What Kinds of Flooring Have High Cancer Rates? Are They in Your Home?

In February, Bloomberg addressed the statement made by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention against Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc.; the first of the two mentioned claimed that Lumber Liquidators’ flooring was tested for formaldehyde and found to have three times the risk of causing cancer than previously reported. According to the statement, U.S. regulators reversed their findings due to miscalculations like using incorrect ceiling heights, which lowered the amount by about three times the airborne concentration.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters in South Florida are licensed, A-rated BBB accredited public adjusters who put the policy holder first, and were shocked to find out that the estimated risk of tumors is six cases to 30 cases per 100,000 people. According to the previous report, only two to nine cases per 100,000 people had risk of tumors.

Formaldehyde is a naturally-occurring, colorless, flammable chemical that is commonly used to make certain building material and household products. However, it is toxic to animals and harmful to humans, especially if they have asthma or bronchitis. The South Florida public adjusters at Advocate Claims recommend replacing the wood in your home if you purchased it from Lumber Liquidators, as well as laminate flooring from the company in California, as it has been found to have amounts of formaldehyde that is above regulations.

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In order to keep home and business owners safe, Steven Venook at Advocate Claims has the following information regarding the kinds of flooring that have high cancer rates:

– Laminate flooring – Regardless of where your laminate flooring is from, you should make sure you research the brand and check the CDC website for information on its formaldehyde percentage.

– Cabinets, furniture, and curtains – These also contain formaldehyde, so depending on how much you have in your home, it is best to stay away from laminate flooring that would only increase the concentration.

– Wood flooring – A great deal of wood flooring contains formaldehyde; you should find one with a rating classification of EO, which is based on measuring 0.5mg per liter and below.

For more information or questions regarding flooring and how to check classifications, feel free to contact us.

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Property Insurance Customer Satisfaction Rates Are Falling

For the first time in five years, consumers are not having a pleasant experience when filing a property claim. According to the new J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study, consumers’ property claims experiences have decreased in terms of settlement, first notice of loss, estimate process, service interaction, and repair process.

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Advocate Claims Public Adjusters in South Florida explain how the recent report even states that returning phone calls dropped 1% – meaning consumers are not even being called back as promised. The report also says that only 42% of studied participants reported that someone was available to assist them when they contacted their insurer.

Greg Hoeg, vice president of U.S. insurance operations at the Westlake Village, California J.D. Power, says that property insurance customer satisfaction rates are falling due to lulls and off-season claims. According to Hoeg, “During times of catastrophic events, insurance companies typically ramp up and have teams of claims professionals poised and ready to process claims locally in the affected region; however, maintaining a high level of support is not cost effective where there is a lull in large events, and especially when rates begin to fall.” Hoeg goes on to mention that this process can be detrimental to insurance companies; the less satisfied customers are during the claim process, the less likely they will renew their policy, and the less likely they will recommend that company.

In fact, 81% of consumers who are satisfied with their property insurance will definitely renew their policy; however, South Florida public adjusters have learned that the report statistics show that only 14% of consumers who have an unpleasant claim process say that they will renew, and only 7% will recommend that company.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters are licensed, A-rated BBB accredited public adjusters in South Florida. Steven Venook at Advocate Claims used to work for insurance companies before he started his own public adjusting company. Knowing how difficult the process of filing a property insurance claim can be, Steven Venook takes away the hassle and customer dissatisfaction factor out of the equation – making the process of filing a homeowner’s or commercial property insurance claim completely streamlined. Advocate Claims’ South Florida public adjusters can handle your property insurance claim with constant contact with your insurance company, ensuring that you don’t become one of the aforementioned statistics. To speak with one of our expert public adjusters, call 954-369-0573.

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What to Do When Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Is Denied

Imagine paying several hundred or even thousands of dollars on your homeowner’s insurance coverage, only to file a claim and have it denied or have the settlement delayed – leaving you with a dent in your bank account or having to obtain a loan in order to make the repairs in the meantime. According to the National Association of Insurance Commission data, 40% of homeowner’s insurance claims result in either being denied, delays in claim handling, or unsatisfactory settlement offers.

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Advocate Claims Public Adjusters are A-rated, BBB accredited Florida public adjusters who serve to bridge the gap of communication between the policy holder and the insurance company. Our Lighthouse Point public adjusters will do everything in their power to get you the best possible return on your homeowner’s or property insurance claim; however, in the event you had filed a claim and it has been denied, these following are steps you can take:

1. Hire a public adjuster and review your claim. Homeowner’s insurance claims are full of jargon that can be hard to follow; by hiring a licensed public adjuster in Lighthouse Point, they will help you understand your coverage, understand the terminology, and figure out why your claim was denied.

2. Review your policy. Again, if you do not understand your homeowner’s insurance policy, your claim may have been denied simply because of something that is outlined in your policy. Your Lighthouse Point public adjuster can review your rights with you, help you understand your policy maximums, and go over the most important aspects of your policy and the parts that pertain to your specific claim.

3. Gather details. The very best way to figure out whether or not there was a discrepancy with your claim is by letting a licensed professional handle it. Advocate Claims is a reputable Florida public adjuster with over 20 years of experience handling homeowner’s and commercial property claims. A professional public adjuster, not one that is appointed by your insurance company, can gather all of the details regarding your claim and guide you through the process of making an appeal.

4. Do not take ‘No’ for an answer. If your insurance claim is denied, get another opinion and never take ‘no’ for an answer.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters in South Florida can handle your appeal when your homeowner’s insurance claim is denied. Their public adjusters work on a No Recovery – No Fee standard and offer a No Obligation Consultation. Call our main office today at 954-369-0573.

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The 4 Most Expensive Winter Homeowner’s Insurance Claims

As extreme weather events occur more often, winter storms will cause a financial hit on homeowner’s wallets. Each year, more homeowners have to file property insurance claims from winter damage and contact public adjusters for help. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the percentage of winter-related homeowner’s insurance claims in 2014 were more than double the average for the previous 20 years.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters in Palm Beach Gardens know that Florida may not be the state to have high winter storms and damage, but since over 100,000 snowbirds make their way to Palm Beach County each year to escape the northern winter, it is important to make sure that their homes are protected from damage before they venture down south.

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The 4 most expensive winter homeowner’s insurance claims to prepare for are:

1. Frozen Pipes – Before heading to Florida for winter, public adjusters in Palm Beach Gardens recommend draining and disconnecting hoses, draining sprinkler supply lines, and insulating pipes in unheated spaces like basements, attics, and garages. Then, apply pipe sleeves or heat tapes to the most vulnerable pipes in your home. Keep your home warm enough to be safe from the freezing temperatures while you are away.

2. Hail Damage – It’s no surprise that hail can cause expensive roof damage. Since you can’t prevent hail from happening, public adjusters in Palm Beach Gardens recommend that you take measures in order to prevent damage. Inspect your roof and repair loose, broken, or missing tiles. To venture more on the safe side, you could install hail-resistant asphalt shingles.

3. Wind Damage – If you are a Florida snowbird coming from the middle of the United States, wind damage is the most common homeowner’s insurance claim filed during winter. Before heading south for winter, examine the outside of your home and make sure that nothing loose is in your yard, and trim all trees that are close to your home.

4. Snow and Ice – Sure, snow may be beautiful while it is falling gracefully, but built-up, packed on snow and ice can clog your gutters, tear down trees, and crush your roof. In order to prevent damage from ice dams, public adjusters in Palm Beach Gardens recommend minimizing snow melt on your roof.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters are A-rated, BBB accredited licensed public adjusters in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; we have heard numerous horror stories from snowbirds who have made their way to South Florida to escape the winter weather, only return to a damaged home because they did not take the necessary precautions before leaving. Use the present off-seasons to get your home prepared for the winter weather so that you can start booking your Florida travel plans – worry free!

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The Unlicensed Practice of Public Adjusting by Contractors

Has your home or commercial property suffered damages, leaving you needing to file an insurance claim? If anyone has told you to hire a contractor to handle the process for you – they are 100% wrong. A contractor cannot handle your insurance claim, nor can they help you settle it. The only people who can handle your insurance claim are you if you choose to file on your own, your insurance company, or a licensed public adjuster. If they are not licensed, they are not legally allowed to adjust or handle an insurance claim, and if they do it is considered a third degree felony.

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Advocate Claims Public Adjusters service the most prestigious neighborhoods of South Florida, including Miramar, Weston, Parkland, Lighthouse Point, and Palm Beach Gardens. Our expert licensed public adjusters have seen numerous families and business owners fall victim to the false promises offered by contractors when it comes to settling their property insurance claim.

According to a formal release by the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA), the unlicensed practice of public adjusting is a crime, and contractors are not licensed public adjusters. In their report it states the following:

“If you are acting as a public adjuster in any manner by negotiating or effecting the settlement of an insurance claim on behalf of an insured and you are performing any of these services for money, commission or anything of value without being licensed as a public adjuster, you could be subject to arrest and may be charged with a third-degree felony as provided by section 626.8738, F.S.”

According to FAPIA, there are numerous statutory requirements set forth to protect the public, all of which an unlicensed person cannot do, even though a contractor may tell you they can. Some of the requirements include:

– Complying with a strict code of ethics.

– Meeting the Department of Financial Services eligibility requirements including minimum age and citizenship.

– Study, pay for, and pass the State Public Adjuster Apprentice Exam.

– Apply and pay fee for the Public Adjuster Apprentice License.

– Apply for and purchase a $50,000 surety bond, which needs to be renewed annually.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters in Parkland, Florida are licensed and BBB accredited, lending only the absolute best services for assessing your home or commercial property damages, reviewing your insurance policy, and streamlining the process of filing a claim with your insurance company.

If you need to file a residential or commercial property insurance claim and have been contemplating hiring a contractor, contact Steven Venook at Advocate Claims and receive a no obligation consultation, as well as no recovery – no fee services that always put the policyholder first.

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Hurricanes Early in the Year are Warnings for Stronger Florida Storms Coming

The very first week of 2016 brought tornados to North Florida, and even though that is not an ideal way to start the New Year, it is not nearly as shocking as having to deal with a January hurricane.

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According to Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Texas Tech University Climate Science Center, a January hurricane could be evidence of changing ocean temperatures, and may serve as a warning for stronger Florida storms coming. Boynton Beach public adjusters recommend that these hurricane warnings should not be ignored or taken lightly by Florida homeowners, especially those who live near the coast.

Hurricane Alex formed in early January and quickly made records as being the second recorded hurricane found in the Atlantic Ocean during the month of January; the first hurricane was recorded in 1938. This year, as public adjusters and homeowners got prepared for the worst with NASA’s announcement on January 14th that Alex was officially a hurricane, the storm reached speeds of 85 mph, becoming the strongest January hurricane on record.

According to Hayhoe, Alex’s strength was unusual because tropical storms occur in warm waters, a condition not common in the North Atlantic Ocean in the middle of winter. Since warm ocean water is the main source of energy for a hurricane, the warmer the water, the more intense the hurricane. The more intense hurricanes are during the off season of winter, the more they serve as a warning for actual hurricane season, indicating intense hurricanes during those much warmer months.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters, located in Coconut Creek, Florida, have been helping families recognize hurricane warnings and prepare them with hurricane preparedness tips for staying safe and/or recovering after hurricane damage is caused on their homes or commercial property. Our Boynton Beach public adjusters also serve the areas of Weston, Parkland, Boca Raton, Coral Springs, and numerous other surrounding cities that are often impacted by the strong weather coming off the coastline.

If you would like to have your homeowner’s insurance policy reviewed to check your hurricane coverage in preparation for hurricane season, contact Steven Venook at Advocate Claims, at 954-369-0573.

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Lightning Fatalities and Lightning Protection for your Home

Central Florida has been dubbed “Lightning Alley” by meteorologists because it generates hundreds of thousands of bolts that cause billions in damages each year. In fact, Florida is the leading state in the entire country for lightning related deaths, causing nearly all residents in areas like Tampa and Titusville to implement lighting protection tactics. Lightning also attests for over $700 million in homeowner’s insurance losses each year, with Florida having the largest number of claims.

John Jensenius of the National Weather Service in Washington, D.C. has been tallying lightning death stats for over a decade and explained that, “Florida has more lightning per square mile than any other state in the country. Because thunderstorms are a part of everyday life in Central Florida, people take that danger for granted.”

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Advocate Claims Public Adjusters are licensed, BBB accredited public adjusters in South Florida. Our team of experts want all Florida homeowners to know that lightning and fire damage is covered in your standard homeowner’s insurance policy. In the event that your area is having a thunderstorm and you see lightning close by, stop any outdoor leisurely activities and keep yourself and your family safe from lighting. Then, follow these lightning protection tips for your home:

  • Systems like HLP Systems of Libertyville can equip your home with building protection. The systems will not prevent a lightning strike, but will implement techniques to prevent damage from lightning.
  • Lightning protection should start from the roof. Licensed workers will install rods that force the charge of a lightning bolt down to the ground, instead of into the home.
  • Public Adjusters in South Florida strongly recommend surge protectors to protect your electronics.
  • Lightning protection tactics can cost you anywhere from $1,800 to $2,200 for a small home and $8,000 for a large home.

In the event that your home is struck by lightning and you have not taken the necessary lightning protection measures, contact Steven Venook at Advocate Claims for a No Recovery – No Fee, No Obligation Consultation that serves you as the homeowner, not the insurance company. Our South Florida public adjusters can review your homeowner’s insurance policy and help you settle your residential property insurance claim for lightning damage. Call our main office today, at 954-369-0573.

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Hurricane Insurance Post-Loss Checklist

Hurricanes are a natural disaster that are expected when you live in the Sunshine State. Even though every Florida homeowner is likely to have hurricane shutters and hurricane shatter-proof glass for their home, hurricane preparedness goes farther than just preparing the outside of your home.

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Public adjusters in Plantation, Florida want homeowners to be aware of everything that hurricane preparedness entails, which is why our licensed public adjusters have created a hurricane insurance post-loss checklist to help guide you through the basic steps that you should take with your home and filing a hurricane insurance claim.

1. Get with a local public adjuster in Plantation to review your homeowner’s insurance policy or commercial property insurance policy.

2. Be prompt about hiring a Florida public adjuster in order to be proactive with your hurricane insurance policy claim. Hire a public adjuster first to go over everything, then have them contact your insurance company to get the claim process started.

3. As a homeowner, it is your job to make sure that no further damage is caused in your home; as a business owner, it is your job to make sure that your commercial property does not suffer additional damage as well, so make temporary repairs to prevent mold and mildew. Cover and patch holes in the roof or broken windows so that pilferers or future inclement weather does not cause more damage.

4. Make sure that your licensed public adjuster in Plantation, Florida helps you properly assess your property damage.

5. The very last part of your hurricane insurance checklist is to make sure that you keep copies of all receipts during the entire recovery process. Keep receipts for temporary housing, temporary repairs, and private contractors that you hire, etc.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters in Plantation can help you properly assess your residential or commercial property damage and help streamline the insurance claim process. Our hurricane insurance checklist is just part of our No Recovery – No Fee service and No Obligation Consultation. Advocate Claims is BBB accredited and works to empower the policyholder. For more information regarding your homeowner’s insurance policy or commercial property insurance and hurricane claims, contact our main office in Coconut Creek at 954-369-0573.

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Recovering from a Flood: Post-Loss Checklist

Flood damage is one of Florida’s top reported homeowner’s insurance claims, and is one that hit homes hard just last year in September 2015, when major flooding affected nearly all Delray Beach residents. When a tragedy like this occurs, it leaves many homeowners wondering what they should do in order to get their homes in order and returned back to normalcy.

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Advocate Claims Public Adjusters in Delray Beach, Florida created a Recovering from a Flood: Post-Loss Checklist for residents to reference in case another flood were to occur in the area:

1. Take care of yourself and your family first. Make sure that you have a place to stay, plenty of clothes, and food to eat until your home has been assessed by a Delray Beach public adjuster and until the insurance claim process is complete.

2. If your home is not completely damaged, make sure that you have turned off all electricity and gas before entering your home. The same goes for commercial property flooding.

3. Patch any holes and check for broken or leaking pipes.

4. Make sure that you contact a Delray Beach public adjuster before you contact your homeowner’s or commercial property insurance company; they will be able to aid you in the flood recovery process, as well as help you properly file an insurance claim.

5. Begin listing and detailing the damages with your public adjuster.

6. You and your public adjuster can start planning your recovery, including everything that you will need to fix the damage, how you will pay for the repairs until the insurance settlement comes through, etc.

7. Completely dry out your home or commercial property. Since water damages materials, anything that has stayed wet too long may be warped and need complete replacement as part of your flood recovery plan. In order to help combat mold, mildew, and fungus growth, open all windows and doors, use fans, run dehumidifiers, use desiccants, and find a private contractor that does not work with your insurance company in order to get your property back to functioning condition.

8. Make sure that you are not just repairing, but floodproofing. Implement flood walls, add elevation where possible, dry floodproofing, and wet floodproofing tactics.

9. After repairs are complete, restore your utilities and clean up any leftover debris.

10. The 2015 Delray Beach flood was widespread and caused a lot of damage; in this case, you may be able to apply for additional financial assistance, like Disaster Housing Assistance, Disaster Loans, Individual and Family Grants, Income Tax Deductions, Floodproofing Assistance, and Counseling. Listen to your local news television and radio stations for businesses who may be contributing to the recovery efforts.

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters have been handling homeowners and commercial property insurance claims in South Florida for over a decade. 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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Advocate Claims is an A+ BBB Rated Public Adjuster in South Florida

A public adjuster is a professional claims handler who advocates for the policyholder rather than the insurance company, which is why public adjusters are so popular to turn to in the unfortunate circumstance that a residence or commercial property gets damaged or pilfered.

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The most common homeowner’s insurance claims filed in the state of Florida are water damage, burglary or theft, wind damage, physical damage, lightning, and floods. So, how do you decide whether you should hire a public adjuster or not? The key is finding a competent, licensed public adjuster in Florida. Especially in the southern region of Florida where public adjusters may be plentiful close to the coast, finding the best public adjuster in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Weston, Coconut Creek, and surrounding cities is the key to getting the most out of your homeowner’s insurance claim, no matter what kind of damage you are filing for.

One way that you can check to make sure that your South Florida public adjuster will handle your claim and assess damages in a way that puts you (the policyholder) first, is to make sure that they are BBB (Better Business Bureau) accredited.

If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means that the BBB has determined that the business meets their requirements and standards, which includes “a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve consumer complaints.”

Advocate Claims Public Adjusters is located in Coconut Creek, Florida and is a BBB accredited public adjuster in South Florida. Advocate Claims services the majority of South Florida, including: Miramar, Weston, Parkland, Lighthouse Point, Coral Springs, Plantation, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens.

In the event that your home suffers from any of the aforementioned common property insurance claims filed in Florida, Advocate Claims Public Adjusters are only a call away. Our public adjusters offer a No Recovery – No Fee service and No Obligation Consultation. Advocate Claims works to empower the policyholder, so even if you simply have questions regarding your policy, give us a call at 954-369-0573 and we can help!

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