Ahead of the Storm

Get Prepared!

Get Ahead of the Storm

Here are some suggestions:

PublicAdjusters.com recommends the following to properly prepare in the event a hurricane affects your home, business or apartment and condominium associations:

Homeowners

Your family's safety should be the first priority when a hurricane is fast approaching. But in addition to having necessities including food, water, hygiene products and electronics, you should also have immediate access to important documents. If an evacuation is ordered, store the following information inside a portable, waterproof document holder (available at your local office supply store):

All insurance policies
Local insurance agent's contact information
A personal inventory of all contents in your home
Photographs or video of all contents inside your home
Ideally, an additional copy of these documents should also be stored off-site.

Often times many of our clients' records were completely destroyed in a storm. The absence of photos and/or personal property lists makes the filing a hurricane property insurance claim and documentation of the claim very difficult for the homeowner, let alone a professional and experienced public adjuster. In contrast, having these items safeguarded and readily available helps facilitate a quicker, accurate and less complex insurance claim process.

Business Owners

PublicAdjusters.com recommend that an annual roof inspection and a complete exterior building envelope inspection to include all doors, windows and exterior protective coatings are completed and recorded. If a hurricane affects your business, this pre-storm annual building inspection of these items will cost much less than any potential insurance claim disputes. In addition to up-to-date inspections, PublicAdjusters.com suggest business owners keep a contact list of quality providers, including general contractors, engineers, architects and roofing companies that they would employ if a hurricane strikes. In the aftermath of devastation, these services are scarce.

Meet with your insurance agent or contact PublicAdjusters.com for one of it's licensed and bonded Public Adjusters to review your policies of insurance, make sure you fully understand what is and what is not covered and know your possible out-of-pocket exposure amount before the hurricane strikes. Having provisions such as business interruption, lease-hold improvements, law and ordinance/code coverage and properly insuring to value your real properties, it will help you avoid any possible co-insurance penalties. Your agent or a licensed Public Adjuster from PublicAdjusters.com can make certain that you are not uninsured or underinsured. Overlooking any of these important areas can drastically affect the outcome of a business hurricane insurance claim. Needless to say, if the local authorities mandate an evacuation of our area, safeguarding the following records and documents will be of the utmost importance:

Current appraisals/valuations and inspections of all insured buildings and contents (if applicable)
Up-to-date photographs of buildings and contents
Tax returns
Vendor list

 

Neighborhood and Condominium Associations

Condo associations are governed by the state of Florida and must operate within the confines of their bylaws. The board of directors should have an emergency/contingency plan in place that will allow them to complete the necessary emergency repairs and make decisions after a hurricane and in accordance with its bylaws. Our team of adjusters working with PublicAdjusters.com have represented more than 7,500 condominium associations and unit owners and in our experience, most associations were not fully aware of what insurance coverage was in place and were ill-equipped to make important decisions quickly after the hurricane. This resulted in challenges with finding the right contractors, misunderstandings and insufficient hurricane property insurance settlements.

Be proactive. Associations should meet with their insurance agent, property manager and/or qualified public adjuster to review what is and is not covered in the policy of insurance, especially taking into consideration the huge windstorm deductibles that are prevalent today when filing a hurricane insurance claim. An association must know the property, its replacement costs and, perhaps most importantly, know what the deductible is and how and where the funds will come from to help offset a potential shortfall in coverage.  PublicAdjusters.com recommend condominium associations purchase extra coverage to fill in gaps that its primary policy may not cover. These policies are referred to as GAP Coverage of Difference In Condition Coverage.

IIf you are a property manager or part of a condominium or neighborhood association and have questions about insurance policy coverages, feel free to contact our corporate office in Boynton Beach, FL. We will be happy to put you in touch with one of our commercial loss public adjusters or large-loss property insurance claim specialists.

PublicAdjusters.com Expert Spotlight- Mr. Rocco Calaci, Meteorologist

PublicAdjusters.com work with many experts to assist us in the settling of hurricane insurance claims. From structural engineers to meteorologists, our members utilize the top experts to help build the best possible claims package on behalf of the clients they serve. These experts have been utilized on hurricane insurance claims that have been underpaid and property claims that have been denied by insurance companies.

After Hurricane Ike, a large Texas insurer underpaid hundreds of property insurance claims located in a remote area of Texas based upon the wind versus wave argument. Ken Browne has worked in conjunction with a notable and published meteorologist who, based upon his independent findings, provided to us weather reports which disputed the insurance company's findings. These weather reports and the expertise of Mr. Rocco Calaci played an integral role in getting the property insurance claims paid and settled.

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