Roofers, contractors cannot argue your claim in Florida! Know these things before submitting a roof damage claim

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  • Roofers, contractors cannot argue your claim in Florida! Know these things before submitting a roof damage claim

In the state of Florida, roofers and contractors are not legally permitted to argue your insurance claim. Why? This is a result of years of problems with unscrupulous roofers making false or exaggerated claims on behalf of and unbeknownst to homeowners in order to get insurance money for big ticket jobs. “Prohibitions against deductible schemes have been in place in Florida statutes for years” (Citation, Claims Journal)

This responsibility is one that belongs to one of three people: you, a public adjuster hired to represent you, or an attorney hired to represent you. In other words, if there is any contest to your claim, the only people with the ability to defend the claim are you yourself, a licensed public insurance adjuster, or a board certified attorney. 

What does this mean exactly for Florida residents filing hurricane damage claims?

In the aftermath of damage. Some insurance companies will ask for quotes. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, residents didn’t even have to seek out quotes for repairs, contractors were canvassing neighborhoods providing estimates for repairs for homeowners to submit roof damage claims, flood damage claims, and other storm and water damage claims. 

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with accepting a contractor’s bid, there are important things to note. You’re accepting a certain level of responsibility when you submit that bid with your damage claim to your insurance company – and it’s important you understand that responsibility and what it is that you’re putting yourself on the line for. 

Just like not knowing the speed limit won’t get you out of a speeding ticket, neither will not knowing the true cost to repair your damages prevent you from getting denied by an insurance company that doesn’t agree with the charges. Insurance companies have tens of thousands of cases to compare actual damage and actual costs against. When they see a claim come in that appears wildly out of line with their data they can be quick to deny the claim or to counter with the lowest figure on their data chart. 

We’re not implying that your contractor is unethical – not at all. It’s not uncommon or unscrupulous for a contractor put together an estimate of the cost of repairs without looking through the eyes of the “principle of indemnity” i.e. your policy, state statutes (626.9744 (1),(2) for example) case law, etc. It’s that it’s outside the scope of their job to factor all of those details in when bidding your job.  

When you’re submitting that bid, you’re attesting that you understand, agree to, and stand behind that bid as a true and accurate cost. Insurance companies know that most homeowners probably really don’t know the actual cost to do the repairs but regardless, by submitting your damage claim yourself you are still attesting that you do. 

What a public adjuster does 

When you have a public adjuster prepare your claim for you, you are transferring that responsibility of assembling the bid in a manner that addresses what the “principle indemnity” is looking for. You’re putting someone in a position to have a debate with the insurance company in their own language and on their own terms.

A lot of people don’t realize that there is no upfront cost whatsoever to have a public adjuster do this for you. A public adjuster doesn’t get paid unless your claim is approved by the insurance company. And if approved, a public adjuster doesn’t get paid UNTIL your claim is paid. On average, people who use a public adjuster tend to receive higher claims amount payouts than those who do not because of their understanding of the regulations and laws. 

Both an insurance adjuster and an attorney can be of service after a claim is denied. An insurance adjuster can be brought in before the claim is submitted to participate in the entire process from filing to settlement. 

Special cases division for Hurricane Ian Damage Claim Victims 

If you’re confused about the process, that’s understandable. Aryeh, Ms. Maude, Abraham, Sharon, and David – we are South Florida public insurance adjusters serving our community. We have set up a special division to provide information, answer questions, and to assist you in navigating the hurricane insurance claims process. 

Sarasota Hurricane Ian Headlines:

Home damage from Ian exceeds $33M in unincorporated Sarasota County, according to initial report

Photos: A Look at South Sarasota County After Ian

Sarasota airport damaged during Hurricane Ian

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