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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Best Hurricane Preparedness Tip: Protect your Windows

Each year as hurricane season approaches, homeowners in Florida get their homes ready for the worst, while public adjusters in South Florida prepare to step into action in the event a tragedy hits home – literally. As a Florida homeowner, there is a 99% chance that you have searched online for hurricane preparedness tips that include bringing all lose debris indoors or into the garage, making sure that you have plenty of flashlights, and stocking up on bottled water and canned foods. However, the very best hurricane preparedness tip is the one that will safeguard your home from other major damage – protecting your windows.

Hurricane Isaac

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters have extensive experience handling residential and commercial hurricane damage insurance claims. On top of making sure that you are fully equipped to file a property insurance claim, our public adjusters in South Florida know that protecting your windows is the best hurricane preparedness tip for home and business owners.

Why is it so important? Once a window is broken, the wind blows glass and debris inside, causing damage to the inside of your home. Once a window breaks, it also sends high mph winds swarming in your home, which is enough to put upward pressure on the roof and send it flying. After your roof has been torn off, the walls do not have as strong of a foundation and can collapse, thus leaving your home or commercial property destroyed.

Invest in window and door hurricane shutters. You may see some homeowners taping their windows; however, tape won’t do anything other than help try to keep the glass from flying into your home if it is hit. The South Florida public adjusters at Advocate Claims suggest that you invest in hurricane shutters. While they can be costly, they are mandatory for most Florida homeowner’s insurance policies. On the bright side, you can use them as a tax write-off, and in the event that you have to file a hurricane damage insurance claim, not having them cannot be used against you.

Advocate Claims is an A-rated, BBB accredited public adjusting agency in South Florida that offers no recovery-no fee services and no obligation consultations. Contact us today to go over your homeowner’s insurance policy, and to familiarize yourself on how to file a hurricane damage claim.


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The Right to Repair Struggle

independent contractor - right to repair

According to insurance policies, the general rule is that when an insurer elects to repair their damaged property, their insurance policy contract unknowingly gets changed to a repair contract. The important fine print to understand is that this repair contract has no limit of liability, but insurance companies rarely follow the terms in the agreement.

So, why is the right to repair only good if insurance companies send out their contractor but not from independent contractors? – Because the insurance company likely has a contract with the contractors, so that they receive a portion of the profit.

So, what happens? How is the right to repair such a struggle? – When you call your insurance company to file a homeowners or commercial property insurance claim, a public adjuster that is contracted with your insurance company is sent to the site to assess the damage, they then find bids from contractors whom have been used by the insurance company before, and then they strongly suggest them to the home or business owner.  Issues often arise when the insurance company recommends a contractor that is inexpensive and does not get the job done right or on time.

The right to repair is a struggle that public adjusters in South Florida are no stranger to. Your home or business suffers damage and immediately you call your insurance company to file a claim and get your home repaired as soon as possible. However, shouldn’t you be able to choose who completes the work? What if you already know of a family friend or reputable contractor that you want to use? Unfortunately, if you do not agree to use the contractors that are contracted by your insurance company, you may face a struggle when filing your claim.

The right to repair is what the public adjusters at Advocate Claims fight for when they take on a residential or commercial property claim. Regardless of whether you have already filed a claim and are dissatisfied with what the insurance company’s contracted adjuster is telling you, or you have recently suffered a loss and would like professional assistance outside of your insurance company, contact Steven Venook at Advocate Claims Public Adjusters and fight for the right to repair your property the way you want to.

Advocate Claims is an A-rated, BBB accredited public adjusting agency in South Florida that offers No Recovery-No Fee services and No Obligation Consultations. Contact us today for more information on your right to repair and how to make the insurance claim process streamlined.

13 Year BBB Accredited

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What Sets Advocate Claims Public Adjusters Apart from the Rest?


In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 315,300 licensed public adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators in the United States, with roughly 800 practicing public adjusters in the State of Florida. When it comes to understanding what sets Advocate Claims Public Adjusters apart from the rest, it is important to know about the necessary skills every licensed public adjuster should have.


1. A licensed public adjuster must have analytical and mathematical skills in order to evaluate whether the insurance company is obligated to pay a claim and calculate the amount that they should have to pay.

2. Since your public adjuster must collect a variety of information from different sources, they need to be able to communicate effectively with each respective outlet.

3. The key to getting the most out of your homeowner’s or commercial property insurance claim is by not skimping on the details. A professional public adjuster in South Florida should be extremely detail oriented because some of the minor details can be costly.

4. Perhaps the most important skill that a public adjuster must possess is people skills. Public adjusters are, more often than not, dealing with upset homeowners, commercial property owners, and managers. Great interpersonal skills are what give public adjusters a good name and a good stance in the community.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters recently celebrated their 13th year in business. Steven Venook and the team at Advocate Claims know how important it is to keep the policyholder happy with the outcome of their insurance claim. Advocate Claims is an A+ rated, BBB accredited public adjusting agency in South Florida that offers no recovery-no fee services and no obligation consultations. Our public adjusters are set apart from the rest by our commitment to quality service and fighting as hard as possible to get you the highest possible insurance claim return.

Advocate Claims specializes in large luxury properties and condominium associations, and handles both residential and commercial property insurance claims. Our services cover the majority of South Florida, including Weston, Boca Raton, Miramar, Parkland, Lighthouse Point, and all the way south to Plantation, Florida.

Regardless of whether you currently need to file a residential or commercial property insurance claim, or simply need assistance understanding your coverage, Advocate Claims Public Adjuster is happy to help! Contact us today or visit our blog for detailed information on how to handle all forms of commercial and residential property claims.


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Insurance Claims for Commercial Hurricane Damage

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters have years of experience handling commercial property insurance claims for hurricane damage in the state of Florida. Hurricane season begins next month and will continue through November 30th. Is your commercial property adequately insured? Licensed public adjusters in South Florida recommend that you review your commercial property insurance to make sure that you have the proper coverage in the event that this hurricane season takes a toll on your business or commercial property.


When purchasing insurance coverage to protect against hurricane damage, make sure that it covers roof damage, lost and damaged siding, broken windows, door failure and loss, projectile damage, moisture damage, and flooding. After you have received coverage, it is important to understand that when filing an insurance claim for commercial hurricane damage, insurance companies may try to find loopholes, exclusions, and stipulations to delay, reduce, or deny your commercial property insurance claim. Advocate Claims Public Adjusters work for the commercial policyholder in order to make sure that you receive rightful compensation.

If you live along the coastal regions of South Florida, like Lighthouse Point, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, or Palm Beach, Steven Venook at Advocate Claims can review your current policy and the steps to filing a commercial hurricane damage insurance claim. Advocate Claims is an A+ rated, BBB accredited public adjusting agency in South Florida that offers no recovery-no fee services and no obligation consultations.

Contact us today for help with filing your commercial property insurance claim, or to review your current policy and prepare for the 2016 hurricane season.


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Filing a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim for Kitchen Damage

As a homeowner, it is important to know where issues primarily arise in a home so that you can take measures to avoid them. Public adjusters in Parkland, Florida know that most Florida homeowners are concerned about hurricane damage since it is relatively unpredictable each year. Along with hurricanes, Florida homeowners worry about flooding from the year-round rains.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters in Parkland want Florida residents to know the source of the majority of flooding insurance claims – kitchen damage. Yes, you may be worried about hurricanes and heavy rain, but have you had your kitchen appliances routinely checked to make sure that they do not break? You should, especially because the kitchen is the most expensive room in your home.


According to a study conducted by Roto-Rooter, only eight percent of residential flooding homeowner’s insurance claims are caused by weather, 30% are caused by appliance failure, and 62% are caused by plumbing issues. Licensed public adjusters in Parkland, Florida recommend that you schedule routine maintenance for your dishwasher, refrigerator, garbage disposal, and have all kitchen plumbing checked in order to prevent having to file a homeowner’s insurance claim for kitchen damage.

– Dishwasher hoses and lines can leak or blow out during the middle of a wash cycle, causing kitchen flooding. Public adjusters suggest checking your dishwasher’s warranty and using it to your advantage when it comes to routine maintenance and replacing any hoses and lines.

– Kitchen pipes should be checked once a year in order to make sure that there are no leaks and they are not on the verge of bursting. A pipe burst can lose several gallons of water per minute, making it very easy to flood your home. Although pipe bursts are more common in colder states where they freeze, Florida homeowners should still have them checked on occasion for age, corrosion, and backup.

– Refrigerator ice boxes or any mechanical ice machine in your home may malfunction and flood. Since your refrigerator should come with a warranty, read the fine print and see if it includes any maintenance. If not, use the manual for steps on how to properly clean your refrigerator. If your ice machine is jammed or not functioning properly, be sure to call the manufacturer to send someone out to replace it before it leaks and causes kitchen damage to your floor.

– Garbage disposals become clogged very easily, and when connected to your kitchen sink can cause water to overflow out of each. Make sure that everyone in your household is being cautious with the items that they place in that side of the sink, and be sure to empty and clean the container portion found underneath the sink in order to keep it clean and free from debris.

When it comes to taking care of home damage, don’t get your insurance claim information from your plumber – call an expert.

Advocate Claims is an A+ rated, BBB accredited public adjusting agency in South Florida that offers no recovery-no fee services and no obligation consultations. Contact us today for more information on how to properly handle a residential flooding insurance claim from kitchen damage.


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What Causes Water Damage Insurance Claims?

Did you know that the majority of insurance claims come from water damage?

Water damage can be a costly repair for homeowners, so knowing the prime sources of water damage in a home is the key to taking measures in order to prevent having to file a water damage insurance claim. Advocate Claims Public Adjusters in Coconut Creek are licensed and insured to handle all of your homeowner’s insurance claim needs. Our public adjusters cannot only help you file a water damage insurance claim if necessary, but also provide a list of the prime sources of water damage in a home so that you can work on securing the areas/appliances in order to prevent water damage as much as possible.

Pipe Burst Water Damage

1. Air Conditioning: Moisture can accumulate in air conditioners, causing moisture pools in the ducts; this results in costly water damage to floors and walls.

2. Pipes: Much like air conditioning ducts, water pipes run throughout your home, so making sure that they are never backed up, clogged, or out-of-date is the key to preventing water damage. Licensed public adjusters in Coconut Creek recommend that you make sure that your water pipes are up to current safety codes. Code updates are not typically covered in insurance claims, so in the unfortunate event that you have to file a water damage insurance claim, your insurance company may not pay for the cost of repairs that includes updating water pipes to code. **specify which pipes

3. Washing Machine: If your washing machine seems to have even the slightest leak, make sure to get it checked out by a professional. A pinhole leak in a washing machine can result in a flood and a water damage insurance claim. Check your manufacturer’s packet and warranty to see what your options are.

4. Dishwasher: If you have ever turned on your dishwasher and noticed that it is leaking, just like your washing machine, you will want to check your warranty and have a professional sent out to fix whatever the issue is. Typically, a dishwasher leak causes water damage due to the supply or discharge line leaking. Set up a routine inspection of the connections and hoses in order to save yourself from having to file a water damage insurance claim.

Other prime sources of water damage in a home are: blocked sink drains, gutters, refrigerators and ice makers, water heaters, toilets, plumbing, and heating systems. Advocate Claims recommends having all appliances checked at least once a year in order to make sure that their connections are clean and their hoses or pipes are not blocked. Regardless of the source of water damage in your home, if you have to file a water damage insurance claim, Advocate Claims is an A+ rated, BBB accredited public adjusting agency in South Florida that offers no recovery-no fee services and no obligation consultations. Contact us today for more information on how to properly handle a water damage insurance claim.


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Commercial Fires: Fire Damage Insurance Claim Tips

In the unfortunate event that a fire causes damage to your business, the very first thing you should do is contact a public adjuster in Coral Springs, Florida before you contact your insurance company to report the claim. If you are a property manager, notifying a reputable, licensed public adjuster in your area will allow you to efficiently file an insurance claim for commercial fire damages.

Florida Insurance Claim

As a property manager, streamlining the claim’s process and returning your business property to normalcy as soon as possible is extremely important. So, the following are some fire damage insurance claim tips from Advocate Claims Public Adjusters in Coral Springs:

  • Contact a licensed public adjuster immediately so they can review your commercial property insurance policy to see when you have to file a commercial fire claim by.
  • Include the following in your fire damage insurance claim: date of loss, type of loss or damage, location of damage, any injuries, others involved, detailed descriptions of all damaged items, temporary repairs that needed to be made, a police/fire report, photos and video of all damages, and repair/replacement estimates.
  • Save all receipts for outsourced help and business downtime calculations so that you can also include it in your commercial fire claim.
  • Prepare your business’ books and records for interruption coverage (if you have it).
  • Remain in contact with your Coral Springs public adjuster while they handle filing your fire damage insurance claim for you.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters know that commercial fires happen for all sorts of reasons, and making sure that they are covered by your commercial property insurance policy is important. Whether you simply need someone to look over your current policy with you, or you need to file a commercial fire insurance claim, our licensed public adjusters in Coral Springs can help! Advocate Claims is an A-rated, BBB accredited public adjusting agency in South Florida that offers No Recovery-No Fee services and No Obligation Consultations. Call us at 954-369-0573 today for more information on how to handle commercial property insurance claims.


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