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Pat Garrett

Be in control of your Claim!

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DIY Insurance Claim…what not to do

Often, property owners contact us after the they receive an unsatisfactory check from their insurance carrier. That’s not always a bad thing, but for the most part it’s a mess on top of an existing mess.  The insurance company may have their service providers contacting you, or you may get contacted via direct solicitation, whether it be a restoration contractor, roofer, water mitigation company or the alike.  Make sure you evaluate who you hire and the costs you incur.

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You got a check from your insurance company, but is it correct?

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Many insureds are receiving payments from their insurance carriers in the wake of 2020’s overly active hurricane season. That’s a good thing. It is no secret that the insurance industry’s resources are thin as a result of multiple hurricanes this year. They have sent field adjusters from near and far to assist in paying for your damages.

Since not all properties are the same, neither are the damage values. But, for purposes of speed and efficiency, many insurance carriers tend to treat properties as though they are the same. If you are unsure whether the amount you were paid by your insurance company to compensate your loss is enough to make you whole again, you should know that you have options.

Garrett Claims Group is able to re-open your claim and review the finite details in the event you are unsure whether the amount your insurance company gave you is correct.

Remember:

  • We effectively: 
    • Estimate your loss
    • Personally investigate your property
    • Document your concerns
    • Scheduling
    • Correspondence
    • Manage your claim
    • Access to Experts
    • Negotiate a Final Settlement
  • When in doubt:

How to read your insurance policy

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Paying the premium for your property is the first and last time many insureds think about their insurance policy. Understanding what you are paying for and how this will affect your claim is priority number one! If you have questions about your policy, give us a call. Garrett Claims Group is adept at identifying policy conditions, schedules, endorsements and advocating for property owners.

Breaking down your insurance policy:

  • Declaration Page
    • Property identified properly?
    • Amount Insured- Home or business adequately insured to value?
      • Structure: Can you rebuild it for that amount?
      • Contents: Is this enough to replace my belongings?
      • Loss of Use/ Business Interruption: Will this amount suffice?
    • Additional Insured- other than named insured that insurance benefits extend (IE: Mortgage Company)
      • Does this apply or must be amended?
  • Endorsements- Adding or taking away of coverage
    • Do you understand how this affects the policy, your damages and premium?
    • Do you need additional coverage?
    • Values increased?
  • Obligations in the event of a claim
    • What are my duties and rights?
  • Flood versus Wind versus Standard 
    • Do I need all 3 policies?
    • When do each pay?
Public Adjuster - Insurance Adjuster - Panama City - FL

You received a check, what’s next?

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Insureds folks are receiving payments from the insurance carriers – that’s a good thing! But it’s no secret that insurance industry resources are thin from highly active hurricane season. They have sent field adjusters from near and far to assist in the claims process and compensate you for your damages. 

Since not all properties are the same, neither are the damage values. If you are unsatisfied with the amount you received from your insurance carrier,
Garrett Claims Group can re-open your claim and review the finite details.

  • How do you know if it accounts for all the damages and even encompasses all your policy benefits? 
    • It is up to you to prove your claim.
      • As license public adjusters and general contractors:
        • We Evaluate the amount of damages and market costs
        • We Identify policy coverages is our business
        • We even work with your contractors
  • We excel in compiling the fine details.
    • Establish your claim position.
      • We estimate your damages
      • We have the team to mobilize on your loss
      • We have the team to mobilize on your loss
      • We manage the entire claim process
      • We file the paperwork
      • We get you a settlement

Cutting edge, boots on the ground investigation

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Every loss is not the same; even engineers will agree. Mother nature’s wrath coupled with your specific building’s construction/location/age, etc. equals an unapparelled equation that must be unraveled for a reasonable solution.

Recently we were engaged by a large condominium association with over 90 buildings; 70 plus acres of exposure. To assist in better understanding the impact of windstorm Garrett Claims Group incorporated drone technology to complement our visual inspections and provide another perspective of this claim.

Nothing beats boots on the ground as the best approach in investigating a loss.

A second review doesn’t cost you anything. No Recovery, no Fee.

Garrett Claims Group provides that personal touch whether we are:
  • Your public adjuster,
  • Appraiser for the disputed claim, or
  • Hired as litigation experts.

Texas-Louisiana Coast Devastated

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Hurricane Laura will made landfall as a Category 4 Hurricane on the Texas-Louisiana Coasts after a rapid 24-hour intensification. Many areas along the Texas-Louisiana coast are now faced with flooding, loss of power and damage to homes and property. We encourage those who are safely able to do so, to contact their insurance agency as well as a public adjuster.  A public adjuster has specific expertise regarding insurance policies and are often able to recover more money, more quickly than if a property owner did not use a public adjuster.  On average, using a public adjuster is able to recover 747% more than if a homeowner did not use a public adjuster.  The National Hurricane Center defines damage brought on by a Category 4 storm is defined by the NHC as: Catastrophic damage will occur. Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
If you’re near the affected area, please follow local evacuation mandates and safety protocol.
If your property was damaged as a result of Hurricane Laura, please let us know if we can help you defend your claim.  Call us at 877-467-5677 or complete an online inquiry HERE.

Hurricane Hanna is first Hurricane of the 2020 Season

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The first Hurricane of the season (Hanna) is on the Texas coast and delivering 75 mile an hour winds.
Storm Surge Warnings are in effect for:
* Port Mansfield to Sargent Texas
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
* Port Mansfield to Mesquite Bay Texas
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Barra el Mezquital Mexico to Port Mansfield Texas
* Mesquite Bay to High Island Texas
If you are in the Hurricane’s path, or have family and friends in the area, we encourage your to take these steps to stay safe: https://www.weather.gov/safety/hurricane-action

Hurricane season started on June 1st and will run through November 30th. That means that we are currently in the peak of the season. This is a critical time to ensure that we are prepared for the worst.

It is easy to feel that we may not be affected by these severe storms, but the reality is that you never know what can happen. Year after year the trends are continually moving upwards in frequency and strength of both tropical storms and hurricanes. In fact, from May to August the NOAA announced an increased number of named storms in the Atlantic during hurricane season.

However, if we take precaution and prepare ahead of time it is easier to rest assured that no matter the strength of the storm you and your family can come back even stronger when it’s finished. That is why all of us at Garrett Claims Group have put together a list of items we recommend you pack in your emergency storm kit!

Here is our list:

  1. Portable Electricity Source

With tropical storms bringing in strong winds that range from speeds of 37 MPH up to 72 MPH and hurricanes with speeds up to 215 MPH, there is a high chance that objects will be picked up and thrown around. Sometimes objects will hit power lines and cut sources of electricity. Most of the time when power goes out during a storm the personnel that can fix these outages can’t get to work until the storm is over. In the event of this happening we recommend that you are prepared by having portable external batteries, phone chargers, and even a battery or crank-powered just in case phone towers go down as well.

  1. Filtered Water

Widespread power outages heighten the chance of water supplies being compromised. This means that our normal sources of staying hydrated are no longer accessible. When you and your family are stuck with zero electricity and Florida’s humidity, water is even more essential than normal. Garrett Claims Group suggests that before a storm hits, you stock up on a gallon of water for every person in your family, including a gallon per each of your pets.

  1. Hygiene and Sanitizing Products

In the case that you and your family are displaced for a day or more and must find comfort in a storm shelter or friend’s home it is important that your emergency storm kit includes basic hygiene products. We recommend including soaps, hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and any other items you may find your family needing.

  1. Medications

Even if you and your family are not prescribed medication for daily use, we recommend having basic medication that can be of use if you are displaced for any amount of time. Items such as pain relief, fever relief, and allergy medication could all be useful. Of course, if you are prescribed medication from a doctor it is paramount that you include this in your emergency storm kit to avoid any complications.

  1. Identification and Documentation

You never know how long it will take for storms to be cleaned up after they hit. For this reason, we suggest packing important documents to have with you so that you are prepared if you need them for any reason. Documents could include but are not limited to passports, social security cards, birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and medical cards.

  1. Cash

It may not be something many of us are used to having around anymore but during power outages it could be your only option for purchasing items you need. We suggest bringing enough cash to last you at least three days without power and the ability to use credit cards.

 

Watch out for charlatans…

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Be in control…Signing paperwork could be devastating to your recovery…

Beware! There will be tons of unlicensed people claiming to be consultants, appraiser’s and damage evaluators. Only licensed Public Adjusters and Attorneys can represent policyholders! Remember there is way more to a claim than writing an estimate!!

We suggest not making decisions or signing contracts under duress. Make temporary repairs and protect your property from further damages. Then evaluate what to do and whom to hire.

Let us take the wheel to manage your claim and be your insurance claim resource. We like to think that everyone can benefit from our services, but the fact is our firm’s philosophy is for you to obtain the benefits you deserve. No more, no less.

When damages occur we suggest the following:

  • Claim Notification:
    • Contact both your insurance Company and Agent
    • Contact us (info@naicinc.com or  877-467-5677)
  • Claim Investigation – On your behalf we:
    • Meet and provide access to insurance company representatives
    • Respond to correspondence and requests
    • Determine claim values and scope of repairs
    • Provide accurate, detailed damage reports
    • Procure and provide access to experts
    • Provide support in alternative dispute resolutions (Mediation & Appraisal)
  • Claim Presentation- We are licensed to:
    • Provide the insurance company your insurance claim and Proof of Loss
    • Identify policy benefits and discuss disputed issues
    • Negotiate a fair and justifiable settlement
  • Protect Property and Temporary Repairs :
    • Hire contractors for emergency services
    • Preserve the damages and mitigate; make temporary repairs
  • Documentation:
    • Insurance Policy
    • Photographs
    • Receipts

Remember:

  • It is your obligation to: 
    • Report your claim
    • Protect the property from further damages
    • Prove your claim
    • Know your rights and duties
  • When in doubt:
    • Contact us at 877-467-5677 or info@naicinc.com

Stay informed with news and updates – NAIC ViewpointRegister Here!

11 Years Since a Hurricane?

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Hurricane events will continue to occur throughout our lifetime; it’s important to be prepared to deal with the aftermath.

Looking back, 2004 & 2005 were traumatic years to Florida’s landscape. Floridians are resilient people and veterans to enduring storm damages, rebuilding and insurance. Some parts of our great state have not yet been affected in over 50 years, while others pray not to have a repeat of year’s past.

Hurricane season officially started on June 1st and ends November 3oth. The peak of the season is August through October. There is time to prepare, but if you find yourself a victim of severe weather damage, be proactive when you file your claim.

Insurance claims are a product of hurricanes, and NAIC is part of this process as well. Many policyholders rely solely upon the insurance company to direct them and value their damages; this is not the insurance company’s job! Your insurance policy states that you are to prove your claim. You are entitled to hire a public adjuster or plaintiff attorney to represent your interest. Property insurance claims need proper detailing, management and resources to obtain an equitable settlement. Gaining a settlement is the end result; let NAIC manage the heavy lifting to get you there – start to finish.

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