Storm Damage Insurance Claim
THE PUBLIC ADJUSTERS EXCLUSIVELY FOR COMMERCIAL & MULTIFAMILY POLICYHOLDERS
THE PUBLIC ADJUSTERS EXCLUSIVELY FOR COMMERCIAL & MULTIFAMILY POLICYHOLDERS
Need help with an insurance claim problem? Or want to file a complaint? Here are four steps to get the help you need.
Step 1: Talk to the insurance company
You can resolve many issues by talking to or emailing your insurance company or agent. If you disagree with the adjuster’s estimate, tell the company why. The company might raise the estimate if it finds out that it overlooked something or gets new information. Send the company any supporting documents, such as a contractor’s estimate for the repairs.
If you still disagree, you have several options to challenge the insurance company’s decision.
Most companies have a toll-free customer help line. The phone number is printed on your policy.
Step 2: Ask for an appraisal or hire a public adjuster
Your policy may include an appraisal process to resolve complaints. If you choose appraisal, you and the company each hire an appraiser. The two appraisers then choose a third appraiser as the umpire. You must pay for your appraiser and half of the umpire’s costs. The appraisers review your claim and estimate the amount of damage. If their estimates are different, the umpire decides. Check your policy for any deadlines to request appraisal. If you need help finding an appraiser, search for a “property damage appraiser” online or check with your contractor.
Policyholders hire public insurance adjusters to help them negotiate and settle property damage claims with insurance companies. Public adjusters work for you, not the insurance company. If you hire a public adjuster, the claim remains yours. We work on a percentage contingency fee of the settlement less the deductible . Public adjusters must have a license. Learn more about what is a public adjuster?
Step 3: File a complaint with your department of insurance
State departments of insurance can help with complaints against the insurance companies, agents, and adjusters they regulate.
They typically can’t help with complaints about service providers, including mortgage companies, building contractors, and roofers. If you have a complaint against a service provider, send it to the licensing or enforcement agency that regulates the provider.
Step 4: Get legal help
If you’re still not happy with the outcome of your claim and you want to sue your insurance company with the assistance of a board certified insurance attorney or lawyer.
The sudden and accidental storm damage insurance process usually applies to above-ground pipes that burst during a winter storm. A plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or automatic fire protection sprinkler system or a home appliance that freezes or a discharge, leak, or overflow caused by the freezing are typically covered. Turn off the main water line if your pipes have already frozen, so you can minimize damage when they thaw.
1. Underground pipes or water mains that are part of the public water distribution system
2. Any pond or reservoir in which a dam impounds the water
Coverage may not apply unless you have used reasonable care to maintain heat in the building or shut off the water supply and drain all systems and appliances of water. If you lost power, then you should still be covered.
For a state that has weathered its share of storms, Texas was unprepared for the record-setting deep freeze that hit in mid-February and the ensuing billions in damages.
“They’re calling this the largest insurance claim event in history,” public insurance adjuster Scott Friedson, CEO of Insurance Claim Recovery Support (ICRS).
REDNews connected with Friedson while he was making the trek to Houston, where he was slated to inspect more than 35 different properties that week.
“There is no insurance risk model that accounts for a catastrophic loss to an entire state, especially the state of Texas,” he says.
Hurricanes, Friedson explains, typically cause damage along the coast. Even a hail storm or tornado has limited exposure. The freeze, on the other hand, stretched from the westernmost point of Texas to its easternmost point.
“Many property owners are juggling pipe repairs, water damage mitigation, satiating tenant demands and dealing with their insurance claims simultaneously,” says Friedson, who exclusively represents commercial and multifamily owners, as well as management companies. “The carriers adjusters are coming as quickly as they can as policyholders are grappling with understanding their policy as well as their contractual obligations in order to ensure a fair and prompt settlement.”
Typical policy language requires policyholders to “Take all reasonable steps to protect the Covered Property from further damage, and keep a record of your expenses necessary to protect the covered property, for consideration in the settlement of the claim.”
Fully understanding and interpreting what “all reasonable steps to protect from further damage” means could leave policyholders in a vulnerable and adversarial position with their insurer risking that they don’t receive the full amount they deserve. It’s why public adjusters, like Friedson, play such a vital role. He is licensed and bonded by the state and, in his role, represents policyholders’ interests, not those of the insurance company.
“When water damage occurs, we advise our clients to immediately put your insurer on notice of a claim,” he says. “We go through their policy and determine if only one deductible applies regardless of the number of locations, professional fee sub limits and we make ourselves available to meet the carrier’s representative as soon as possible to get the process moving forward.”
Friedson says the primary issue he’s seen is water mitigation due to burst pipes. While property owners are understandably focused on getting plumbers to fix the broken pipes, he worries they’re ignoring the proper mitigation needed to prevent further damage.
Insurance Claim Recovery Support is a leading state licensed Public Insurance Adjusting firm (#1670060) dedicated to settling large loss property damage insurance claims fairly and promptly exclusively on the behalf of insured commercial and multifamily property owners. Click here for more information about insurance claims. Scott Friedson is a licensed Public Insurance Adjuster in TX, FL, CO, UT, GA, SC, NC, OK, NV, OH and PA.
What is a Public Adjuster? A public adjuster is an independent, licensed, private and professional claims adjuster who only represents the interests of the insured policyholder. We are legally authorized to act on behalf of a policyholder to investigate, negotiate, advise, adjust, settle claims for loss under any policy of insurance covering real or personal property. Our public adjusters can make a big difference in the outcome of your claim settlement.
Insurance Claim Recovery Support settled my claim for top dollar in just 40 days after a hail claim on my apartment complex was flat out denied. I didn’t want to sue my insurance company so my insurance agent referred me to “the best public adjuster firm in Texas”. ICRS completely reversed the carrier’s position and I couldn’t be happier with the service or results! I highly recommend Scott and his team to any commercial or multifamily owner or operator dealing with an insurance claim.
Our company suffered severe hail and wind damage to two large apartment complexes in San Antonio, TX. We would have lost out on our insurance claim without the help of ICRS. They helped us identify damage, process our claim and stuck it through with all the way to the end of a several month battle. We are extremely happy with the results Scott and team were able to provide.
ICRS provided superior support and documentation, which was invaluable in proving the extent of roof damage that was sustained from a major hail storm that struck the Chico Community. A great professional service that advocates for their clients.