether your policy covers it or not.
Identify what’s causing the leak
The cause of the leak is the make or break part in the insurance coverage of the damage. It will also give you a better understanding of the situation of your insurance claim.
Here are some of the common reasons behind roof leaks:
Hailstorm damage. As you know, a hailstorm can be very damaging to the roof material. The damage can be as minor as tiny holes to larger gaps between the shingles.
Severe winds. Strong winds can also take its toll on your roofing.
Fallen objects. Fallen branches are notorious culprits among roof damages in the U.S. This will create major leaks and even pipe problems.
Does your policy cover it?
Each policy is unique from the other. If you want to get insurance to replace roof, you have to read back and identify if a clause covers the cause of the leak. It can get tricky as some insurers will dupe you by excluding the most common causes of roof damage.
Some of the common causes of roof leaks that insurance policies cover include fire, hail damage, and wind. However, if the damaged roof is on an unattached shed or garage, your policy may not cover it. This is unless if you have a separate clause including “other structures protection”.
Insurers are very specific with their exclusions and inclusions. Just because roof damage is mentioned doesn’t mean that it’s an absolute coverage. You always have to look for the “if” part of the policy.
What to do if insurance denied roof claim?
There’s a possibility that your insurer may try to deny your insurance claim for a roof leak. If that happens, here are our water damage insurance claim tips:
Call a public adjuster. Public adjusters will re-assess your policy and property to know if the claim shouldn’t be denied. Here at Gold Coast Public Adjusters, you’ll get your money back if we don’t get to give you the rightful payout for your claim.
Re-appeal your claim. Insurance companies may send a different insurer to your property. At this point, make sure that you hold all the necessary documents to support your appeal. Having a public adjuster assisting you will make the whole process easier and faster.
Get a lawyer. If the insurance company is keen to deny your claim despite its coverage on your policy, you can file a legal claim to the authorities.
Don’t let your roof leak insurance claim go to waste. We can help you get the right payout by assessing your policy and documenting everything for a solid claim. Our team is composed of seasoned insurance experts ready to take on your case. Just call us and we will get you started.
It’s every homeowner’s nightmare to have their home broken into. Aside from the possessions stolen, it will also instill trauma and a painful process of filing for an insurance claim. It can be tricky to prove to your insurer that you lost all the valuables you declare. So for this, we discussed some burglary insurance claims advice to make the process more bearable.
First: call the police
Before you think of reimbursing all the lost items to your insurance company, you should call the police first. Theft is a crime and even if the thieve can’t be caught, an incident report is necessary when filing for an insurance claim.
Besides, it will raise suspicion to your insurance company if you didn’t get the authorities involved. They will likely suspect you of attempting insurance fraud.
Call your insurance company
Knowing how to file an insurance claim for burglary starts by calling your insurer. Make sure that you follow the succeeding steps after doing the call.
Don’t touch anything yet
Aside from ruining the crime scene, you will also reduce your chance of winning an insurance claim. The insurer may think that you’re trying to rig something.
Take pictures and videos of the scene so your insurance company can use it as the basis for your claim. This can be compared to the previous photos and videos of your home if there are any.
Always save a duplicate of the files just in case something happens. This will give a better standing if the insurance company tries to deny your claim.
You should list down all the items that you lost and secure any remaining receipts. Insurance companies will surely ask for receipts to prove that the item actually existed.
Call your bank
Right after finding out about the burglary, call your bank and have your accounts frozen from the meantime. This is crucial, especially if the thieve got a hand of your credit card and checkbooks.
Any evidence that will prove that the burglary is real will help your claim. It will also help track the criminal so s/he will be put to justice. If your home has CCTVs inside, the footages will be solid pieces of evidence for both the insurance claim and the case you’re going to file with the police.
Claiming contents insurance after burglary will be easier if you have more pieces of evidence to present.
Enforce the security of your home
Remember that insurance companies will check the ‘preventability’ of the incident. If you got broken in for the second time without added security features, your claim will likely be denied.
Insurance companies take into account the efforts the policy owner does to prevent such damages. If they found enough evidence that you had negligence, they will use it to deny your claim.
Change your locks and install burglar alarms if you don’t have any yet.
Do you need more burglary insurance claims advice? Call us at Gold Coast Public Adjuster and we will be glad to help you out.
It’s the hurricane season again and one of the most common threats to a home is falling trees. It can do more damage than flood or rain. When this happens, you should be protected by tree insurance coverage.
As much as trees give us shade during summer, it can become damaging during stormy days. So what should you do when a tree fell into your home? Here’s what we suggest:
Does homeowners insurance cover tree damage?
Each policy is unique from the other. Still, each one will include a comprehensive and specific set of perils and risks.
It’s important to know if a clause covers the condition of the damage. If not, it’s best to have it included so the next time a tree falls into your home, you wouldn’t have to shoulder all the out-of-pocket expenses.
If you’re fully covered, you have to know if the damage is accidental or gradual.
Gradual vs. sudden damage
Sudden tree damage is when strong winds caused the tree to fall into a portion of your home. Gradual damage is when the roots of the tree grow into your home and ruin your plumbing system and other parts.
For falling trees, you’ll likely be covered if the tree is healthy and not a maintenance issue at the time of the incident.
Who owns the tree?
The ownership of the tree is a very crucial part when filing for an insurance claim. So what happens if my neighbor’s tree falls in my yard? If this belongs to another person’s yard, it’s possible that your neighbor will have to answer the expenses, especially if it’s proven that the incident is preventable.
However, if the tree branch went flying to your home during a hurricane, it might be difficult to track down whose tree it belongs.
There’s also what insurance companies call subrogation. Before they take care of your claim, they will go after the responsible party, which is the person who owns the tree. The same goes when cut down tree falls on house.
If the insurer succeeds in reimbursing the cost to the responsible owner, you will be given a complete payout.
What if my claim got denied?
There’s a possibility that your insurer will try to deny your claim due to some grounds. When this happens, you have some options to explore.
If you believe that you should be covered, you can call a public adjuster to help re-appeal your claim. Here at Gold Coast Public Adjusters, denied claims are our specialization. From tree insurance coverage to almost every insurance policy, we have experts to help you out.
We will review your policy and previous claims to know where you stand. From there, we will work with you to appeal your claim to your insurer.
Our team can also work alongside your lawyer if the claim calls for it. For Examination Under Oath, we will help you prepare ahead of time to increase your chances of winning the claim.
A home inspection is a crucial process on which a property is scrutinized for possible defects. Buyers and sellers will both benefit from the report as it will give them a clearer picture of the property’s condition. But this is the question: what do home inspectors look for? Here, we will list some things you should expect during the inspection:
There would be defects
No home is perfect. Even if you just got your home renovated, there would be issues that will surface. It can be concerns about child safety or fire safety among others.
Small problems are usually easy and not expensive to fix. Just take note that property inspectors aren’t there to judge your home. It’s just a process that every buyer and seller have to go through.
The inspection would be thorough
From your living room down to your crawl space, everything will be included on the home inspection checklist. Usually, inspections include heating, plumbing, AC, attic, roof, walls, ceilings, windows and doors, structural components, basements, and more.
Just take note that this process is just a general inspection on your home; not an X-ray check. The inspector will not tear walls or disassemble the systems in your home.
The report should be extensive
The report after the inspection should contain all the parts of the house and the possible defects that the inspectors found. Most of the time, a home inspection report includes checklists, photographs, summaries, and other information that describes the property’s condition.
The more that the report becomes extensive the more expensive the inspection becomes.
The duration of the inspection
Remember that the inspection process would be faster if the inspectors have easy access to the areas they need to check. Generally, the whole inspection should be done within 2 to 4 hours unless there are unforeseen circumstances that will drag the process longer.
It’s best to clean up your home before the inspection. This way, the inspectors can move around faster and without the cobwebs and dusty boxes along the way.
You will be part of the process
A home inspection doesn’t mean you’ll hand the keys to the inspectors and you’re off the hook. Since it’s your home, you need to be part of the process regardless of who is paying. Also, as a seller, the inspector can give suggestions on how you can fix or improve the condition of your home.
Anyway, don’t be such a bug while the inspectors are doing their job. It’s best to ask ahead of time if they need assistance.
The buyer usually pays for the inspection
It’s common practice for potential buyers to pay for the home inspection. Still, some sellers would avail the property inspection services even before they put the property in the market. This way, they will know what parts they need to improve.
What do home inspectors look for? Home inspections are done to spot defects so the owner can fix it right away. Still, this isn’t a pass/fail process. This is part of responsible home ownership, especially if you’re planning to sell it.
Home inspections are important, especially for home buyers and sellers. It’s a great way to check the house’s condition and what possible defects lie inside. Still, some would opt to skip the process to save money and time. This exposes them to the risk of unseen damages which will cost a lot in the long run. If you’re thinking twice, here are some of the reasons to get a home inspection:
1. It’s a matter of safety
Home inspections can reveal safety threats like the presence of carbon monoxide, black molds, and radon. Homes should be tested for all these to comply with the law.
Also, such hazards need to be detected even before the property is put to the market. This is for the protection of the new owners and the seller as well. A home inspection checklist will be of help here.
2. It will reveal the true condition of the property
Should I get a home inspection if the property looks good? A home might look elegant from the outside but it can also harbor damages deep within. The report from the home inspection will give the buyer a clear understanding of the needed repairs and the possible extra cost of purchasing the property. It can also become a game changer on the buyer’s decision to invest in the property.
3. It’s for your investment’s protection
No one wants to purchase a house mired with defects. Also, homeowners need to maintain the quality of their home to prevent expensive repairs in the future. Regardless if you’re selling or buying a new home, inspections like these are important to shield your property from bigger damages.
4. It will reveal illegal alterations
A home inspection will let you know if a garage or room was altered without necessary permits. Illegal additions and alterations will directly impact your taxes, insurance coverage, and home safety. You may also spend more just to fix the problem and to abide by the local codes. Take note that once you purchase a home with these defects, it will be your responsibility to fix it.
5. It’s a deal-breaker
Why is a home inspection recommended? The result of the home inspection is actually a make-or-break part for a buyer. If the property proves to be a money pit of defects, the buyer will likely look for another potential investment. No one wants to spend more bucks for repairs after paying for a large investment.
6. It forecasts ongoing costs
The condition of the property will give both the buyer and seller an approximation of how much the ongoing cost will be. It’s like checking the shelf-life of your home’s parts and which one already needs a replacement.
7. It’s important for your home insurance
If you’re applying for an insurance policy, it’s best to have your home inspected beforehand. Some insurers won’t grant a policy if the house was found to be tattered with damages. Also, some insurance companies will require a home inspection report, especially for large homes.
Aside from the seven points discussed here, there are endless reasons to get a home inspection. Save yourself from the hassle and avail one.
Frozen pipes are like ticking time bombs inside your home. In case it bursts, you can make use of some burst pipe insurance claim tips to boost your chance of winning a claim.
It’s really difficult to conduct plumbing maintenance during the winter months. Plumbers are difficult to find and without the knowledge of the tell-tale signs, a homeowner can be caught off guard.
Frozen pipes symptoms
Not sure if your pipes are in good condition? Look for the following signs of a frozen pipe before it’s too late:
Frost on the pipes. Take a look under the sink. Do you see frost forming on the pipes? If so, it’s possible that more of your pipes are starting to have the same damage. Knowing how to find frozen pipe starts by checking the pipes itself.
Weird smell. Blocked pipes will cause the odor to release into your home’s direction. If you’re starting to sniff foul smell for no reason, consider having your pipe checked.
Are frozen pipes covered by insurance?
Your policy is the only thing that will confirm this part. If frozen pipes or burst frozen pipes are included, there’s no reason for your insurer to deny your claim. If you have a low-cost policy, there’s a chance that frozen pipes aren’t covered.
What to do if frozen pipes burst
First of all, don’t panic. Here are the steps you can follow when the pipes give off:
- Cut off the water source
To contain the damage, turn off the water source and electricity source as well. Shut your home’s main water valve the very moment the pipe burst.
Turning the power off is a matter of safety. As you know, water is a conductor and it can cause electrocution.
- Call your insurance company
Report the incident to your insurer and take pictures of the damages while you wait for the plumbing contractor to arrive. If you’re worried that the insurance company will try to get their way around your claim, contact a public adjuster like Gold Coast Public Adjusters.
- Try removing some water
If it’s starting to flood, you can prevent further damage by removing the pools of water. Use buckets and towels to safely suck the water out of your home.
What if my frozen pipe claim gets denied?
In case your insurer denies your claim despite its inclusion on your policy, you need the help of public adjusters. Here at Gold Coast Public Adjusters, we help homeowners get their rightful payout by appealing their claim to the insurance company.
We can help in the documentation and working with your lawyer. Rest assured that your side will be heard.
Our team will inspect the damages and review your policy free of charge. We know that the cost of repairs is daunting so we only charge you once you see results.
We specialize in water damage, mold, and residential claims among others. Our seasoned public adjusters have years of experience so we can guarantee that you will receive the right claim payout.
Molds only need moisture and darkness to grow. However, fixing this problem would take more than basic cleaning. The cost of repairs may push homeowners to file for mold insurance claims.
The main problem with molds is it thrives without notice. Only when the damage is massive that the homeowner will discover the dilemma. This will cost thousands of dollars in repairs.
Each home will have a certain level of mold inside it. But if it goes out of hand, you have to know what to do:
Call your insurer right away
Molds may look harmless at first but it will only take a few weeks to wreak havoc on your household. It can lead to serious illnesses which will be another financial burden to you.
Once you suspect that your home has mold damage, report to your insurer and file for a claim. This way, you can start the mold remediation steps and prevent the losses from escalating.
If a pipe burst or your house is flooded, call a remediation team within 48 hours to stop molds from growing in large amounts
Understand your coverage
When it comes to this claim, mold insurance companies may have varying interpretations of the policy. If the mold damage is caused by wind-driven rain, the insurer may use such condition as a ground to deny your claim.
Most insurance companies don’t compensate for damages incurred by this secondary cause. But if you’re convinced that you should be granted coverage, you can tap the help of public adjusters to assess the policy for you.
Don’t perform repairs until the inspection is done
The biggest mistake of homeowners is mitigating the situation even before the insurance company adjuster arrived at their property. This is a no-no. The adjuster may use this as a ground to deny your claim or slash the payout amount.
What you need to do is prevent any further damage from taking place. Turn off any water source and keep everything intact until the insurance company inspected it.
Document the damage
Once you discover mold damage, take photographs, videos, and create an inventory of all the damaged possessions inside your home. This will serve as evidence once you file for a claim. Is mold removal expensive? You should justify it on your documentation.
At all cost, never speculate and list fraudulent items. Once the insurance company discovers your illicit tactics, they will automatically deny your claim. They may even charge you with insurance fraud.
Coordinate with your insurer
Insurance companies may suspect you of fraud if you don’t cooperate with their process. As much as the claim could be dragging, take your time to satisfy the requirements of your insurer.
Still, don’t sign any document or give a sworn statement until your insurance claim lawyer and a public adjuster advised you well. Any haphazard statement may complicate your chances of landing a decent payout.
Filing for mold insurance claims can be tricky. Still, you can make the process worthwhile with the help of the right people. Never hesitate to tap the help of Gold Coast Public Adjusters whenever you have insurance concerns.
Florida is home to the so-called ‘sinkhole alley’ where cases of sinkholes were recorded in the past years. With this unpredictable catastrophe, it makes many homeowners wonder, does Florida homeowners insurance cover sinkholes?
Sinkholes are very dangerous as these can take away properties and even lives. But in Florida, most homeowner’s policies only cover catastrophic ground collapse. As much as it might suggest sinkhole coverage, it’s not the case with most insurers.
What the policy indicates
All insurance policies will have a list of inclusions. Take your time to read this so you will know if you are covered in case a sinkhole happens.
Take note that sinkhole is a common exclusion in Florida insurance together with earthquake and flooding. Since most of these are unpredictable, it leaves the homeowner unaccountable at any aspect. This means that the insurance company can’t find loopholes in case a collapse happens.
Still, each policy differs from another. Make sure that you take a close look before you file for a claim.
Are you at risk?
Usually, a sinkhole is defined as ground collapse. Local authorities can advise if your area is at risk. Take note that areas that sit on top of limestones are highly at risk of sinkholes. Also, you may want to check for the groundwater composition as the shifts can also trigger a collapse.
If you’re not sure of your risk level, head to the city hall to check if your location is at risk of suffering a sinkhole or any form of ground collapse.
Do you need sinkhole coverage?
Regardless if your area is at risk or not, it’s always added peace of mind to have this type of coverage. Most of the time, insurance companies offer this as an optional add-on to your original policy. However, the sinkhole insurance quote will also increase. Still, the average cost for sinkhole insurance is manageable enough for most homeowners.
It pays to get good advice and trust only an insurance company that will give you the right payout. But if everything comes to worse, you always have public adjusters to help you out.
What to do if you’re standing on top of a sinkhole
In case your location is at risk to sinkholes, you should take a proactive approach. Get sinkhole coverage regardless if it will cost you more.
The good thing is that local legislation would require insurance companies to offer sinkhole coverage if the area is at high risk. Talk to your insurer so you’ll know what steps to take.
What if my insurer denies the sinkhole claim?
In case your property suffered from a sinkhole, you should file for a claim right away. In some instances, the insurance company will try to deny the claim by using accomplices and loopholes on the policy.
When this happens, contact Gold Coast Public Adjuster. We will appeal your claim to the insurance company to hold them accountable. This way, you will be spared from out-of-pocket sinkhole repair costs.
So does Florida homeowners insurance cover sinkholes? Talk to your insurer and consider the possibility of availing additional coverage.
Whenever a calamity devastates an area, businesses are also directly affected by the losses. Water, smoke, flood, and wind damages may force the owner to go out of business for days. A business interruption insurance claim is highly needed in this situation.
For each day that the business is out of operation, the losses pile up while the cost of repairs skyrockets. It’s a double blow for business owners, especially if the insurance company denies the claim.
Does business interruption insurance cover payroll?
Yes and no. Most of the time, insurance companies see payroll as an unnecessary expense since the business is closed for a specific timeframe. Not unless you get Ordinary Payroll insured, you wouldn’t get reimbursed on this part.
Ordinary Payroll is defined as the salary for employees including managers, officers, supervisors, and any employee under a contract. This would be covered if you have Business Interruption Policy or a clause in your general policy that indicates the coverage.
3 Types of Business Interruption coverage
For those who are new to business interruption claims, there are three common coverage types that you can avail. These are the following:
- Business interruption insurance
This is the most common choice, especially for small businesses. This compensates the business owner with the amount of income lost during the restoration of the damages. The business interruption insurance cost is applicable only to the timeframe on which the damages are being repaired.
- Extension business interruption
If the policyholder wants added coverage, the extension business interruption can compensate the business owner for the income s/he lost after the repair is done. However, this is only effective after the business’ income go back to its pre-loss state.
- Contingent business interruption
This is a rare inclusion, but some business owners would extend their business interruption insurance with a contingency plan. It covers the damage incurred to the property of suppliers, providers, and other stakeholders indicated on the coverage.
A business owner can avail all of these coverage terms in one policy. However, it would have a higher cost.
Dos and don’ts when filing for a business interruption claim
Once you discover that your business property is damaged, make sure that you contact your business interruption consultants – public adjusters. They would help you assess the actual cost and guide you to get the right insurance payout.
Also, make sure that your business records are secure so you can present it to the insurer upon filing for a claim.
One thing you should avoid is filing the business interruption insurance claim on your own. Insurance companies will try to rip you off by offering a settlement just to skip the dragging process.
Moreover, never sign any deals or documents until you’ve discussed it with a public adjuster and an insurance claim lawyer. This is very crucial, especially if you run a large business.
Business interruption claims can be messy without the help of the experts. If your Florida business is damaged by a calamity or a man-made incident, call Gold Coast Public Adjusters to help you out.
There are times when you miss some damages when you first filed for an insurance claim. Some policy owners tend to sign up to haphazard inspection for the sake of getting the property fixed right away, thus missing some damages. But thanks to reopening homeowners insurance claim, Florida homeowners can still file for a claim five years after the initial claim.
There are two reasons where you can reopen an insurance claim:
- If you feel like the insurance company didn’t give you a replacement value when they should have
- When the insurer denied your claim but you feel like you’re entitled to reimbursements
Re-opening an insurance claim
The process of reopening an insurance claim may take a lot of effort, time, and resources. Before you start the reopening of the home insurance claim process, it’s best to seek the help of a public adjuster. This way, they can assess your policy and see if you’re actually qualified for such claim.
You should present the following documents:
- Records of repairs
- A copy of your policy at the time you filed the claim
- The estimate you received from the insurance company at that time
Once you furnished copies of these, the public adjuster will now contact your insurer to start the home insurance claim reopening. Your insurance company may re-inspect your home or the public adjuster will send estimates of the damages in comparison with the amount you initially received.
How to re-open a claim successfully
The success of the re-opening of your insurance claim process will depend on how solid your documentation is. You should be able to present receipts, insurance policy copy, and other documents that will back up your claims.
To increase your chances, it’s best that you do the following:
- Hire the help of an expert. At this point, you need the expertise of a public adjuster. This person is trained to assess policies and identify if the re-opening is actually feasible.
- Keep documenting. It’s best to document all the correspondence between you, the insurance company, the public adjuster, and the contractor that repaired your property.
- Never fake evidence. As much as you’re desperate to re-open a claim, faking documents will just put you in more trouble. You will be denied, you’ll be charged, and you’ll spend more money.
What are mediation and appraisal?
A re-opening of an insurance claim can start through mediation via the Florida State Sponsored Mediation. Here, you, the insurer, the public adjuster, and a mediator will meet.
The mediator will facilitate the discussion while you and the insurer present and assess documents. Take note that this isn’t intended to end up with a settlement.
However, the problem with mediation is that it’s not a binding process and it doesn’t work for all policyholders. This is why some would explore the Appraisal option. The appraiser will review all the documents wherein both you and the insurer can hire separate appraisers. Take note, though, that this method is usually used on high-value insurance claims.
Reopening homeowners insurance claim is a long process. You need an expert to help you deal with the technicalities of the process. Call Gold Coast Public Adjusters to know how.