Most people in the internet age will copy parts of what I am going to write about. Beware of what you read, trust and what is said by "people who know." I have learned from the hurricane school of hard blow experiences since Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and "the song remains the same" for many hurricane loss fraudsters.
Hurricane Hugo? 31 years ago, and you learn from it? How?
Read our 2009 article, long before most people who are currently in Louisiana and say they are "hurricane experienced", I wrote about this:
We represented an apartment complex in South Carolina for an obvious hurricane Hugo- loss with broken brick walls. During disputes, our expert engineer pointed out that part of the damage was probably the result of an earthquake that occurred shortly after Hurricane Hugo. Who ever knew that South Carolina has earthquakes? We reported the claim late to the difference in conditions (a special insurance covering flood and earthquake) insurance companies, proved that a small earthquake occurred and eventually recovered from the earthquake loss.
In the same way as previous insurance disasters and claims, our firm with a specialized practice in real estate insurance law has partnered with the highly regarded local law firm and with attorneys, Dwight & Gary. Deborah Trotter and I were chosen from a lot of lawyers in New Orleans because we were the best when it came to the port of New Orleans with nine numbers. Local and special councils can help a community. This local law firm will be here long after Hurricane Laura has left, and all of their generational lawyers will be proud to have worked with us long after the recovery is complete.
What are you going to do after Hurricane Laura? Read your insurance and the section on liabilities after loss. We wrote about this in Hurricane Laura Recovery: Policyholder & # 39 ;s Duties After a Los s:
After a disaster like Hurricane Laura, it is common for policyholders not to have a full copy of their insurance. Often, the only insurance document they can have in their statement page is a summary of the insurance benefits available to them. Although helpful, full insurance is necessary to inform policyholders about their rights and obligations under the insurance policy.
In a standard from the insurance, under the section Terms, you will find the provision on "Obligations after loss". The following is a typical provision according to obligations:
SECTION I ̵1; TERMS
B. Customs after loss
In case of loss of covered property we have no obligation to provide coverage under this policy if failure to comply with the following obligations affects us. These tasks must be performed either by you, an “insured” seeking coverage, or by a representative of either:
1. Notify us or our agent immediately;
2. Notify the police in case of theft.
3. Report the credit card or electronic fund transfer card or access company in the event of loss in accordance with E.6. Credit cards, electronic funds transfer cards or access devices, counterfeiting and counterfeit money according to section I – coverage of property;
4. Protect the property from further damage. If repair of the property is required, you must:
a. Make reasonable and necessary repairs to protect the property; and
f. Keep accurate records of repair costs;
5. Collaborate with us in the investigation of a claim;
6. Prepare an inventory of damaged personal property showing quantity, description, actual cash value and amount of loss. Attach all invoices, receipts and related documents that justify the figures in the inventory;
7. As often as we reasonably require:
a. View the damaged property;
b. Provide us with records and documents we request and allow us to make copies; and
c. Under examination under oath, while not in the presence of another "insured", and sign the same;
8. Submit to us, within 60 days of our request, your signed, sworn evidence of loss, as far as you know and believe:
a. Time and cause of loss;
b. The interests of all "insured" and all others in the property involved and all liens on the property;
c. Other insurance which may cover the loss.
d. Changes in the property or occupancy property during the insurance period;
e. Specifications for damaged buildings and detailed repair estimates;
f. The Inventory of Damaged Personal Property described in 6. above;
g. Receipts for extra living costs incurred and registers that support the loss of real rental value; and
h. Evidence or confirmation supporting a claim under E.6. Credit card, electronic transfer card or access device, counterfeiting and counterfeit money according to section I – coverage of property, indicating the amount and reason for the loss.
Louisiana policyholders have the right to request a complete copy of their insurance, including all forms and claims:
(16) Policyholders have the right to a readable insurance, to obtain a full property insurance and to request a duplicate or compensation policy if necessary.  Policyholders recovering from Hurricane Laura should immediately request a copy of their full insurance from their agent or insurance company. The insurance provides important information needed to ensure compliance with the duties after a loss and will also provide guidance on how the various aspects of their insurance claims should be presented to their carriers. Insurance is one of the most difficult contracts to understand and these trial periods do not make it any easier. We are happy to help you understand your coverage, rights and obligations according to your policy. God bless you in your recovery.
So what can you expect from your independent adjuster? We have legions of whistleblowers on this subject. Here is an honest answer that I noted in 2014:
Your blog requires reading in my world. Before I became a public adjuster, I was very proud to be an adjuster general. I worked for the insurance companies for 30 years and was proud of our profession.
After Katrina, things changed. I represented Citizens of Florida in hundreds of commercial evaluations, and I was devastated to see the abuses. The guys I ran with paid their claims. It was a cold slap in the face to see how badly Citizens treated their policyholders, and I changed sides at the age of 55 and burned all my bridges behind me.
Before it as a hobby and to scratch my writers itch, I was a columnist for a baseball website. They knew I was a disaster relief guy and they asked me to blog about my experience when I went in to zero on Katrina.
Not all business adjusters and IAs are bad. Many are good people who do the best they can to help everyone they meet. All my friends in the industry were in that category. Unfortunately, it is very rare today.
Ask when the adjuster returns, how much time the adjuster will spend on your structure to get full damage, and do not trust this stormtrooper adjuster to be there for anything other than complying with Louisiana codes that require the adjuster to be on site within certain time frames. This is what we have found, as stated by an independent adjuster in David Charles, Good Guys, and Memories from Katrina :
If you are fighting for 20 plus claims per day, it is not good management of claims of faith. You can not handle 20 plus claims per day properly. If this is the normal course of action, it is no wonder that there are so many poorly adjusted and delayed claims.
The policyholder signed up to receive full service directly with people dedicated to giving all the money directly. No excuses for delays and excuses from adjusters who show that they are more concerned about finding ways not to pay and not having time to do an investigation on time – which means right away!
If the insurance company does not provide this type of service after a loss, it should not primarily be about selling insurance. It's simply crushing the public and causing the kinds of problems we find in the Panhandle of Florida and elsewhere.
My roof is leaking and who should I hire to get it fixed? Read, Do not make these 7 mistakes when choosing a roofing contractor after a hurricane :
1. Choose only one licensed contractor. (While in North Carolina only a $ 30,000 roofing job is required for a license, you still need the roofer to show a license because the best roofers have that license.)
2. Accept only a contract based on a written proposal with full detailed written explanations of materials, costs for permits and detailed description of the work to be performed with a price.
3. Just accept a roofer with proof that they show you, not just say about the industry's professionalism, manufacturer's certification, union membership and workers' training.
4. Only accept work from those who have a permanent business address and who are in the industry long enough to demonstrate financial stability.
5. Only accept a contract with warranties backed by a manufacturer.
6. Accept only a contract from a roofer who can display references in the state, call the references and do a google search for the company. Never press to sign a contract directly.
7. Do not sign with those who demand money in advance before the material is in place, say that permission is not needed, can not show proof of insurance and who fail to send all these 7 points when you show them it.
So, what else are you going to do?
This quoted an article in Forbes me:
After the loss, & # 39; your ego is not your hero & # 39 ;. Do not think that you can figure out what all the lowercase letters mean in an insurance policy and that you are now an expert in valuation. My rule is that the bigger the claim, the more important it is to seek outside professional help. Small claims can be handled individually and the passionate insurance agent can often help resolve the matter. But when the damages become greater and especially if it is a commercial loss where the survival of your company depends on a quick and complete recovery, it is important to get further help from claims texts.
The insurance company will have its own experts. Sometimes the experts who should have your best interest do not and you will never find out until it is too late.
My best advice to people who want to avoid a second insurance disaster after a disaster is to seek the best help you can before and after the loss.
We get more tips. But the problem is clear – most insurance companies have emergency adjusters rather than super-qualified adjusters to determine your full claim. You have to show the damage and cooperate. But you need to understand that most insurance companies depend on you to determine what you owe. They will not pay the costs for the time it will take or for the expertise to make this decision for you.
Thought for the day
When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.