When people think of Cape Canaveral, they often picture rocket launches. The site was chosen for two reasons – its proximity to the equator and the ocean providing a vast, uninhabited area downwind of the launch site. Unfortunately, Cape Canaveral’s status as a barrier island and adjacency to the ocean also increase the risk of flooding due to rainfall. While hurricanes seldom hit the island directly, their rain and winds can still lead to floods.
If you own property in Cape Canaveral, it’s essential to purchase flood insurance in addition to regular homeowners or commercial insurance. But making a claim on your insurance isn’t always as easy as you’d like. Sometimes the insurance company wastes time, repeatedly promising they’ll send someone out to assess the damage soon, or they deny the claim entirely. Other times, they may send an adjuster promptly but then offer you less than you think the claim is worth. Frequently, clients tell us that the insurance carrier provided enough money to repair certain damage but not replace a badly damaged fixture like a roof or floor. If this happens, you might pay out of pocket to replace the roof or floor in a year or two – even though the insurance company should have covered it after the initial damage.
While getting the runaround from your insurance company can be frustrating, there are other options for seeking a damage assessment.
Many people are surprised to learn they can hire their own adjuster to survey the damage and complete an estimate for the insurance company. It’s easy to think that if you make an insurance claim, you must use the insurance company’s adjuster – especially when you may have friends or neighbors who did that. But you have a right to hire a public adjuster to assess the damage and file or refile a claim with the insurance company on your behalf.
It’s essential to start by understanding the difference between a public adjuster and an insurance company adjuster: The public adjuster works for you and strives to support your best interests by accurately evaluating your damage. They will even negotiate with the insurance company to get you the ideal settlement for your damage. The insurance company adjuster works for the insurance company and aims to save them as much money as possible by paying less on claims.
A public adjuster will carefully examine the damage to your property and consider the long-term effects. If a total replacement is in order, they will recommend one, documenting the reasons with photographs of the damage and other evidence.
Next, they will ask to see your insurance policy and conscientiously review what is and isn’t covered. This part can be difficult to do independently, as most people aren’t experts on insurance policy language. Additionally, policies often use extremely long sentences and archaic language, making it even harder to absorb the information. Fortunately, your public adjuster is skilled in interpreting the policy language and finding the best strategy to secure a fair payment.
After covering all the damaged areas and your insurance policy, the public adjuster will then complete a claim and submit it to your insurance carrier. An experienced public adjuster will have the knowledge and training to explain why you need the specific remedies stated in the claim and back it up with the appropriate information.
Having the assistance of a skilled public adjuster improves the chances that your claim will be accepted, but if it isn’t, your public adjuster can negotiate with the insurance company and submit additional documentation as needed. This saves you the stress of trying to find files or arguing with the insurance adjuster. It also means that someone who is very knowledgeable about property insurance will negotiate on your behalf instead of you struggling to figure out how to get your claim approved.
You should not pay anything upfront. Public adjusters work on a contingency basis, charging you a percentage of the amount recovered from the insurance company. This percentage may vary depending on the experience and training of the adjuster, and cheaper isn’t always better. However, there are legal limits to public adjuster fees – Florida caps the percentage at 20 percent, or 10 percent, if your property was affected by an event that the governor declares a state of emergency.
No, we can assist you with a variety of covered property damage, including:
While you may feel that you’ve waited long enough (especially if your insurance company hasn’t prioritized your claim), we recommend spending more time choosing an adjuster. It’s crucial that you research the public adjuster or adjusting firm to ensure your adjuster is experienced, has the proper credentials, and is a good fit. Here are several steps you should take when choosing a public adjuster:
This depends on multiple factors, including how busy the adjuster is and how extensive your property damage is. If your damage is part of an event that affected many people in your area, the adjuster may already be booked for the next week or two. On the other hand, if your property damage only affected you – such as an electrical fire – the adjuster may be able to fit you in within a day or two. At Pinnacle Claim Services, we always try to schedule appointments with clients as soon as possible and work around times that are good for you.
The time it takes to create an estimate and file a claim with your insurer is mostly determined by the amount of damage. If you have damage to one isolated area of your property, it will probably take less time than if your building suffered damage in multiple areas. We also thoroughly describe and document all issues and explain the necessity of specific repairs.
Some people ask if hiring a public adjuster will lengthen the claims process. It is difficult to say for sure in an individual case because part of the process depends on your insurance company and how swiftly they respond. A Brevard County public adjuster may spend more time studying your property and documenting your claim than an insurance company adjuster, but they do this to ensure you receive the amount you deserve.
At Pinnacle Claim Services, we’re happy to answer questions about our experience and credentials. We can also provide you with a free claim evaluation so you’ll better understand your options. Please call or use the contact form on our website to learn more about how we can help with your property damage claim.
Living in South Florida, we are no strangers to natural disasters.
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When disaster strikes, it can be difficult knowing where to turn or who to ask for help. Pinnacle Claim Services’ professional team of Florida public insurance adjusters and support experts are here to assist you throughout every step of your damage claim from emergency services and mitigation through final settlement.
Some of the most common issues people experience with insurance companies after property damage has occurred and a claim has been initiated include: unreasonable delay on the part of the insurance company, inadequate training of the insurance company’s adjusters and adjusters that are “so busy” that your claim gets zero attention and does not progress towards resolution. Additionally, you may not have the appropriate policy with the right type of coverage or limits.
There is no set time period for settling a property damage claim with an insurance company and each claim is different. You could receive a check in a few days or it could be a few weeks. Also, it may take multiple rounds of negotiations and payments for you to be adequately and justly compensated for your claim.
Absolutely not. Some companies do possess better reputations than others and there are some who consistently delay the process unnecessarily. It’s important that you comply with your “duties after the loss” (duty to mitigate etc.) Call us, we can help!
Pinnacle Claim Services will request a copy of your policy, file the proper paperwork for you, put together a comprehensive estimate of damages and negotiate a fair settlement Do not become emotionally burdened. Do not be denied money for repairs you deserve. Rely on Pinnacle Claim Services to work on your behalf, keeping you informed throughout every step of the process to get every penny you deserve from the insurance companies.
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