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Climate Change may Cause us to Rethink Prepping for Hurricanes and Consider Working with a Public Adjuster

Public Adjusters are licensed and insured professionals who assist policyholders with their insurance claims.”Public Adjusters stand up for policyholders.” They know and understand how to evaluate the damages, caused by many different forms of losses that can occur to a person’s home or property; they understand how insurance policies work. From pipe-breaks to hurricanes, sink holes to roof leaks, your claim may be paid more fairly, with the guidance of a Public Adjuster.

Public Adjuster benefits:

  • Public Adjusters understand insurance policy language.Public adjusters have experience reading the fine print. We must take hours of continuing education to maintain our licenses. If the public adjuster does not obtain more money for you, you don’t pay anything.
  • Only a Public Adjuster, attorney and policyholder can settle claims. General contractors, water-fire restoration companies, may be engaged in the unauthorized practice of public adjusting. “If they are acting as a public adjuster in any manner by negotiating or effecting the settlement of an insurance claim on behalf of an insured and they are performing any of these services for money, commission or anything of value without being licensed as a public adjuster (Section 626.854, Florida Statutes), they could be subject to arrest and may be charged with a third-degree felony as provided by Section 626.8738, Florida Statutes.”
  • Public Adjusters represent the policy holder not the insurance company. Insurance company adjusters work for the insurance company to determine what, if anything, you will be paid. Policyholders can get the same opportunity by using a Public Adjuster. It is highly recommended that you have an experienced public adjuster assist you with your claim.
  • Public Adjusters are experts in estimating damages.Most general contractors are good at repairing damages, but not writing detailed unit cost estimates, or understanding the policy and coverage limitations. This requires specialized skill, expertise and knowledge.
  • Public Adjusters have experience working insurance claims regularly. Public adjusters know the “ins and outs” of how insurance companies work and use this knowledge for your advantage.

Tips for Hurricane Season:

  • Check and replace/restock your disaster supplies.
  • Bring indoors anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Turn off propane tank.
  • Unplug small appliances.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
  • Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
  • Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
  • Take enough medications to last for up to 2 weeks if you are evacuated.
  • Store important documents such as Insurance policies, Will’s, checks and legal papers in water proof packaging, Maintain extra copies. You can find many of these tips from the Red Cross and NOAA.

FAPIA, Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, is a great way to find experienced public adjusters in Florida.

Proper Planning May Create Peace of Mind.

Law Office of Stephanie L. Schneider, P.A.