Beat The Heat: 10 Ways To Keep Your Home Cool

Beat the Heat

With summer heat in full swing, it’s tempting to crank the AC or plant yourself in front of the nearest fan. Below you’ll find tips to keep your house cooler when the thermometer creeps up, ways to make your AC use more efficient, as well as what you can do to keep your own person more comfortable.

Keep your cool, and…read on.

#1) Keep Your Blinds Closed

Making it in the shade! Keeping your blinds closed and curtains drawn can save you up to 10% on your electric bill and keep your house cooler by 20 degrees. Don’t let your AC do all the heavy lifting. Window films work similarly to blinds as do awnings. Planting trees or tall shrubs in front of light facing windows can also shield your home from the sun’s rays. You should also go with lighter colored blinds or curtains, as they will reflect the sun’s rays.

#2) Create A Sea Mist By Hacking A Fan

Not remotely close to the beach? No worries, this next trick has you covered. Create a faux sea breeze by placing a bowl of ice cubes or an ice pack, at an angle in front of a large fan. The air whips around the ice, providing an extra-chilled, misty breeze. Trust us, you be chillin’.

#3) Set Your Ceiling Fans To Rotate Counter-Clockwise

Yes, your ceiling fans need to be adjusted seasonally. When you adjust your clocks to spring forward, set your fans to rotate counter-clockwise.

#4) Be Smart About Your Doors

Closing off rooms and vents during the hottest part of the day will result in fewer but colder rooms. Your AC not having to push cool air through several vents, will also save energy.

#5) Heat Proof Your Bed

Heat Proof Your Bed

Placing a chilled down pillow also known as a “chillow” under your head while you sleep, will keep you cool as a cucumber. Use cotton sheets during summer months. Save those sexy satin sheets for cooler nights. Using a spray bottle to slightly dampen your sheets before bedtime is also a sure-fire way to keep you cool.

#6) Give Your Oven A Rest

BBQ

Your house already feels like an oven, are you really going to turn on a 400-degree stove? Give your oven a rest, instead fire up the BBQ. Grilling is a fun and healthy way to cook your meals, it’s also one of the best ways to keep your power bill down. If grilling is not an option, use a slow-cooker instead of the stove.

#7) Do Chores At Night

Do chores at night. Laundry machines throw off a lot of heat. The washer is running hot water, and driers are obviously using heated air which inevitably escapes and radiates out from the machine. Now, you can’t get away with not doing laundry (hopefully), but you can ensure it’s not heating your home during the hottest parts of the day. Do your laundry loads at night to keep things cooler. Also, regularly clean the dryer vent for a quicker cycle. You can also hang your clothes to dry.

Your dishwasher also puts out a lot of heat. Like with laundry, run it at night to minimize the heating effect. If you have a quiet model, start it before you go to bed and you’ll wake up with clean dishes!

#8) Let the Cool Air In

On cooler nights, turn off the AC and let the cooler night air in. Open windows and doors to create a natural air flow through your house. Not only will it give your AC a much needed break, but will also circulate fresh air into your rooms instead of only pushing re-cycled air.  Be sure to lock up before bedtime.

#9) Re-think Your Lighting

Incandescent bulbs waste about 90% of their energy just in the heat that they emit. By switching to an LED bulb, you’ll not only be doing the environment and your energy bill a favor, but you’ll also save yourself some added (and totally unnecessary) heat.

IF ALL ELSE FAILS…

#10) Cool Down With A Hot Drink

Ditch the ice cream for a cup of hot tea. Yes, drinking a warm beverage on a hot day, helps your body temperature stay down. Hot drinks lower your body heat storage by making you sweat more. Ice, on the other hand, causes your body temperature to rise. Sounds like a crazy idea, but a billion Indians can’t be wrong. They drink hot tea in hot weather.

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Traversing Insurance Settlement Checks with Your Mortgage Company: It’s No Easy Feat!

Insurance Settlement Success

If you have a mortgage on your home or business, and you experience major damage or even a total loss, your settlement claim payment checks from your insurance provider will be made payable jointly to BOTH you and your mortgage company. The reason for this is because your mortgage lender has a financial interest in the equity in your property. While this may not seem like a problem initially, dealing with a mortgage company through the insurance claim check processing, including cashing checks with multiple payees is anything but simple.

Insurance Claim Checks with Multiple Payees

When you and your spouse are both on the insurance policy and you have a mortgage on your home, your insurance provider will issue your building settlement claim check payable to you, your spouse, and your mortgage company. In worst case scenarios, they will also include the name of your restoration contractor too.

The key is whether the word “and” or “or” appears between each person’s name. In most cases, “and” means that everybody named on the check must sign, while “or” allows only one of the payees to sign. Checks made payable to multiple parties using “and” require a signature by EVERYONE listed on the payee line, including your mortgage company.

For a significant loss amount, typically over $10,000, your mortgage company will not simply endorse the check over to you. In fact, they will require you and your spouse to endorse the check over to them. And, they almost always hold the insurance claim payment funds in their own account, releasing funds in usually three or more draws based on work completed in stages. This is their way of making sure you use the funds to restore the property you used as collateral for your loan with them. If you cashed the insurance check and did not rebuild, then the mortgage company might no longer have the same amount of equity to insure your loan with them.

This means that before you can begin to rebuild your property, you must first traverse the complex process of dealing with your mortgage lender in order to get them to release your insurance proceeds. This is why early in the insurance claim process you should contact your mortgage company and find out their particular rules for negotiating an insurance claim check. Every mortgage company has their own set of rules!

What if my contractor will not agree to rebuild my home or business before getting paid? This is part of what makes dealing with insurance claims that involve a mortgage a complex and prolonged process. Many contractors are not able or willing to finance the repairs or rebuild, and require money for materials and their labor upfront. Most reputable contractors are not paid in full in advance of their work. Fortunately, many, especially new construction contractors are accustomed to being paid a deposit upfront, and then periodic draws as work is completed, with the remainder due upon all work completion.

While most mortgage companies understand this, their involvement in the process can slow the process down considerably by many months.  In addition to holding the funds, they will often send their own inspector to your property to make sure the work is being done. The mortgage company will also require their own forms and documents to be completed.

It should be noted that insurance companies are regulated by the state, and mortgage companies are federally regulated. They each have their own financial interests with their own set of rules and procedures that you now have to follow in order to get your property rebuilt and restored.

Useful Tips to Protect Your Interest

  • The loan documents you signed with your mortgage company include specific terms about the insurance claim process in the event of a loss occurrence. You will want to have a copy of these documents as well as your complete homeowner 30-page insurance policy on hand so you understand your rights.
  • In the event the insurance claim settlement funds exceed the amount of repairs, you will need to ask the mortgage company to release the remaining funds to YOU. They typically won’t do this on their own.
  • If the process for restoration takes years, you may be able to ask the mortgage company to pay you interest on the insurance proceeds they are holding. This is an uphill battle as often the mortgage company has excluded their requirement to pay you interest or earnings on the proceeds in their original loan documents with you. However, it is possible to prove your entitlement to the interest over theirs with a fight.
  • While bringing in yet another party to an already crowded situation is not appealing to some people; most people need some type of assistance traversing these complex processes since they have no experience in these matters. A licensed public adjuster can help you with make sense of all of the paperwork and requirements of the insurance provider as well as the mortgage company. The public adjuster is the ONLY party in a complex claims settlement process that will guide you through these complexities and represent YOU!

If you have a property damage insurance claim and want someone working for you, and only for you, call Florida-based Steven Venook at Advocate Claims Public Adjusters at 954-369-0573 or Contact Us.

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Pembroke Pines Water Damage Insurance Claim Now Water Under the Bridge

A Testimonial for Public Adjuster Insurance Settlement Resolution

Pipe Burst Insurance Claim Pembroke Pines

Water damage is the second leading cause of property damage insurance claims in South Florida resulting from plumbing failures. Plumbing and pipe failures account for a high percentage of all homeowner insurance claims.

Mr. William Wing and his wife of Pembroke Pines in Broward County, Florida are among thousands of South Floridians who have experienced water damage to their home this year.

In June 2016, the Wing’s home suffered extensive damage to their kitchen when a pipe in the interior wall under their kitchen sink ruptured and flooded their entire kitchen over the course of several hours before notice. The kitchen plumbing, interior wall and all of the lower cabinets suffered severe water damage. The Wings first called a water meditation contractor who spent less than an hour in their home, sucking out the standing water and drying the kitchen floor and cabinets with fans, before submitting a bill for $4,200 to the Wing’s insurance company.

Mr. Wing went to his local hardware store where he discovered he would not only need to replace the lower bloated and damaged cabinets but the upper cabinets as well in order to match them properly. In addition, he learned that when granite countertops are removed, 90% of the time they break and he would in all likelihood need to replace all of his cabinets as well as the granite countertops throughout the kitchen. Mr. Wing was given an estimate of $20,000 to completely restore his kitchen.

Mr. Wing initially handled his insurance claim with his insurance provider himself. He was given a small unsatisfactory settlement check for only $6,710.95 after a $2,500 deductible, an amount that only covered the remediation contractor’s bill with nothing left over for the work he needed done to restore his property.

Mr. Wing was referred to Steven David Venook of Advocate Claims Public Adjusters by a personal friend who had previously referred two other friends, all of whom were very satisfied with this public insurance adjuster’s service. Steven Venook, a licensed public adjuster in South Florida for nearly two decades, was able to step in and negotiate with the Wing’s insurance provider and substantiated the total property damage to the Wing’s kitchen leading to a total settlement of $20,513, more than doubling the insurance company’s original settlement amount.

Mr. Wing added, “Steven was very professional and thorough. He knew down to the paper clip what things cost, and was well versed in the entire insurance claim process. More importantly, it was obvious in the correspondence between Steven and my insurance company that they respected him and were responsive to him immediately, where they had basically just been blowing me off.”

As a result of bringing in Steven Venook, the Wings were able to replace their damaged cabinets, lowers and uppers, as well as countertops, repair their plumbing and interior wall, and restore their kitchen and home back to its original state.

“I would advise others who experience water damage or any damage to their home for that matter, to call Steven first. When he says he’s going to do something, he does. If he tells you he’ll call you tomorrow, he calls tomorrow. I was surprised at the ease and speed of the negotiations once Steven got involved with my insurance company,” Mr. Wing concluded. “It will save you time and money, and help you receive a fair settlement that covers all of your repairs.”

While the Wing’s water damage is now water under the bridge, statistics tell us a high percentage of homeowners will suffer the same loss occurrence in the future. With those odds, this is an important testimonial to share in advance of a burst pipe so you know who you can turn to for real help in an emergency.

If you experience water damage or another form of property damage and need representation in dealing with your insurance provider, call Florida-based Steven Venook at Advocate Claims Public Adjusters at 954-369-0573 or Contact Us.

A SPECIAL THANKS:

ACPA would like to extend a special thanks to Mr. William Wing and his wife for allowing us to share their story with you.

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Safety Tips to Protect Your Pets This Holiday Season

Safety Tips to Protect Your Pets This Holiday Season

From Advocate Claims Public Adjusters and Our Pooches!

As we move into the full swing of the 2017 Holiday Season, remember to protect your pets from holiday hazards. With Christmas trees and candles, turkey legs, chocolate and many family and friends coming and going, this time of year can be particularly dangerous for your dogs and cats.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters is happy to bring you these five tips to keep your pets safe this year, and next!

#1 – Anchor Your Christmas Tree

Dogs and cats have been known to knock over a Christmas tree, or ten. Cats especially love to climb them, and dogs love to snuggle under them. If you have pets, be sure to securely anchor your Christmas tree to prevent it from falling over.

#2 – Use Your Fireplace Screen

While most dogs and cats are smart enough to avoid the fireplace, at least when it’s aflame, always use your screen to create a barrier between open flames and your loved ones.

#3 – Place Candles Away From Favorite Climbing Spots

Pets, especially climbing cats, can knock over burning candles. Be sure to place your candles away from your pets, and their favorite countertops they’re not supposed to be on!

#4 – Be Careful with your Holiday Eats

While your dogs may want chocolate, it can make them incredibly sick and even cause death. Be careful with candy bowl placement containing chocolates and be sure to remind your guests that your pooches can’t have any. Keep an eye on guests who insist on feeding your dogs scraps. Turkey bones and other holiday favorites can be deadly to our dogs.

#5 – Keep an Eye on Your Pets When Guests are Present

While spending time with family and friends is a holiday tradition for most, the change in routine can be wonderful or upsetting to our pets. Be sure to keep an eye on your pets when guest are in “their” home. Energized children and holiday stress can cause anxiety. While cats will often leave the room on their own, make a point to put your dogs out of harms way when there is elevated noise. This protects your guests and pets alike.

Keep your pets safe this holiday season!
Happy Holidays from Advocate Claims Public Adjusters!

Steven David Venook of Advocate Claims Public Adjusters provides policyholder representation to homeowners who experience property damage to their homes and businesses. If you experience a loss occurrence to your property this holiday season in Palm Beach County, Wellington, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami or any surrounding areas, please call Steven Venook at Advocate Claims Public Adjusters at 954-369-0573 or email svenook@advocateclaims.com.

We’ll provide you with a free consultation and no fees if no recovery!

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Prevent Home Vandalism in Pembroke Pines this Halloween

Public Adjuster Tips to Protect Your Property.

vandalism-insurance-claims

Testimonial from a neighbor in Pembroke Pines

“Steven was very professional and thorough. He knew down to the paper clip what things cost, and was well versed in the entire insurance claim process. More importantly, it was obvious in the correspondence between Steven and my insurance company, that they respected him and were responsive to him immediately, where they had basically just been blowing me off.”

“I would advise others who experience water damage or any damage to their home for that matter, to call Steven first. When he says he’s going to do something, he does. If he tells you he’ll call you tomorrow, he calls tomorrow. I was surprised at the ease and speed of the negotiations once Steven got involved with my insurance company. It will save you time and money, and help you receive a fair settlement that covers all of your repairs.”

Remember This October 31st

The Pembroke Pines area is a wonderful family neighborhood with an estimated 159,922 residents who host an annual Pumpkin Patch, Halloween party, costume contest and some of the best trick-or-treating in South Florida this time each year. While the accolades are well-deserved, Pembroke Pines residents need to remain diligent to prevent vandalism-theft-fire occurrences as many people from outside the area come to visit.

Pembroke Pines residents experienced 3,618 property crimes in 2015. While the crime rate dropped for the area from the year prior, Halloween often brings as many tricks as treats in property vandalism and theft. Vandalism occurrences range from egging, toilet papering, mailbox smashing, and window breaking, to graffiti, serious property damage, theft and burglaries.

South Florida-based Advocate Claims Public Adjusters is suggesting the following five tips to keep you and your property safe this Halloween, before, during and after the festivities.

1. Lock Up

With hundreds of costumed characters visiting your neighborhood, be sure your home’s windows and doors are locked up tight. This is the number one deterrent to burglars. They often brag about entry through unlocked doors and windows. If you have a security alarm, use it!

2. Lights On

Most crimes are committed under the guise of darkness. Whether you participate in the festivities or not, make sure your home and property is well-lit, inside and out!

3. To the Curb

Many residents now hand out candy from the end of their driveways. This is the perfect way to participate without incurring liabilities from heavy traffic on your property. If you do hand out candy from your front door, make sure there is a clear path to prevent slip and falls.

4. Confine Your Pets

Keep your pets inside and away from visitors to protect you, your pets and your guests. Crazy costumes and kids with sugar-highs can energize some dogs and make them edgy. Remove them from the equation to ensure their safety. An inside dog also increases your home’s security, regardless of his or her size.

5. Avoid Open Flames

While Jack-O-Lanterns, candles and luminaries go hand in hand with Halloween, they also create a liability. Use light sticks and batteries whenever possible. Check your fire extinguisher and home smoke alarm to make sure they are working properly. If you’re using open flames, make sure they are safely out of trick-or-treat traffic. Take caution to properly extinguish all flames safely before turning in to prevent fire hazards to your property.

Most homeowner insurance policy should cover acts of vandalism, losses from theft and burglaries as well as fire damage. If you want to be sure, reach out for a free policy review and consultation.

In the event you experience vandalism, theft or fire to your property this Halloween, call Steven Venook at Advocate Claims Public Adjusters at 954-369-0573.

“I’ll provide you with a free consultation and help you determine whether or not filing an insurance claim is in your best interest, and help you manage your insurance claim to properly restore your property.” – Steven David Venook

Serving Pembroke Pines and Broward County

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Hurricane Matthew: Water Damage vs. Flood Damage

Hurricane Matthew: Flood Damage vs Water Damage

As Hurricane Matthew made his way up the coast, he brought heavy rain’s and storm surge to the Daytona Beach, Saint Augustine and Jacksonville areas of Florida.

When powerful winds knock down a tree that tears a hole in your roof, and water pours into your home, you have suffered water damage. When heavy rains cause flooding in the streets that seeps into your property and your neighbor’s property, you have suffered flood damage. While these two types of insurance claims both involve water, they are covered under different provisions in your policy and even handled by different agencies.

Florida policyholders need to be aware of the difference between water damage and flood damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.  

Water Damage Defined

A high percentage of policyholders face water damage to their home or business, typically caused by ruptured or burst pipes. Other common causes for water damage include overflowing bathtubs, broken toilets, water main breaks, faulty washing machine or dishwater hoses.

Water damage occurrences like these are covered under your homeowner or commercial insurance policy and are handled direct with your insurance carrier.

Flood Damage Defined

Flood damage occurrences are covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, known as FEMA. Flood damage is defined by FEMA as a general or temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres and two or more properties of normally dry land.

Flood damage is caused by the following conditions:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
  • Collapse of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above

Flood insurance must be obtained through the National Flood Insurance Program. In the event of flood damage, an insurance claim will have to be filed with FEMA, not your homeowner or commercial insurance carrier. And, in the event of severe damage from hurricane winds and flooding, you will have to file two separate insurance claims, one with your homeowner or commercial insurance carrier, and the other with FEMA!

Seek Peace of Mind from a Public Adjuster and Stay Dry!

The insurance claims process is painstaking at best. In the aftermath of a hurricane like Matthew, the process is even more stressful and drawn out as insurance companies are inundated with claims, and their resources are spread thin.

If this storm has impacted you, and you have experienced any kind of damage to your home or property from water or flooding, you may want to call Advocate Claims Public Adjusters to help you traverse the complex insurance claims process with your insurance carrier.

Steven Venook of Advocate Claims Public Adjusters has depth of experience in water and flood damage as well as hurricane damage. As a public adjuster and advocate for the policyholder, Venook has the patience and attention to detail it takes to get you a fair settlement to restore your home or property, no matter how long it takes. As a resident of South Florida, Venook has also faired his share of hurricanes and can provide you the support you need to help you piece your life back together.

Before or after a disaster, water or flood damage, if Hurricane Matthews impacts your home or business, contact Florida-based Public Adjuster, Steven Venook at Advocate Claims Public Adjusters, at 954-369-0573 or Jacksonville 904-853-7784.

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Hurricane Matthew Preparations for Commercial Property Owners and Managers

Hurricane Matthew

Our businesses and commercial properties are the very core of our economic stability and community. With Hurricane Matthew, a serious Category 4 hurricane, heading toward Florida’s coast, property owners and managers of commercial properties not only have to keep themselves and their own homes protected, but they have to take on the stress of protecting and potentially restoring their businesses.

The following steps are some of the most important for securing commercial properties:

CRE Disaster Recovery Planning

  1. Review your policy with your insurance provider so you are clear on what will or will not be covered. Look specifically for language regarding water damage and flood damage. These two occurrences are handled very differently under two separate insurance policies – water damage is handled by your insurance provider, and flooding is handled by FEMA!
  2. Develop a written disaster recovery plan with procedures for protecting your business – the physical property, the business contents, as well as your intellectual property.
  3. Establish communication plans for your employees and/or tenants. Employees will need to know how they’re getting paid, and when it is safe to return to work. Tenants will need to have a clear communication protocol in place to help you report and track damage to the property.
  4. Take photographs of your property ahead of the storm, and from top to bottom. In the event you have to file a claim for damage, this will help you substantiate your loss with comparisons.
  5. Gather your insurance policy and financial records together, along with the before and after photographs. All of these items will be important for you to have in your possession to support your claim.

Hurricane Matthew Commercial Insurance Claims

Many commercial real estate owners and their property managers often don’t have the time it takes to deal with a substantial commercial insurance claim, especially one as devastating as a hurricane can be. A public adjuster can save you the time and frustration by representing you in your insurance claim with your insurance carrier.

Public adjusters are licensed insurance industry professionals that understand the claims process. They are typically paid a small percentage of the settlement on the backend, so hiring one to represent you during a loss requires no upfront investment and usually pays for itself many times over. By hiring a public adjuster to represent your and your client’s interests, you can save time and money. Property managers can stay focused on managing the property itself while the public adjuster stays focused on managing the claim.

If you are a commercial real estate owner or property manager in Florida, and you experience property damage as a result of Hurricane Matthew, call Steven David Venook of Advocate Claims Public Adjusters. Venook has extensive experience dealing with hurricane damage to commercial properties in Broward, Miami and Palm Beach counties over the past 20 years.

DOWNLOAD THE HURRICANE MATTHEW CHECKLIST PDF

If you don’t have the time to pursue a fair settlement to restore your commercial property damage from Hurricane Matthew, contact Steven Venook at Advocate Claims Public Adjusters at 954-369-0573.

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Hurricane Matthew Storms Toward Florida Public Adjuster Help for South Floridians

Hurricane Matthew

Image: NOAA

Hurricane Matthew, now a Category 4 hurricane, made landfall in Haiti, grew stronger and is predicted to hit Florida later this week. Florida and other Eastern coastal states are preparing for the impact of this dangerous storm and the property damage and loss heavy rains and winds of 140 mph can potentially cause to homes and properties throughout.

The biggest concern every policyholder is facing right now is whether or not their insurance provider will fulfill their promise of coverage if they experience damage from Hurricane Matthew. While you paid your premiums on time, every month, for every year, it is still highly probable that you will end up in a drawn out battle with your insurance carrier to get a fair settlement to cover your property damage.    

During a major hurricane, insurance companies are inundated with claims for property damage. Their resources will be spread thin and the claims process will be even longer than usual due to high volumes.

You can level the playing field by hiring a licensed and reputable public adjuster to stand by your side and help you through the insurance claims process.

Public Adjuster Defined

  • A public adjuster serves as the advocate for the policyholder – before, during and after a time of loss – unlike other adjusters who works directly for the insurance carrier and their interests.
  • Public adjusters obtain a license by the Florida Department of Insurance proving they have the authority to represent the policyholder’s interest. And, they are required to participate in 24 hours of continuing education every two years to maintain that license.
  • Public adjusters carry a $50,000 surety bond

Public Adjuster’s Role 

The public adjuster’s role is to:

  • Inspect and value the property damage
  • Read and interpret the 30-page policy to determine actual coverages
  • Advise the policyholder on their best course of action
  • Document and build the insurance claim
  • Submit and manage the claim with the insurance company; and
  • Obtain a fair financial settlement for the policyholder

South Florida’s Public Adjuster 

Steven David Venook of Advocate Claims Public Adjusters has been serving policyholders of Broward, Miami and Palm Beach counties for nearly two decades. Venook has depth of experience dealing with hurricane damage to homes and commercial properties. He’s worked with many snow birds to restore their winter homes, as well as local homeowners, property owners, property managers, commercial property investors and more.

If you want a good settlement from hurricane loss, it takes patience. Don’t take on the insurance carrier on your own. If you experience property damage from Hurricane Matthew, contact Steven Venook at Advocate Claims Public Adjusters at 954-369-0573. Make sure you have a licensed public adjuster with the industry knowledge and expertise in your corner!

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Mold Damage Insurance Claim: 4 Reasons Why You Should Use a Public Adjuster

Mold Damage Insurance Claims

If you have an issue with mold in your home, it is vital to get a professional working on your side. A public adjuster can negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that you are fully compensated. A few of the reasons it’s better to have a public adjuster on your side for mold damage insurance claims:

1. A public adjuster can help you understand your policy.

By examining the declarations page of your home insurance policy, the adjuster can make it easier for you to understand what is covered and what is not. It’s often a good idea to go over the policy before you have an issue so that you are sure that you have adequate coverage.

2. It’s important to work quickly with mold damage insurance claims.

The longer you wait, the more severe a mold problem can become. After a water incursion into your home, you have about 48 hours before mold begins to grow. Once it is established, it can be difficult to get rid of. And, even if you do not have toxic black mold, the mold in your home can cause health difficulties for children, the elderly, people who are allergic and people with respiratory problems. A public adjuster can get your claim through more quickly so that the mold issues can be handled right away.

3. A public adjuster can assure that you have all the necessary evidence to back your claim.

To bolster your claim, you will need photos or videos and an inventory of all damaged property. By thoroughly documenting without exaggerating or guessing about damage, you can submit a claim that is more likely to be taken seriously by your insurer.

4. A public adjuster can advise you on what to do, and not do, after a mold problem is discovered.

A public adjuster will know what you should fix right away, what steps you should take to prevent further damage and what repairs you should not make immediately. Doing the wrong things before your claim goes through can mean losing compensation that you would otherwise be entitled to.

Public adjusters have the interests of the policy holder at heart. They have the skills and experience to assure that you get compensation and be made whole. By bringing in a public adjuster on your side, you can recover more quickly and get your property back to rights.

Call Advocate Claims Public Adjusters today at 954-369-0573 or contact us online.

We serve home and business owners throughout South Florida, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Wellington, Hollywood, Delray Beach and the surrounding areas.

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Replacement Cost: 4 Tips for Determining Adequate Insurance Coverage

Insurance Replacement CostAdequate coverage and knowledge of what your possessions and your home are worth is essential. If you are the victim of a severe storm, a fire, a robbery or another incident that leads to the loss of your property, you need to make sure that you have enough coverage to make sure that you are made whole in the event of an insurance claim. Are you sure that you are carrying enough insurance? A few tips for determining replacement cost to ensure you are well-covered:

1. Understand the difference between market price and replacement cost.

The market value of your home is based on what a buyer would pay. This includes not just the structure, but also the land the home is on. Your replacement price for your home is a separate figure from the purchase price or what you still owe on the mortgage.

2. When buying, get a replacement cost estimate.

When you are buying a home, ask the appraiser if a replacement cost is available. If you were unable to get that figure, talk to a local builder or a building association member. These are people who should be able to make an estimate of the cost. Your insurance company may also be able to supply an appraisal.

3. For possessions, do a home inventory.

Over the years, we tend to accumulate more and more belongings. Your home insurance policy will typically cover personal contents at up to 50% of the value of the home. So, if you have a home insured for $250,000, you have $125,000 in coverage for personal belongings.

Don’t just think of big ticket items. Smaller purchases like utensils, small appliances, sheets and towels can add up. Make a spreadsheet of all of these items.

4. Take photos to go with the descriptions.

Your photos can help you prove the value of your possessions if you ever need to make a claim. When possible, take photos of receipts, price tags and serial numbers on items like electronics. The more data you can provide, the better you can support your claim.

5. Look up replacement values.

In many cases, the exact model or style you purchased in the past might not be available. Your replacement value can be based on what it would cost to buy a suitable replacement. For instance, a particular sheet pattern may go out of print, but the manufacturer will still make 400 count all-cotton sheets.

Many people underestimate how much it would cost to replace their home if it was destroyed or to replace the items inside if they are lost, stolen or damaged. Detailed records and careful counting of all property now can save you headaches later on if you ever need to make a claim against your insurance. By periodically going over what you own, you can ensure that you have the right amount of coverage to take you through any storm.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters are licensed, BBB accredited public adjusters in South Florida.If you have any questions about filing a flood insurance claim or assessing your current homeowner’s insurance policy, call Steven Venook at Advocate Claims’ main office in Coconut Creek at 954-369-0573.

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