HURRICANE SANDY DAMAGE?
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Hurricane

Government studies show policyholders who hire a public adjuster to represent them may receive a higher settlement than those who go it alone.

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NOTICE TO HURRICANE VICTIMS

Homeowners that hired a public adjuster received 747% more for major claims than those who fought the insurance company alone.

(Statistic based on a 2010 independent government study done on hurricanes Katrina, Dennis, Rita, and Wilma in FL.)

Negotiating with your insurance company on your own without a public adjuster can get you a whole lot less money for your hurricane claim.

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The study indicates that Public Adjusters are reasonably likely to get policyholders like you more for your damage than when you go it alone. This difference is massive. The government study showed that Public Adjusters got more for their clients than what their clients were offered without a Public Adjuster. The government study also showed that homeowners who hired a Public Adjuster received a whopping average of 747% more money for Hurricane claims. In fact, non-weather claims such as a fire, pipe burst, or water leak saw 574% more money paid to homeowners represented by a Public Adjuster than those without. This State of Florida study shows it’s in your best interest to get a Public Adjuster for your hurricane claim.

INSURANCE COMPANY TACTICS

Insurance companies charge premiums to their policyholders. This entitles the policyholder to recover for covered damages when disaster strikes. Calculating the damages is easier said than done. Reasonable experts may disagree about the compensation owed or repairs covered. When you have a Public Adjuster, you have an expert on your side fighting for you.

Fact:

Having a property damage expert– a Public Adjuster– on your side can help better the chances of getting all the compensation you deserve.

There are many kinds of adjusters. “Insurance Adjusters” get paid by the insurance company. Only “Public Adjusters” work exclusively for the policyholder, without ties to the insurance company. Your Adjuster may sound nice, pleasant, and even helpful. You can even the playing field by getting a Public Adjuster who works just for you against the insurance company. Your Public Adjuster fights for you.

The devastation of a hurricane can be unpredictable and extreme. Rain or flood water can seep deep into the structure of the home— even in hidden areas. Winds can literally tear off windows, rip away walls, and unleash tornados. You need a Public Adjuster to ensure you get compensated fully for this damage and the hidden damage too.

How can a Public Adjuster help me?

A Public Adjuster can help you prove the extent of property damage including the hidden damage unleashed by a hurricane or tropical storm. Public Adjusters help you file your Hurricane Sandy claims no matter how detailed and complicated. You need to be careful to get all you deserve for your Hurricane Sandy property claim. Whether a hurricane claim, a tropical storm claim, storm surge claim, or even a tropical cyclone claim, the Public Adjuster can help you maximize the settlement. But without an expert on your side, beware of the quick settlement.

Your Hurricane Sandy damage may be far worse than you realize or are able yourself to show, argue, or prove to the insurance company without special assistance from a licensed, experienced Public Adjuster.

Types of Hurricane Property Damage:
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The hurricane damage to your home and property may include a tear or collapse of your roof, siding, structure of your home or building, torn walls, ripped siding, wholly torn windows, broken windows, ceiling rupture, and even collapse or partial collapse. Hurricane claims include water damage, typically by storm surge and tropical rains that saturate the ground and eventually seep into your home. Flying debris may break a wall, window, door, sunlight, or roof, allowing the wind driven rain right into your entryway, kitchen, living room, your bedroom, attic, and other parts of your damaged home. With the structural or window damage, or hurricane shutters gone, the rain then pours through these holes or openings right into the flooring, carpet, furniture, the structure, and the valuable property in your home. Hurricane water damage or storm water damage may also enter your home by storm surge, flash flood, slow rising flood waters, drainage system backwash, cracks or a hole made by fallen trees, super saturation of the adjacent ground, or by storm surge. You may even have been made to evacuate from your area by the authorities.

Preparing For and Filing Claims for Storm Losses:

Public Adjusters are insurance claim filing experts for all kinds of storm losses. Whether you are in your home for the storm or just retuning to find the devastation, when there is a Hurricane like Sandy, or tropical storm, the water, wind, and elements can devastate to your home or business. But proving your loss or total loss to the insurance company is easier said than done. When there is so much on the line, an experienced Public Adjuster is a strong choice to get full compensation from your insurance company. Public Adjusters at 1800ADJUSTERS (1-800-235-8783) are here to help you file your Hurricane Sandy property damage claim.

Document Hurricane Losses: One of the best ways to document your personal property losses is to take pictures of your furniture, electronics, valuable clothing, personal items, everything, before and after the storm. Ideally you should prepare to show the shape of your home and valuables before the devastation hits. But not everyone has these photos or videos with the solid documentation of property pre-storm. So getting their insurance company to offer real value for your loss is something to consider leaving to an expert Pubic Adjuster on your behalf.

Minimize Your Risk: While many disasters are hard to predict, there are usually warnings about hurricanes days in advance. In that time, there are some steps you can take to limit your risk. Between the sustained winds over 80, 90, or even 100+ miles per hour, the endless driving rain, and coastal storm surges, there are many ways hurricanes destroy property.

These are steps to prepare before the Hurricane arrives…

  • Ensure your windows and doors are locked and water sealed.
  • Check your basement or cellar for water collection and leaks.
  • When the storm is headed your way, get to a safe location.
  • If time safely permits, secure strong boards and plywood over windows and vulnerable areas; place duct tape across your windows.
  • Remove objects outside your home that may fly.
  • If you have a pool, you could sink outdoor chairs and tables under the water until the storm is over.
  • Bring potted plants inside. If winds are strong enough, these heavy objects may become flying missiles at your house.
  • Clean out your gutters and drains… so that condensation and rain has a free path from your roof.
  • Take pictures. One of the best things you can do to support a claim of loss is to have pictures of your valuables from before any accident occurs, and to have copies of receipts from your most valuable goods that might be ruined by a storm. Some insurers may need you to share these with them so ask your insurer or agent. Some of the things you might want to photograph and from which you might want to save receipts include any electronic equipment such as computers, television, flat screens TVs, couches, tables, chairs, sofas, piano, other instruments, recording equipment, and other valuables. Keep these pictures and receipts someplace especially safe such as fire proof safe, a safety deposit box at a bank, or on a dependable cloud in cyberspace.

If you are a victim of a hurricane or a water disaster…

Prevent further water from coming in... If you are the victim of a hurricane or a water disaster, you can do a few things to reduce and mitigate your property loss and to prevent additional damage from occurring.

If the water is seeping in from outside, take steps to prevent the water from further entering into your property. Less water inside means less damage.

Be safe. For example, consider whether the building you are entering is structurally sound, or whether there may be serious dangers to entering or living in the building. If you are unclear whether the structure or building is safe, use reasonable caution and stay somewhere else. There are hotels, motels, possibly friends or family where you can stay out of harm’s way.

Contact your insurance agent. Contact your insurance agent or insurance company to inform them of the loss to your property and the unsafe condition. You will receive a claim number which you should keep on you at all times until your matter is resolved.

Contact a Public Adjuster. Contact a Public Adjuster at 1-800-ADJUSTERS to seek a professional to visit for an inspection. The professional Public Adjuster is trained to work on your side to get the most from your insurance company.

Document the damage. Your public adjuster should document the damage; however, it is a good idea for you to document the damage before any cleanup of the property is done. Take pictures and video of the damage. Especially these days with digital cameras, you can never take too many pictures. Go back and review the pictures to be sure the lighting is good and that they capture the damage from different angles. If you can, e-mail the pictures using an account you trust that also saves your sent mail to help ensure your pictures are preserved; save the pictures on a digital cloud so they won’t be lost. Be sure you have strong evidence of the way the damage looks before you clean up. Do not let a restoration company or cleaning crew work on your property until you have all the pictures of the damage taken and preserved.

Keep detailed records of all related costs. Maintain all your receipts, proof of your expenses, and keep detailed records on the work done or paid for. Restoration can be a very involved process and you will have to prove everything to the insurance company so these records are vital.

Selecting professionals to fix your property damage:

Selecting professionals to fix the damages. In selecting a company to restore your building, rooms, basement, damaged areas, or structure, check around to make sure they are licensed, insured, and experienced.

Look carefully and have the professionals search for open and apparent water and for hidden damage. This is a special service experienced Public Adjusters can do. The hidden damage may be located under the carpet, behind floorboards, above ceiling panels, in the walls themselves, in ducts, and where you simply could not see. One of the biggest dangers is the spawning and growth of mold where the water collected or seeped. There are forms of mold that are toxic. Mold can potentially cause you physical harm. Tests for mold by a professional may be an essential part of the damage review process.

The hurricane study is plain as day: In one study by OPPGA, Public Adjusters in Florida got 747% more for policyholders than policy holders received without Public Adjusters. Don’t you want the best chance of getting the most from your insurance company?

*OPPAGA Report No. 10-06 January 2010. All statistics are based on OPPAGA analysis. Data refers to the median (50th percentile or typical) payment. Attorneys or other parties may also represent policyholders, and these are counted as claims in which a public adjuster is not involved. The government study was conducted by the Florida Legislative Office of Program Policy and Government Accountability (OPPAGA).