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.
There are so many public adjusters Florida but the question is this: which one should you hire? Your insurance claim is important to ensure that you will not shoulder out-of-pocket expenses. And to ensure that your claim won’t be illegally denied, you should know when to hire a public adjuster.
Why use a public adjuster? This person will help you get a rightful payout for your claims. Here are some tips to help you find the right public adjuster to help you out:
Experience is number one
It’s always imperative to check the experience of the contractor before signing up to their service. But what is a public adjuster? It’s a person that will help you fight for a rightful payout for your claim. This just means that you need someone who has defended many claims in the past.
Look for licenses
A public adjuster should be duly licensed by the State of Florida or other governing bodies of the United States. This is important so you won’t be in further trouble when the insurance company discovered that you’re dealing with a non-licensed adjuster. To skip the guesswork, call Gold Coast Public Adjusters to get started.
Don’t fall prey to remediation companies
Some contractors would try to push you to deal with remediation companies just to end the dragging process of the claim. Although you’ll get instant money, you’ll be receiving less of what you’ll actually receive with the help of a public adjuster. Also, don’t let insurers force you to sign up to settlements. Like remediation, this will have less value.
Ask for previous client references
This is a simple yet very effective way of knowing if a public adjuster really excels on his or her craft. Check the previous customers the adjuster gave you to know how their experience went. Most competent public adjusters won’t be afraid to give references when they are sure of their performance.
Check their specialization
Each public adjuster will have a specialization. It could be fire damage, water damage, theft and vandalism, and so on. Make sure that your case falls exactly on the previous claims they’ve handled before. These all boils down to experience and knowledge of the insurance policy.
Don’t let a public adjuster pressure you
If public adjuster pressures you to sign up right away, consider looking for another option. It’s a shady move which may mean that the adjuster isn’t reliable enough. Besides, you need someone to help you out and not pressure you to make abrupt moves.
Check the price
Public adjusters Florida can help you file a claim for whatever condition covered in your policy. And in the event that your insurer tries to deny or reduce the actual value of the payout, adjusters will help you fight for a better payment.
Still, the service of a public adjuster shouldn’t break your bank. Compare rates if you must and decide which one suits your budget. Nevertheless, the price should be at the bottom of your priorities.
Insurance claims can get really messy. If you don’t know when to call a public adjuster, you’ll be left grappling with the learning curve of filing for a claim. Be it for fire, hailstorm, hurricane, or theft, the provisions of your policy might become overcomplicated. Not to mention the tricks insurance companies play, public adjusters are indispensable.
Public adjusters are experts in insurance. They know how to fight to land you a proper payout. If you’re thinking twice about looking for public adjusters near me, here are some thoughts to ponder:
Public adjusters’ job is to secure you the proper payment based on the actual damages. Without their guidance, insurance companies may trick you to agree with a lower payout. Remember that insurance companies aren’t always willing to pay you more than what you pay them. Even if it’s guaranteed by your policy, you need the professional help of a public adjuster.
Equal fighting chance
Insurance companies can easily intimidate you or kill your spirit. But with a public adjuster fighting on your side, you have an equal fighting chance to your claim. They will pursue you claim to the insurer until they give you the right settlement. Most insurance companies need a little pushing in order to pay what they owe to their policyholders.
There’s nothing wrong with an early settlement. However, most insurers tend to offer a lower payment due to the lack of time to inspect and assess the damage properly. Take note that insurers are pressured by their bosses to settle the claim ASAP. This means a possible financial drawback on you as the claimant. Even if you have to pay for public insurance adjuster fees, the ROI is worth it.
Insurance claims can be very intimidating especially if the company uses examination under oath to discourage you. They will usually raise coverage issues peppered with jargons and technicalities. If you don’t have knowledge about these, you’ll be intimidated to pursue your claim.
So you ask, should I use a public adjuster? At this point, a public adjuster’s guidance is valuable more than ever.
Struggle with the jargons
Like what I said earlier, insurance companies tend to use jargons to mess with your brain. If you’re not well-versed with every aspect of your policy, you might be tricked to sign a premature settlement. The insurer might also make you believe that the damage is worth less than its actual value.
Public adjusters are your voices of reason when filing for an insurance claim. They will assess your policy and inform you of your rights as a policyholder. If the insurer tries to deny you a claim, the public adjuster you hired will raise some questions that will build a strong case. Sometimes, it just needs a little drive to let your insurer know that you’re not a pushover.
Knowing when to call a public adjuster will save you from the hassle and delays of filing a claim. It may cost a certain fee, but it’s totally worth it once you bag the proper claim payment.
Using a public adjuster isn’t the option of all homeowners. But the truth is that these professionals can actually make insurance filing easier and faster. If you don’t have any clue where to start, a public adjuster would be your voice of reason.
Both commercial and residential property losses are traumatic. It’s also expensive, not to mention debilitating to document. But if you tap the help of insurance experts like public adjusters, the burden would be lighter to carry.
Why use a public adjuster? Here are 7 of the most critical insurance claims that public adjusters are making easier to face:
Fire and smoke damage
If there’s one depressing incident your property can experience, it would be damages due to fire and smoke. The flames spare nothing. You will be left in disbelief while facing the need to file for an insurance claim. And as far as insurance history is concerned, it’s never easy to land a decent payout. A licensed public adjuster can help you out.
Storm and hail damage
Hailstorm is a destructive phenomenon as much as storms and hurricanes. The damages can be widespread and intensive which means it requires a large payout. And since it will cost the insurance company a lot of money, insurers will either trick you to a lower settlement or by dragging the claim.
Theft and vandalism
Common but not easy to settle, theft and vandalism claims can be a cause of headaches among property owners. Insurers would exhaust every means to prove that you’re not falsifying the claim. Also, you should prove that you’re practicing measures to prevent the incident from taking place.
Flooding and leaks can compromise the whole household. If not fixed, molds and mildew will start to form. With that, more damages will occur. Water damage is also a tricky claim, with insurers usually denying claimants if the damage isn’t caused by falling water.
Electronic data loss
On this modern era, data means money. Businesses that lost massive data due to fire, theft, and other elements would face the dilemma of filing a claim. Public adjusting companies will be a big help here. They will dig deep on the technicalities of the policy to ensure that your business will be back in operation.
Loss of business income
If your business goes sour, loss of business income can be a ground for a claim. Public adjusters will help you handle the income and inventory coverage. The insurance company would have to look at your business’ projecting sales, the period of interruption, cost of goods, and so on.
Sinkhole and collapse
When heavy snow piles up on your property’s roof, there’s a chance that it will cave in. Thick snow can also force trees and power lines to collapse. Claims for these incidents will be easier if you’re working with a public adjuster.
Using a public adjuster on your insurance claim filing will increase your chance of getting approved. The adjuster will also handle the technicality for added peace of mind.
Commercial properties aren’t immune to structural damages. This is the reason why business insurance is an imperative protection that both small and large businesses invest in. But as much as the potential damages will be covered, there are some mistakes that jeopardize the insurance payout. This can either delay or deny a business with a claim grant.
Assess your insurance claim strategy using these common mistakes:
The problem with a commercial insurance claim is that it’s larger than the typical residential scale. If the business owners aren’t organized, documentation will be problematic. This stirs chaos in the assessment of the insurer. Such a situation stalls the claim process and increases the possibility of getting denied.
The cost of small business insurance payment should be enough to cover all the losses. If you can’t handle the claim yourself, a public adjuster will be of help.
Failure to understand the policy provisions
Some commercial insurance policyholders tend to overlook the most important provisions of their coverage. This leads to more confusion and chance of losing money due to poor negotiation. If you lack knowledge of the coverage, provisions, and responsibilities as a policyholder, it’s best to hire a public adjuster.
It doesn’t hurt to admit that you know little about insurance. Remember, you own a business, you’re not an insurance expert. Still, take time to know the basics.
Being beaten on the negotiating game
When it comes to large-scale claims, insurance companies are bent to give a fight. This is a trick to either delay the claim or deny you of the payment. You have to be informed and prepared whenever the insurer calls you for an Examination Under Oath (EUO). A lawyer and a public adjuster are your advising team for this matter. Your personal adjuster will fight to get the proper payment for the damages, be it fire, hurricane, theft, and so on.
Not protecting the property
Even before the damage occurs, you should be exhausting all means to protect your business establishment. For example, if a valuable got stolen from your shop, you should have at least a burglary alarm, a lock, and a security guard. This is to establish the intent to prevent the theft from happening. If your business is a sitting duck, the insurance company can deny your claim. Even a small business insurance coverage isn’t exempted from this.
Accepting a denial
Giving up and accepting a claim denial is a no-no. Always ask for a review if you’re sure that the damage should be covered and paid. A public adjuster can advise you about the steps to take. Usually, the insurance company will send a letter to the mail with regard to the details of the denial.
Don’t stop until you exhaust all means to prove your claim. If you have enough evidence but the insurance company refuses to pay, you can file a complaint to the insurance commissioner of your state.
Business insurance shouldn’t just be a case of paperwork. You should embody the provisions on your operations to increase the chance of getting your claims approved.
When it comes to the best home insurance, vacancy and unoccupancy make a big difference. It might sound like the same thing but this will bring different terms when it’s time to file for a claim. Most policies will include vacancy inclusions but not unoccupancy exclusions.
Why is it important to know the difference? Well, vacant means the property is totally empty – both of people and belongings. As for unoccupied, the property is only lacking occupants but valuables are left intact. For example, if a family went into a short vacation, the house is unoccupied. If they moved to another home, there’s a chance that the property will be vacant.
For best homeowners insurance, vacant properties will not have any coverage for vandalism, theft, glass breakage, and water damage. Attempted theft isn’t covered too if it happens within 30-60 days after the vacancy. Since these risks are high and there’s no effort to prevent it, the insurance company won’t grant any claim.
When it comes to unoccupied properties, everything applies just the same as for occupied policies. The owners are assumed to be returning any time.
This looks like a simple difference. But for commercial establishments, vacancy and unoccupancy become trickier. A building or business establishment will fall under vacancy if only less than 31% of its overall space is occupied. If the business space is deemed “vacant” for more than 60 days, commercial insurance coverage for vandalism, theft, water damage, and sprinkler leakage will be lifted.
One big disadvantage of having an indirectly vacant property is that the payout is decreased by 15%. This is $1,500 less for damages amounting to $10,000.
How to make your property qualify as occupied
If you’re leaving in a different property but you want your other house to be covered, you have to put more valuables inside. There should be cooking wares, utensils, fridge, and basic furniture. It should look like you have the intent to go back and resume living on the property.
In the case of extended vacations, say owners staying in a different country for months, the coverage stays intact under unoccupied.
If you want to insure your property, regardless if it’s unoccupied or vacant, you have to talk to the right people.
Insuring your property
The worst thing that can happen to you is to discover that certain property damages won’t be paid just because you don’t know the difference between vacant and unoccupied. It pays to talk to your insurer so you can ask for endorsements. Some policies can cover both of your properties even if you’re not living in one. Although this would be more expensive, you have peace of mind that everything is insured.
Remember, though, that vacant property insurance will be more expensive. Sometimes, it can cost at least one and a half times more than the usual coverage cost of your occupied property.
It’s not enough that you have the best home insurance. Make sure that you understand the terms and coverage under different circumstances. This way, you will avoid unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.