FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Disaster Planning for Upcoming Hurricane Season Can Help Avoid Unnecessary Claim Delays According to Public Adjuster
As the 2013 Hurricane Season approaches, public adjuster Charles “Dick” Tutwiler told an audience of property managers that proper planning and coordination with their community associations can help avoid insurance claim problems resulting from any variety of property losses that include wind, flood and fire
May 13, 2013 / TAMPA, Fla. /
As the 2013 Hurricane Season approaches, public adjuster Charles “Dick” Tutwiler told an audience of property managers that proper planning and coordination with their community associations can help avoid insurance claim problems resulting from any variety of property losses that include wind, flood and fire.
The presentation titled Disaster Planning & the Reality of Insurance Claim Outcomes was part of a Disaster Planning Symposium sponsored by Greenacres Properties, Inc. held at Grand Central at Kennedy in Tampa, Fl., a Greenacre managed property. Mr. Tutwiler was the instructor for the symposium which also included presentations by city, police, utility and restoration specialists who presented their plans for dealing with disaster situations that may occur during the upcoming storm season.
Mr. Tutwiler, whose firm Tutwiler & Associates has been assisting Super Storm Sandy victims with their insurance claims in the New York and Long Island markets tried to use that experience to impress upon attendees the realities of dealing with a disaster situation. “People make the erroneous assumption that immediately following a disaster, emergency personnel and their insurance company will be there to get their claim in the works or that they’ll receive a settlement check that will make them whole. Our experience is that all resources are so heavily stressed in these situations, that property owners need to have contingency plans in place to deal with their situation until the proper help can be rendered,” according to Tutwiler.
Some of the key items Mr. Tutwiler stressed property owners should do include:
- Property owners should have their insurance documents, board minutes and documentation on the condition of their property prior to a storm organized and in a safe place. Some of the biggest disputes that can cause denials may involve property conditions prior to the storm.
- Settlement checks may not be processed as quickly as some would like. This could be due to claim delays, denials and local government red-tape. Policyholders should plan to tap contingency funds in order to move their recovery along and remember that the cost of repairs can skyrocket due to material and labor shortages
- Policyholders need to understand where their property stands in terms of current building code requirements. Older buildings damaged beyond a certain level determined by local ordinances may be required to be brought up to current code and greatly increase the cost of repairs.
- Understand your duties as outlined in your insurance policy. Any violations to take the proper steps could result in a claim denial based on a technicality.
- Keep in mind that loss inspectors can be rushed in a disaster situation and may miss some aspects of the damage to a property. Having a representative present during all inspections and documenting all communications in writing is key.
“Knowing what can go wrong with a property claim in the aftermath of a storm can help us all properly prepare and hopefully avoid some of the disappointments that we’ve seen occur,” commented Tutwiler.
Tutwiler and Associates
Phone: (800) 321-4488
For more information, please visit www.PublicAdjuster.com
About Tutwiler and Associates: Tutwiler and Associates is a firm of public adjusters licensed in 10 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands specializing in commercial and residential property loss adjusting. With well in excess of $113 million in client success stories over a 27-year history, the Florida public adjusters work exclusively on behalf of policyholders to help them achieve the maximum settlement amounts they can fairly and honestly recover based on their loss and their policy provisions. Professional help from the adjusters at Tutwiler and Associates can help clients obtain a fair recovery under their policy. The Gulf Coast based public adjuster firm is committed to public service and strives to educate its clients about commercial and residential windstorm and hurricane losses, flood damage, fire, smoke and water damage, collapse, hidden decay and mold losses, sinkholes, loss of stock, and business interruption.