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What to do next if you have major damage

Old 09-15-2017, 07:37 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Leeroyjenkins View Post
It's your duty to make the claim and prove your loss. People get this backwards and get butt hurt when they don't get paid out for the full policy limit.

Document your losses, feel free to get a contractor estimate. When the insurance adjuster shows up, walk with them and point out the damages. They will write an estimate for you to provide to the contractor of YOUR choice. If the contractor thinks the estimate is light, have them submit an estimate for the difference. They will negotiate and come to an agreement. Just like how most business transactions take place. Think about buying a home, car, boat etc. offer, counter, counter, settle. Sometimes it works first try, but usually not.

Remember the insurance company is there to make you whole again, not provide a full update of your home. If you house looks like it belongs in 1988 don't be surprised if you are out of pocket a little bit to bring it up to 2017 standards.
They are supposed to make you whole as per the contract you have with them. But they rarely do. It's a multi-billion industry not because they pay all their claims in full.

Great advice on documenting everything.
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Old 09-15-2017, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by istriker22 View Post
They are supposed to make you whole as per the contract you have with them. But they rarely do. It's a multi-billion industry not because they pay all their claims in full.

Great advice on documenting everything.
No one actually reads the contract. No one knows the difference between replacement cost value and actual cash value. People get mad when we pay for corian countertops and they want granite. They get mad because they get read ended and we don't replace their head light bulb. They get mad that they break the skeg off their lower unit and we don't paint the bottom.

People don't get mad about Nike charging $50 for a pair of shorts that cost $2 to make but they get mad at insurance companies because they pay them $2000 per year and they only paid back $200,000 and they really wanted $250,000

Yes, insurance companies are a business, like all businesses they show up to work today to make money. Your claim will be paid, there are laws and regulators in place to ensure that it does, but as I said, it is your duty to prove your loss.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:49 AM
  #23  
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You are entitled to like kind and quality. If you had 40 year old mica cabinets/tops, you don't get raised panel cherry doors with granite tops. Pictures and documentation are critical to get what you're entitled to. The insurance company is not out to deny what you're owed but they won't just give you what you want.
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Old 09-15-2017, 11:15 AM
  #24  
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I put this in another thread but might be better here.

I just called American Express and they are allowing you to go back 7 years and look at your charges. It might help for documentation. I would assume other cards might do the same. I have always tried to put all my charges on AMEX for my Keys home so they are in the same place.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:52 PM
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Mike,
are you going down this weekend to check things out? Post some pics and pm me with what you find
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jbnport View Post
Mike,
are you going down this weekend to check things out? Post some pics and pm me with what you find
I will do that. I don't think I am going to go down that quickly quite yet, they still have not confirmed a sure re-entry yet. I hate to fly down and burn Vacation days waiting to get in. Thanks.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:37 AM
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I have friends heading in by boat today to check their damage...
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:17 AM
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Ground level damage.....two room full bath plus washer dryer and cabinets/counter....3ft of water....permitted living space.....but been told not to file flood claim as it would result in loss permitted space.....any truth to that? Thoughts?
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by razzman View Post
Ground level damage.....two room full bath plus washer dryer and cabinets/counter....3ft of water....permitted living space.....but been told not to file flood claim as it would result in loss permitted space.....any truth to that? Thoughts?
That is a good question. I have same issue. Interested to hear any experience with this condition.
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Old 09-16-2017, 06:58 AM
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If anyone has homeowners claims questions I am happy to help. I don't do a lot of flood stuff though or I would chime in.
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by istriker22 View Post
Good advice overall.

Something else to have in mind, insurance companies will not make you whole again. They will offer you much less than your claim is worth. Do not settle right away. At the end of the day, you will need an attorney to fight for your rights.
This is spot on advice, for the most part. I'm not sure a Public Adjuster is best way to go at end of claim. At that point, you might as well hire an attorney. The Public Adjuster charges 10% (limited by law). The attorney's fees and costs are paid by the insurance company on top of whatever they pay for the loss. This means you don't lose 10% of whatever they pay you right up front.

I would add one thing: be careful of which attorneys you hire. Look for attorneys that handle first party insurance claims regularly. After a storm, everybody is an insurance attorney. Before the storm, first party insurance attorneys are much harder to find. Funny how that works.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
I am in the same boat. I don't have a clue. I will tell you we will learn very quick in the next week.
Mike, you may NOT be allowed to rebuild.

Feds have a new regulation..IF the monetary damage is over a certain percentage (threshold) of the assessed value of improvements (not land), EVERYTHING must come up to current code. Elevation, structure, electric, etc.

It's a new game out there!

Just looked it up...FEMA, Unit 8

Last edited by billinstuart; 09-17-2017 at 01:54 PM. Reason: add'l. info
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
Mike, you may NOT be allowed to rebuild.

Feds have a new regulation..IF the monetary damage is over a certain percentage (threshold) of the assessed value of improvements (not land), EVERYTHING must come up to current code. Elevation, structure, electric, etc.

It's a new game out there!

Just looked it up...FEMA, Unit 8
Thanks Bill, there is a good chance of that. I wonder what number the feds use as a basis? All 3 flood, wind, and homeowners settlements combined? The main reason I bought a ground level as our plan was to retire in it. I have MD so I will have a hard time with stairs, but I could consider an elevator.
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
Thanks Bill, their is a good chance of that. I wonder what number the feds use as a basis? All 3 flood, wind, and homeowners settlements combined? The main reason I bought a ground level as our plan was to retire in it. I have MD so I will have a hard time with stairs, but I could consider an elevator.
Just sent you a PM. The value is usually the improvement value from the county property appraiser. The "cost" may be from legitimate estimates or simply a sq.ft. value the building department determines for the permit.

This is all fairly new stuff.

The building code addresses "handicap" issues. Florida also has its own ADA code, which parallels the Fed, but can be more stringent. Even personal elevators have fire rated shafts and doors. My buddy just installed one in a townhouse..paid almost 2 grand for special door hinges.
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
Just sent you a PM. The value is usually the improvement value from the county property appraiser. The "cost" may be from legitimate estimates or simply a sq.ft. value the building department determines for the permit.

This is all fairly new stuff.

The building code addresses "handicap" issues. Florida also has its own ADA code, which parallels the Fed, but can be more stringent. Even personal elevators have fire rated shafts and doors. My buddy just installed one in a townhouse..paid almost 2 grand for special door hinges.
Thanks Bill, I can still walk unassisted, I have even refused that damn handicap sticker. But I know it will get worse. I am going to fly down and be there Tuesday just to document everything and hopefully be able to meet with all the adjusters.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
Thanks Bill, I can still walk unassisted, I have even refused that damn handicap sticker. But I know it will get worse. I am going to fly down and be there Tuesday just to document everything and hopefully be able to meet with all the adjusters.
You can often SMELL mold.

Many insurance policies have riders which cover the extra expense of replacing stuff to meet current code. Simple "replacement" policies may be woefully inadequate. Do NOT assume you can just repair what's there.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:38 PM
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There is no replacement cost coverage on flood insurance and no code upgrades. Also, most people don't understand that not only is there a $250,000 cap on flood as well. What's worse and I've never understood how people here have got around it for so long down there is the dreaded FEMA 50% rule. It's been enforced for years by my area but obviously ignored in the keys. That is going to stop after Harvey and Irma. In plain English, what this means is that if you own a house with an assessed value of $125k on the building only, you can only spend $62.5k to fix it and you MUST adhere to all the FEMA guidelines, especially BFE, base flood elevation. If you're in an AE 8 or higher flood zone and ground level, they are going to make you pay to elevate the whole house to that level or limit your repairs. If you're 4 feet wet, there's no way you're going to bring that house up to code for less than $100k by the time you re-wire, replace drywall and insulation, cabinets, flooring and impact windows or shutters if you've been using plywood. Window, code upgrades, strapping, etc will unfortunately be out of pocket for flood but may get picked up by homeowners insurance if you also suffered wind damage and have code upgrade coverage... BUT will still be limited by the 50% rule.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jbnport View Post
There is no replacement cost coverage on flood insurance and no code upgrades. Also, most people don't understand that not only is there a $250,000 cap on flood as well. What's worse and I've never understood how people here have got around it for so long down there is the dreaded FEMA 50% rule. It's been enforced for years by my area but obviously ignored in the keys. That is going to stop after Harvey and Irma. In plain English, what this means is that if you own a house with an assessed value of $125k on the building only, you can only spend $62.5k to fix it and you MUST adhere to all the FEMA guidelines, especially BFE, base flood elevation. If you're in an AE 8 or higher flood zone and ground level, they are going to make you pay to elevate the whole house to that level or limit your repairs. If you're 4 feet wet, there's no way you're going to bring that house up to code for less than $100k by the time you re-wire, replace drywall and insulation, cabinets, flooring and impact windows or shutters if you've been using plywood. Window, code upgrades, strapping, etc will unfortunately be out of pocket for flood but may get picked up by homeowners insurance if you also suffered wind damage and have code upgrade coverage... BUT will still be limited by the 50% rule.
Some (many) areas have ignored it. It's certainly NOT well known in real estate circles.

THIS has the potential to be a game changer. It will absolutely affect the keys and other coastal areas.

BTW, you're probably NOT gonna find this on you tube......
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jbnport View Post
There is no replacement cost coverage on flood insurance and no code upgrades. Also, most people don't understand that not only is there a $250,000 cap on flood as well. What's worse and I've never understood how people here have got around it for so long down there is the dreaded FEMA 50% rule. It's been enforced for years by my area but obviously ignored in the keys. That is going to stop after Harvey and Irma. In plain English, what this means is that if you own a house with an assessed value of $125k on the building only, you can only spend $62.5k to fix it and you MUST adhere to all the FEMA guidelines, especially BFE, base flood elevation. If you're in an AE 8 or higher flood zone and ground level, they are going to make you pay to elevate the whole house to that level or limit your repairs. If you're 4 feet wet, there's no way you're going to bring that house up to code for less than $100k by the time you re-wire, replace drywall and insulation, cabinets, flooring and impact windows or shutters if you've been using plywood. Window, code upgrades, strapping, etc will unfortunately be out of pocket for flood but may get picked up by homeowners insurance if you also suffered wind damage and have code upgrade coverage... BUT will still be limited by the 50% rule.
It has been heavily enforced in unincorporated Monroe County for the past few years. Not so much in the incorporated areas as they have their own building departments.

All the energy code stuff (hvac, wall and roof insulation, low-e coating, etc..) will also apply so rebuilding over 50% of the original structure value will be very expensive.

There is some written or unwritten exception where they allow you to break a full remodel up over several permits with one having to be finaled before the next is issued.
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:52 PM
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Used to be that the City of Sarasota would let you do 50% one year, close the permit and do 50% percent again next year...and so on. Sarasota county had a lifetime 50% rule based on original cost basis. I've wondered for years renting places in Marathon how they let them totally redo an old ground level unit with new everything in Marathon.

I remember 4 or 5 years ago renting one of the old ground level units at The Reef. I was talking to an owner who was remodeling a unit and replacing the old wallbanger with a new central system. He was complaining they were making him mount his compressor at roof level and it looked "funny". He pointed to a unit at the elevated units across the lake at 4 feet off the ground. I explained to him that he was AE8 and that's where it needed to be mounted. I also pointed out that I couldn't believe they let them rebuild after Wilma and then put 50 grand into a remodel a few years later and ignore the 50% rule. He said the city didn't care what the county said, they just wanted tourist tax dollars so that made it ok.

FEDS will be way more involved than Wilma, that won't happen again.
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