Hurricane Charley Hits The West Coast of Florida
I visited Punta Gorda Florida, Port Charlotte Florida, and the surrounding areas last week, and Hurricane Charley did a lot of structural damage. The more damage you have the more you need to hire a public adjuster.
At a stressful time like this we can help lift the burden that the insurance companies will put on you to prove your claim.
The insurance companies do not have enough of their own field adjuster and they are out sourcing your claim to independent catastrophe adjuster companies who are bringing in adjusters from all over the United States.
What does this mean for you? The insurance adjuster that comes to your home, condominium, or business is generally speaking an appraiser for your insurance carrier that means they are there to photograph and document your damages and have no authority to settle your claim or the time to help you with the details of helping you present your claim.
These catastrophe adjusters are sometimes given as many as three hundred files at one time to work, and their job is write estimates and reports as fast as possible in order for them to make the money they came to town to make and go back home. This may mean that by the time you settle your claim, you will not likely be talking to the same person who inspected your home. Further, the catastrophe adjuster may have no knowledge of your coverage’s as this will be handled by the claim examiner for your insurance company.
Also, in order to get a fair settlement you are supposed to be given a copy of your estimate of damages, but you will find that these adjusters are told to only submit them to your insurance carrier for their review and not to you the policy holder!
Even if you get a copy of your estimate of damages, how do you know that this is a fair settlement? The price’s that your adjuster puts on their estimate are set by your insurance company for your damages. How do I know this, like I said I was in Punta Gorda, Florida last week and I have at least three price sheets from independent insurance adjusting companies. The catastrophe adjuster’s company works for your insurance company (not you the policy holder) and their findings may or may not be accepted by your insurance company.
The insurance companies may tell you to get at least three general contractor’s estimates, so why do I need to hire a public adjuster?
First, you will find it difficult to find a licensed contractor to come give you a free detailed written estimate.
Second, your general contractor may not have the experience to write an estimate in the format that the insurance industry requires.
Third, only a licensed public adjuster or an attorney has the authority to negotiate an insurance claim settlement, not a general contractor. (Please see the Florida Department of Financial Services.)
Advocate Claim Service will review your policy coverage, put together your estimate of dwelling damages, put together your estimate of contents damage and help you get what you are entitled to under your insurance policy, as we are licensed by the State of Florida to legally negotiate your settlement.
Finally, what is your personal experience handling insurance claims; do you know what you are entitled to under your policy?
You go to a mechanic to fix your car; you go to a doctor to determine your illness, why would you not use an expert public adjuster to help you handle damages for the largest item you own?
Remember … the bigger the claim the more you need the advocacy of a licensed Public Adjuster.