Save On Homeowners Insurance And Keep Your House This may seem like old news but we are in a bit of an economic bind these days. Front and center in this bind is the home foreclosure crisis which is gripping America from coast to coast. Those who failed to make their mortgage payments and had their home foreclosed on are left scratching their heads wondering where they went wrong. It may have never occurred to them but homeowners insurance could’ve saved their home. To get the best coverage schedule your FREE policy review today.
Yes, believe it or not, an expense like homeowners insurance can actually help you with your mortgage expenses. It might sound backwards but as the saying goes, “you have to spend money to make money” and homeowners insurance is no exception. So how exactly can you utilize your homeowners insurance to prevent your home from being foreclosed on?
Most policies have specific conditions that apply to theft losses. The most common is the duty of a policyholder to notify the police, as well as the insurer, of the theft. While this may seem like common sense, there may be a variety of instances where the policyholder fails to notify the police, and this could cause problems in getting the claim paid.
A small theft claim, for instance, may not seem like something that must be reported to the police, however, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Sure, many times the items stolen may be worth less than the policy deductible, but what happens if more items come up missing later? Often, policyholders do not notice that some items are missing until long after a burglary or theft, and failing to notify the police could create issues with the insurance company covering the loss.
Policyholders should also make sure to understand that notifying the police of a loss does not relieve them of their duty to report the loss to the insurer. As discussed in previous posts, if the insurer is not given notice of the loss, coverage could be denied.
The best practice when dealing with a potential theft loss is to immediately notify the police and insurance company. Most insurers closely evaluate theft claims many with an eye towards fraud. If notice is not given to the police or is unreasonably late, the insurer will likely take a more skeptical view. This can cause substantial delays, even if coverage is ultimately not denied.
An office building suffers damage to its basement when it's toilets begin to overflow due to a blockage in their line. The claim submitted to the insurance company was for the replacement of the damaged carpet. The total amount submitted was roughly $7,000.00. The insurance company refused to pay the amount claimed.
The insurance company claimed that the carpet was worn out and therefor should not be replaced. A carpet salesman recommended that the owners of the building hire our firm. Within an hour, the claim was signed up. Metro was able to negotiate a settlement that included cleaning of the entire basement area, as well as replacing the damaged walls and repainting the basement.
Remarkably, the insurance company agreed to replace the carpet that they felt was worn out. The total settlement was just over $99,000. Quite a bit of difference between what the insurance company originally offered and what the claim finally settled for.
Ice Damming can cause roof leak damage. This occurs when the gutters to your home are clogged with debris. This debris can be leaves that were never cleaned out in the fall months, or even ice build up when temperatures fall below freezing, creating an ice dam whereby the roof snow backs up the roof and leaks in through ceilings and exterior walls.
If this occurs you need to mitigate water damage immediately, but don't go up on your roof. You should contact your Public Adjuster. Your adjuster should be able to get emergency services done without costing you anything out of pocket. You also need to understand the dangers of mold.
If your home has a sloped roof, and is more than 20 years old, there is a 98 percent probability that your attic has excessive heat, leading to ice damming. Flat roofs also suffer ice damming and the weight of ice and snow damage. This can result in subsequent water damage, and may have other serious problems identified by that heat, too. Even newly constructed homes may have serious attic heat problems.
Your response may be, "I don't live in a snow climate, so I don't have to be concerned about ice dams, right?" Wrong! The problem of ice damming is a much deeper issue than it may first appear, and may be indicative of construction and health related problems other than just that of a "roof" problem. Ice damming can lead to delamination of the roof sheathing, wood rot of the roof rafters, and failure of the insulation - leading to higher fuel bills, the development of mold growth, and health problems disguised as asthma, allergies, colds and sinus conditions.
Most people attribute the problem of ice damming to the "roofer," saying the roofer caused it. But this may not be the case. Although in some cases, the accuser would be right, in most cases, the roofer is not to blame for ice damming and related problems. He may have done everything correctly when installing a roof, and still there may be ice damming and water leakage - not from unsatisfactory roofer workmanship, but rather as a result of one of several subtle sources of heat, created by:
Winter is here and in full force. Correcting the above problems is easy during warm weather, but almost impossible to correct in cold weather, so act now, call your public adjuster and they will take of the damages for you. One of the most common types of mold that thrives in a moist attic environment is black mold. Black mold spreads by spores, and there is growing evidence of serious health hazards associated with breathing in the black mold spores. If your home has experienced any of the above scenarios, schedule your policy review and home inspection today.
By MICHAEL W. FREEMAN
FOUR CORNERS | When three hurricanes struck Central Florida in the summer of 2004, causing widespread damage to homes and businesses, there were plenty of stories from angry owners of homes and businesses about lingering battles with their insurance companies over unsettled claims.
There were complaints that insurance claims adjusters, sent out by the insurance agencies to investigate damage claims, too often were simply trying to help the insurance companies avoid paying the claims - or to try to pay out as little as possible.
Adriana Velez, who works in the insurance industry as a claims adjuster, has heard those complaints numerous times. She said the solution for homeowners is simple: hire someone like her to work for them as a public adjuster.
Velez operates Insurance Claims Central Florida LLC, an Orlando-based firm that handles residential and commercial claims. The difference, she said, is that she works as a public adjuster - an insurance claims advocate working for the policyholder, not the insurance company. Her side, she says, "helps level the playing field" in fights over claims.
Public adjusters, she said, are licensed by the state and have the same training as claims adjusters working for the insurance companies. Public adjusters, she said, use their experience to protect policyholders, to negotiate settlements and to push for higher amounts than what the insurance companies may initially offer.
It's a new field, she said, but a growing one.
"This area is very virgin," Velez said. "Not many people know about this."
Velez recently spoke during a meeting of the Four Corners Business Council, a group of business owners who work in fields related to real estate, who meet once per month at USA Vacation Homes at Four Corners' Polo Park subdivision. Velez was invited to the meeting by one of the regular members, Kevin Delaney, owner of Delaney Insurance Group on U.S. 27 in Four Corners.
"What typically happens during a claims process is independent adjusters work on behalf of the insurance companies," Delaney said. "The insurance companies spend a lot of money on these agents, but typically they don't invest a lot in overhead. So they hire independent contractors. The independent adjuster works for the client."
Public adjusters offer a way to balance the scale, Delaney said.
"When you have a public adjuster, that person is committed to your needs," he said. "It's a voice for the insured."
Velez said public adjusters can be used for damage claims related to fires, hurricanes, leaking roofs, sinkholes, cracked tiles, tornadoes, water damage, smoke damage, vandalism, theft, flooding - virtually any and all physical-damage claims on residential and commercial properties.
During the Blizzard of 1996, which dropped up to 36 inches of snow, a Doctor's 15,000 square foot house ends up with a total of almost five feet of snow on it's roof. Strong winds during the storm caused the large amount of snow to accumulate on the roof. Metro is hired to handle the claim. The Independent Insurance Adjuster hired by the Insurance Company meets with Dan Young, the Metro Adjuster, to inspect the loss. Shortly there after, an estimate is received from the insurance company for $30,000. Once Dan was able to pick himself off the floor from laughing so much, he began the negotiation process.
A new adjuster was assigned to the claim by the Independent Insurance Adjuster Company. The insurance adjuster brought his contractor out to inspect the loss with our Adjuster. Shortly there after, an estimate is received from the insurance company in the amount of $60,000. Amazingly, the loss was worth 100% more than the first adjuster had determined. Once Dan was able to pick himself off the floor from laughing so much, the negotiation process continued.
A third Adjuster was assigned to the claim by the Independent Insurance Adjuster Company. Within two weeks, the Independent Insurance Adjuster Company quits, refusing to handle the claim. The Insurance Company sends one of their in house adjusters to inspect the loss. After a few inspections with Metro's Structural and Architectural Engineers, as well as Metro's Adjuster, the insurance company adjuster is ready to make an offer. The settlement offer received by the insurance company was almost
Once Dan stopped jumping up and down off the floor, the claim was settled. Just imagine how much the claim would have settled for if the Doctor had not hired Metro. By the way, during the policy review, it was noticed that the Doctor had a shore home also. After an inspection of the shore home, another claim was written. The total settlement for this property was just over $25,000.
"Our mission is to be the Public Adjusting firm that consistently exceeds the expectations of our clients and our people. Our competitive advantage lies in the quality of our people and the quality of the work we do for our clients."
Metro Public Adjustment was founded on December 20, 1993. The company, was originally operated out of a bedroom in the house of Steven J. McCaffrey, President of Metro. Due to Metro's rapid growth, Metro doubled its needed office space, thus using up two bedrooms.
Due to the enormous success of the Metro Business Plan, Metro outgrew its humble beginnings and moved its operation to the Greenwood Square office complex located on Street Road in Bensalem. It was there that a visitor could stop by and find groups of people in the office, no matter what time of day. All night long the phones would ring, as the pioneers at Metro worked on building their businesses.
While the Pennsylvania operation began to grow, Steven J. McCaffrey, along with Mike Woodford, an Adjuster with Metro began doing meetings in New Jersey once a week at Steve Martini's house. It was in the now infamous Martini's kitchen that the Metro Business Plan would be shown to new recruits. With pool side test training being conducted each week, the Martini house was destined to produce great results, thus requiring a big office. Either that, or it was the fact that Steve Martini didn't like cleaning up after everyone left that made him push everyone to build the Metro business so much. In either case, Metro soon outgrew this location, and opened up an office in the Central New Jersey area.
A short while later, Metro outgrew their office space, and moved the corporate headquarters to an even bigger location in the Greenwood Square office complex. In an effort to track all of the activity of the Metro Representatives, Metro contracted with Z - Systems, Inc., to begin writing a custom computer program known as MetPay. This program, which tracks everything from all of the submitted claims, the Metro Organization, and even the activity on every claim, was truly a monumental project. MetPay is a sure sign of Metro's commitment to helping its Representatives to build their businesses. Metro's philosophy of re-investing in the company has assisted Metro in achieving its high level of growth in the Public Adjusting Industry. Metro is committed to providing an valuable service to its clients while providing an excellent opportunity to its people. We wish you all much success with Metro and hope that you will prosper immensely.
I am a License and Bonded Public Adjuster in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. My mission is to walk you down the path to the American Dream of homeownership and much more...