|A Florida Disaster In The Making?
Fri, July 27, 2012 | link
[Fri, July 27, 2012] Did you know that water damage is the most common loss reported
by homeowners? If you ever had significant water damage from a leak, you know that the consequences may be anything but simple.
Wood flooring buckles up, furniture or cabinets are soaked, carpet
and baseboards are ruined. Sometimes you may need to remove drywall and if the leak impacted electrical lines – expect
an expensive repair bill, not to mention the cost of water removal and restoration services that may run you thousands of
Well, if you think that your insurance company will cover
the costs of the loss, think again, especially if your home is insured by Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
Florida’s largest state-backed property insurer is looking to reduce its coverage - such as capping
losses due to water damage to $15,000! This is a ridiculously low and incredibly inadequate amount that might cover
only a small fraction of the repair bill, replacement materials, mitigation and or rebuilding costs, making the homeowner
pay for everything else.
About 35% of Citizens' water damage claims exceed $15,000
...although I suspect that many such claims have been grossly underpaid. Homeowners will end up paying out of pocket to repair
damage from everyday perils such as an air condition leak, pipe burst, faulty plumbing and a leaky roof if this policy is
catastrophically approved by the full board next week.
proceed with this $15,000 cap on water damage claims, along with other proposed reductions and rate hikes, I foresee a disaster
in the making for thousands of Floridians already struggling financially. At a time when private insurers have not jumped
back into the market to write new homeowners policies, unfortunately many Floridians have no choice but to accept whatever
Citizens offers and hope for the best.
I strongly encourage all Floridians
to contact Citizens and the local legislators to voice their concerns regarding the proposed policy limits and rate hikes.
Take a close look at your current homeowner policies to check on coverage and claims procedures. Ask contractors and plumbing
professionals how much typical repairs may cost.
You are welcome to contact me if you have any questions regarding your policy coverage or a property damage claim. It is better to have all the information
at hand before disaster strikes and be prepared.
Live On The Air With Cindy Graves
Mon, July 16, 2012 | link
[Mon, July 16, 2012] Last week, I have been humbled and honored to be a guest on the
Cindy Graves Show, AM 600 WBOB in Jacksonville, Florida (www.600wbob.com). The fifteen minute live segment presented a perfect opportunity to discuss the claim process for residential and commercial
damage caused to properties in Jacksonville, FL by Tropical Storm Debby. The host – Cindy Graves, a charismatic, knowledgeable
and outspoken president of the Florida Federation of Republican Women and the State Committeewoman of Duval County, FL wasted
no time and went straight to the point.
Happy to be a part of the show and offer help, I covered
several important points and answered Cindy’s questions about the role of a Public Adjuster and that of a Company Adjusters.
However, fifteen minutes was nowhere nearly enough to cover all the points which I knew would be useful to property owners.
I invite you to listen to the interview part of the show and let me know what you think. Your questions, stories and suggestions are always welcome. Stay safe and
informed! Take a listen: http://youtu.be/TcsFRLfZ3mE
A 48-hour Moratorium On Public Adjusters
Was Ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
Fri, July 6, 2012 | link
[Fri, July 06, 2012] A 2008 Florida law establishing a
48-hour moratorium on public adjusters was ruled unconstitutional on Thursday, July 5, 2012 by the Florida Supreme Court on
grounds that it restricted commercial speech.'
affirm the 1st District‘s decision that the statute unconstitutionally restricts the commercial speech of public adjusters
because it is not narrowly tailored to serve the state‘s interests in ensuring ethical conduct by public adjusters and
protecting homeowners,” the Florida Supreme Court justices ruled Thursday in Jeffrey Atwater v. Frederick Kortum.
The 48-hour restriction
was unjust to both the property owner and the Public Adjuster. Policy holders are typically not familiar with the details
of their insurance policies, and can make irreversible mistakes during the first 48 hours following a loss. Licensed Public Adjusters can help them get the benefits they are owed and assist them in every aspect of their insurance claim process.
to this ruling, we can help more policyholders in those critical first hours when they need it most,” said Florida
Association of Public Insurance Adjusters' president Harvey Wolfman. “FAPIA and its
nearly 400 member public adjusters are committed to helping policyholders receive full and fair compensation following damage
to their property,” continued Mr. Wolfman.
Julie Patel of the Sun Sentinel reports that "The 2008 law was enacted to prevent public adjusters, hired by policyholders
to represent them during the claims process, from contacting people when they’re in shock and haven’t had a chance
to resolve a claim with their insurer".
However, I think that this is exactly when
a property owner may need the assistance of an expert working in the best interest of the insured - not the insurance company.
The first 48 hours following any type of damage - be it hurricane damage, fire,
theft, vandalism, flood, collapse, tornado damage, roof leak, sinkhole or any other insured peril is a critical
time when a property owner can greatly benefit from the knowledge, experience and guidance of a licensed Public Adjuster.
I'd like to hear your views on the ruling and would appreciate any personal accounts or stories related to the subject at hand. Please don't hesitate to contact me
via email or at the office at 954-742-8248.