Wednesday, August 19, 2020

What Is Covered Under Your Condo and Townhome Insurance Master Policy

Coastal view of Miami, FL
Insuring a condo or townhome is different than insuring a single home because the property is attached to a larger complex. According to Public Adjusters in GA, there are special considerations to make and certain factors you should know when it comes to townhomes and condo insurance.

Since owning a townhome or condo means that you belong to a larger structure, there are maintenance requirements to account for in most HOAs (Homeowners Associations). There are several common areas that are used by the whole community and these areas also need to be insured. The condo or townhome association takes care of insuring those areas, which is why there are association fees every owner must pay. But keep in mind that personal property and liability within your condo or townhome is not covered by simply paying HOA fees.

Condo Insurance

Condo insurance generally provides coverage on the majority of possessions within your individual unit. A bare walls-in policy covers all real property within a condo, which includes personal possessions, appliances, furniture, and d├ęcor items. Those looking for more extensive coverage in their condo can opt for an all-in policy. However, damages to shared amenities, the exterior structure and land all fall under the master HOA policy.  A public adjuster South Carolina reminds us that condo owners do not actually own any land, just a certain amount of space within a complex. The risks covered by your condo insurance cover the following:

•    Fire or smoke damage
•    Hailstorm, lightning and high winds
•    Civil unrest or riot
•    Car crash into complex
•    Theft and vandalism
•    Building collapse
•    Falling objects

Townhome Insurance

Townhome in Norcross GA, Townhouse in Norcross GA, Georgia home
Townhome in Norcross, GA.
Townhome insurance extends to all of the areas on the deed. That includes the land outside the townhome in addition to the interior and any balcony. Townhome owners own the land on which their unit is built, which means they need to have liability coverage should someone experience a slip and fall on their premises. The type of association and its specifics will detail what should and should not be covered with individual townhome insurance.

There are some townhomes that have no HOA that provides insurance for common areas and maintenance the way most condo HOAs are set up. In those instances, the same kind of homeowner’s insurance policies for single homes would apply to townhome owners.

In case you live in a higher risk area such as the South Carolina and Florida coasts you will want to make sure your insurance protects against natural disasters. If disaster strikes AmeriClaims can help commercial and residential property owners, including condo owners and townhome owners, through the claims process. A public adjuster will review your policy and make sure you receive exactly what you are entitled to according to your insurance policy.

Monday, July 27, 2020

How to Prove Your Property Insurance Claim

When your home is damaged by an act of nature, fire, flood or vandalism, you are entitled to an insurance settlement so that you can put the pieces of your life back together. However, receiving that settlement is not accomplished by making a simple phone call. You must prove all of that damage in order to receive compensation for your claim. Here’s how to get that done with tips from the public adjusters at AmeriClaims Inc.

Structural Damage

Check for structural damage and carefully document every crack, nick and missing roof tile. It is also a good idea to have your electrical system inspected by a professional and keep in mind that many insurance companies will pay for such inspections. It is also best to contact a public adjuster to assist you through the process.

stack of receipts, calculator, penKeep Receipts

In some instance, you will need to make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. For example, if a storm caused a hole in your roof, you will need to close that hole to prevent additional damage. Keep receipts for every repair you made and don’t go out and make any major repairs right away. That could hurt your ability to prove your claim.

Document Damage

The first step in proving your claim is to document every shred of damage. That includes listing all of your damaged items and providing a detailed description for each one. Provide the purchase date and the expected cost to repair or replace the item. Another highly recommended task is to take plenty of photos and videos of the damage. And don’t throw out any of those damaged items before your insurance company sends over a North Carolina public adjuster. The more documentation of damage you have, the better chance you have of proving your claim.

Obtain Written Estimates

Find a local contractor and obtain an estimate of what it would cost to repair the damage. Make sure this estimate is very detailed and includes the materials needed, expected timeline for completion and overall labor costs.

file folder, documents, docs, organized, insurance papers, receipts, written repair estimates, records


Keep all of your documentation, estimates and receipts in order by going out and buying a binder or portfolio. Also include every record of every conversation with contractors, insurance company reps, etc.

Avoid Making False Claims

Some homeowners may become a little greedy and start listing items they really did not own. This tactic could not only disprove your claim, but it could also lead to legal repercussions.

AmeriClaims, Inc. is ready to help you prove your claim and get the settlement you deserve. For the best public adjusters Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have to offer, contact an AmeriClaims representative right away and let us start working for you.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Why Actual Cash Value (ACV) Insurance Is a Bad Idea

When purchasing an insurance policy for your home or business, there is the option of choosing actual cash value. This provides you with cash for your damaged or lost items, but according to many FL public adjusters there are a number of reasons why purchasing this type of insurance is a bad idea.

Actual cash value sounds more appealing than it actually is for homeowners and business owners. The interpretation of actual cash value is one that is not exact. It could be more accurately termed as fair market value in many jurisdictions. The actual cash value is what would be paid for an item if it was sold in its current condition and not what it could cost brand new.

The main problem with actual cash value policies is that it factors in depreciation. It does not matter how much you paid for an item. You usually wind up receiving far less than that amount. Some courts may even consider older model items to be outdated and further reduce their value. Something only a AmeriClaims public adjust can try to fight.

If your home incurred storm damage and your 7-year old hot water heater ruptured as a result, your ACV policy would not pay for the entire cost of a new hot water heater. Instead, it would appraise the old water heater and pay that amount towards the cost of a new water heater. Even if that old hot water was in peak working condition, the insurance company would factor in depreciation along with wear and tear.
AmeriClaims public adjusters, storm damage, nature disaster, tornado damage, home destruction
If an item is stolen from your home, then the insurance company will automatically figure that wear and tear affected that item. So if a barely-used three year-old camera was stolen, the insurance company would assume it had three years of heavy usage. Coupling that with the fact that it is a dated model, the ACV payout is likely to be rather minimal.

The insurance company adjuster will use a formula to appraise these items, which includes age and category of the specific item or property. There adjuster’s account will also be considered as his/her report will influence the final ACV.

What ACV does is actually give insurance companies a lot of wiggle room when it comes to paying you as little as possible for your damaged, stolen or lost property. It can work against homeowners and leave them with much less of a payout than they would normally expect to receive.

AmeriClaims helps homeowners and property owners with all of their insurance claims as a trusted South Carolina public adjuster. Don’t settle for less than you deserve as AmeriClaims can help with your insurance claim today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

What You Should Not Do After You Experience a Claim

There is a detailed process that comes with filing an insurance claim for property damage. How that process is handled can affect your overall settlement. That is why it is just as important to know what not to do after you experience a claim. Here’s a look at some things to always avoid from top NC public adjusters, AmeriClaims Inc.

Do Not Make Repairs

The natural response to damage would be to make immediate repairs, but it is important to resist that urge. The insurance company will need to make a firsthand account of the damage in order to assess the cost of repair. Repairing the damage prematurely could cause you to lose out on a good deal of money. Be patient and wait it out.

Do Not Wait to Notify Your Insurance Company

Immediacy is important when making an insurance claim. Once you are out of harm’s way, the first thing you should do is contact your insurance company. Delaying could lead to your claim being denied and, in some instances, a lawsuit filed against you by the insurance company. One of our NC, FL, or SC public adjusters can guide you through the process.

Do Not Trash Damaged Items

The insurance company will come out and conduct their own documentation of the damage. Until that happens, leave everything as it is. Also, hold onto any receipts you have from the damaged items as they will help legitimize the value of those damaged items. Throwing out damaged items could give insurance companies reason to deny coverage.

Do Not Be Told Which Vendors to Use

Insurance companies will come out and recommend using certain contractors to fix the damage. You do not have to abide by those recommendations. You can select whichever contractor you want. Do your due diligence when finding these vendors and don’t be duped into believing you have to use certain ones.

Do Not Let Settlements Go to Anyone Else

Don’t permit any of your insurance settlement to be paid directly to a contractor. If a payment goes out to them before the work is finished, then that could affect their workmanship and attentiveness. Make sure any insurance payouts are made directly to you and then you can pay any contractors accordingly.

AmeriClaims Inc is ready to stand by you all the way through the claims process. As a top Charlotte public adjuster, we won’t let insurance companies take advantage of you during your time of need. AmeriClaims is ready to start working towards getting the settlement you deserve.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Don’t Stress With Self Repairs or Replace Property When You Have a Claim

Insurance claims are all about fixing something that has been damaged. In instances when a home or business is damaged, property owners will want to make repairs and replace their property as quickly as possible. However, property owners do not have to do either of those things. In this article, AmeriClaims Inc. Public Adjuster gives us a better look at how the repair process works.

Insurance policies were designed so that property owners do not have to make repairs or replace their property. All they have to do is report the damages. And in order to assess the damage in its entirety, insurance companies will need to get a close-up view of the damage.

Now, this process will not happen overnight. The good news is that it will happen as long as you follow the proper protocol and that does not mean conceding to the suggestions of your insurance company.

Within every insurance policy, there is something called Additional Living Expenses. This covers the costs of your day-to-day living while repairs are being made to your property. Keep all receipts and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement. And the longer it takes insurance companies to fix your damaged property, the longer it has to keep paying these living expenses. That could prompt them to speed up the process and take more immediate action.

Nevertheless, you will not have to repair a single thing. You can also select which contractors you would like to make the repairs. They are the ones who will be entrusted with fixing your home. You will still have to maintain mortgage payments that were in place before the damage, but it will not be on you to make any repairs. Any of our public adjusters in Florida, South Carolina or North Carolina can guide you through the whole process.

Any repairs that you do make could be contested by your insurance company and it could also be used to lessen your settlement. In some extreme cases, it could be used to deny your claim.

Clearing debris is not deemed the same as making repairs and this is something property owners can do, in addition to closing up holes that could lead to further damage. However, the extent of that generally applies to boarding up windows or covering a hole in the roof with a tarp.

AmeriClaims provides residents of the Charlotte area with someone they can turn to when faced with any kind of property damage. Our North Carolina public adjusters will walk you through the process and level the playing field so that insurance companies cannot take advantage of you. After disaster strikes, strike back at insurance companies by contacting AmeriClaims right away. 

lightning strike, lightning storm, lightning bolts, storm, danger, thunderstorm

Thursday, March 19, 2020

What Are Homeowner Duties After a Fire Loss?

In the aftermath of a fire, there is usually a myriad of emotions experienced by homeowners. While that is perfectly natural, there is still a need to meet your duties as a homeowner. After your home has sustained a fire, here is a list of duties you should be sure to cover.

Mitigate Damage

After a fire, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure the home is safe from any further damage. In instances where a home is a total loss, this step is not required. But if there is a hole in the roof, be sure to cover it with a tarp to prevent potential weather damage. Board up the necessary areas and make sure any embers are smothered. And be sure to take any valuable items out of harm’s way, such as a TV that is near an open area. Also, do not turn on any utilities without the consent of the fire department.

Compile a List

It is important to put together a list of all the items that were damaged or lost. Go around your home and be very thorough with your list as it is an important part of your insurance claim. And even if those items are completely destroyed, do not throw them in the trash. This could give the adjuster reason to refute your claim. Make sure all that evidence stays put.

Don’t Wait to File a Claim

Acting fast is key after fire loss. After calling your insurance company, a representative will ask that you submit a claim that is called proof of loss. This is where your list will come in handy. The reason it is important to act quickly is because it could extend the response time that an adjuster comes out to survey the damage. 

Track Your Expenses

Most policies have a loss of use clause. This is a way of getting reimbursed for your living expenses while you are away from your home. This is not an excuse to start spending wildly as insurance companies are not going to pay out more than what you were spending per month in your home. But it’s a good idea to start tracking expenses right away.

Hire a Professional Adjuster

Insurance companies are going to have adjusters attempting to pay you as little as possible. The way to fight back is to hire a public adjuster that will work for you. This is almost like hiring a lawyer when you are a victim of a crime. It’s important to have a professional on your side.

Contact AmeriClaims to speak to a public adjuster about your claim. Our team is ready to our experience to work for you and ensure the best payout from your insurance.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Red Flags For Homeowners on Insurance Company's Initial Offer

After your home sustains damage from a fire or natural disaster, the insurance claims process begins. Insurance companies frequently attempt to settle early on, although that is not always best for homeowners as our public claims adjusters have seen time and time again. Here are some red flags for homeowners to watch out for when an insurance company makes its first offer.

You did not file soon enough

An adjuster may attempt to use the excuse that you waited too long to file a claim, which has hurt your settlement amount. Most times, this is simply not the case. It is a tactic that insurance companies will use to pay out much less than they rightfully should. 

Asking for signature or recording

When insurance companies want to record a conversation or ask for your signatures in multiple places, take pause. Do not agree to sign anything or record anything without first consulting a public adjuster. Insurance companies are looking to manipulate quick settlements in their favor.

Low offer amount

It is common for insurance companies to offer you a low amount the first time around. When that occurs, you have the right to ask them to justify that amount by listing the damages and support that amount with ample reasoning. If you feel the number is too low, you can simply refuse the offer. 

Fast initial offer

If an insurance company contacts you with a fast initial offer, it is wise to look at it very skeptically. Insurance companies have a tendency to draw things out and when they do propose a quick offer, it is likely to get themselves out of paying a lot more than they rightfully should. The reality is that most property damage claims take months upon months to get settled. 

Using unfamiliar language

In some instances, insurance companies will attempt to cite intricate details of your policy to justify their claim. This is a tactic meant to confuse and strike fear into homeowners. If the initial offer comes with a whole lot of jargon you do not understand, deferred to a public adjuster near me for assistance before accepting anything. 

Aggressive allegations

An insurance company may try to get homeowners to feel as though they shoulder some of the blame. If the rep from your insurance company is acting aggressively or making any allegations to where you may be at fault, then it is a good idea to discontinue that conversation. It is a tactic aimed at getting you to settle right away.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Top Mistakes Homeowners Make After Suffering a House Fire

When a home catches on fire, no one is really prepared for what comes next. This is something that not many people plan for in their lifetime. However, homeowners’ actions after a fire are some of the most important ones they will make. Here is a look at the top mistakes homeowners make after suffering a house fire.

Throwing Things Away

Resist the urge to trash items that have been ruined in a fire. Chances are you are going to need them to prove your claim. Throwing things away will give insurance companies an easy way out of paying what you rightfully deserve. Those items are not trash, they are proof.

Clean Up

There is a natural inclination among most homeowners to clean up after a fire. But there is a fine line between securing your place so that it sustains no further damage and wiping away remnants of a fire. The insurance company needs to see the damage, so it’s a good idea to put the tools away and let the damage speak for itself.

Signing Documents

Insurance companies are looking to settle as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible. This may prompt them to ask for your signature on something you don’t fully understand. Don’t sign anything without talking to a public adjuster. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina public adjusters are available at AmeriClaims to consult about your claim.

Trust the Insurance Companies

Some insurance agents will make it seem like you are their No.1 concern and priority after a fire. The harsh reality is you are not. Insurance companies are in business to make money. If they always look out for the customers, business will not be as lucrative. Remember, they are not on your side no matter how nice they appear to be.

Don’t Make Records

It is vitally important to your claim to compile detail records of the items that have been damaged or lost. Taking pictures and making a list are essentials as it is a way to provide proof to your insurance company that your claim is substantiated.

Restore the Home Yourself

After you have handled the insurance essentials, the restoration of your home should be left to the professionals. Otherwise, it will cost you more time and money. It is important to seek out a company that is certified in fire damage restoration and repair. This will allow your home to be properly repaired as there are certain ways to deal with fire and smoke damage.

Have questions or concerns about filing a property damage claim? Contact AmeriClaims to speak with a highly trained and experienced local public adjuster today.