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By Giovanni B.

Case Study: Hurricane Irma Water Damage Insurance Claim

September 10, 2017: Hurricane Irma is one of the most devastating storms in the history of Florida. It caused major and costly damages that will long be remembered for its intensity and wide-range of impact. 

This case study examines the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma to a homeowner and how the serious water damage brought about a series of problems within the household.

We will likewise explore the resolution of the problem through a professional approach that reveals the facts which essentially benefit the homeowner in the end. 

The Aftermath of Hurricane Irma to Homeowner Theresa Rivera

We met Ms. Theresa Rivera barely two months after hurricane Irma hit Naples, Florida. She learned about All Pro Adjusters through her friend’s recommendation.

Theresa went into our office mainly for consultation because her insurance claim had been denied. Based on her story, she and her family evacuated to her sister’s house 3 days prior to hurricane Irma for safety.

They have been told that it’s not safe to stay in their house because the hurricane was bound to cause extreme damages within their area. 

Theresa secured the house and made sure that everything is kept safe. She even had their gutters and drains cleaned up and managed to seal all the windows.

She explained how she did her part in taking care of their home before they left. Sadly, no amount of prevention can stop the catastrophic effects of the hurricane.

Their house had been severely battered by the hurricane causing serious damages to the roof and several windows. Floodwater flowed inside causing further water damage. Their beautiful home was unrecognizable as Theresa lamented.

The Insurance Claim

Theresa and her husband, Richard, did not lose hope after the devastation. They believed that they can count on their property insurance for the restoration of their homes. It somehow gave them reassurance knowing that they can get their life back to normal.

And so they filed for an insurance claim and complied with all the requirements. They patiently waited because they knew a lot of people are exactly in the same situation. Their neighborhood was, in fact, one of the areas that suffered the most. 

Finally, a representative of the insurance company contacted them and performed the investigation and damage assessment. Theresa answered all questions and cooperated throughout the entire process.

After a few days, she received a letter from her insurance provider stating that, after thorough review, her insurance claim has been denied. It was mentioned that there was an element of neglect on their part as homeowners and the insurance company has no liability over the damages left by hurricane Irma to their home. 

Other technicalities were mentioned in the letter that pertains to the extent of their insurance policy. But the bottom line was that she was not entitled for any insurance coverage.

The Next Step

Theresa knew about the choices she has left. One of her friends told her about the next steps she could take in case of insurance claim denial. Soon enough, Theresa called our office and requested for an appointment.

We understood the stress she was going through so we jumpstarted the process right away. We sent out our representative to assess the property damage and perform the documentation of evidence. We reviewed her case and interpreted her property insurance policy including the insurance company’s letter of denial. 

We at All Pro Adjusters make sure that we are well-equipped with documents and evidence prior to negotiating. The case of Ms. Theresa Rivera is quite a common scenario.

However, it requires a unique approach because there are several complexities that include the state of the property prior to the hurricane, an element of neglect on the part of the homeowners and the fact that the house was vacant when the calamity struck. 

There are many other factors that add up to the case. Still, based on our review and assessment, Theresa is entitled to the insurance coverage due to the actual facts and evidence that do not reveal any sign of neglect.

First, it is not fair to assume about the condition of the house when the hurricane hit. Second, there was an ordinance that all residents must vacate the area for safety.

Third, the insurance policy covers unforeseen events and that include acts of nature. And lastly, Theresa was able to substantiate her claim that she secured their home prior to evacuating.

Case Presentation and Negotiation Procedure

We at All Pro Adjusters take it as our responsibility to represent our clients and their best interests. We approach the case based on documented facts and evidence.

We support all our claims with confirmation and don’t rely on mere assumptions and statements. During the case presentation, we laid down on the table the result of our assessment, all pertinent documents, and cost estimates. The negotiation was focused on our interpretation of Theresa’s insurance policy and how it directly supports her claim. 

We made sure that we were thoroughly prepared to defend Theresa’s case so we can present her insurance policy objectively but on a wider perspective.

We understand the language and terms used by insurance companies; thus we know how to approach the case from a position of strength wherein there is no other way to end the negotiation but for the insurance company to grant the best possible settlement – in all fair terms.

Case Resolution

After a couple of weeks, we delivered to Theresa the good news that she had been granted by her insurance provider with the maximum insurance settlement.

The amount is more than enough to cover the major repairs of their home and whatever is left can be spent on the replacement of damaged furniture and appliances.

Overall, the insurance settlement can help Theresa and her family to get their life and household back to normal. And on our part, we were able to protect their rights as policyholders and help them claim what they deserve right when they needed it the most. 

Conclusion

All Pro Adjusters is every insurance policy holder’s ally in claiming for fair insurance coverage. It is our job to represent policyholders and to negotiate on their behalf to make sure that they get the maximum settlement they deserve.

As for the case of Theresa, it is apparent that a denied claim does not mark the end of the process. We can help turn things around by substantiating the evidence and interpreting insurance policies from an advantageous position.

It is our commitment as Public Adjusters to protect the rights of insurance policyholders and to make sure that all insurance claims are evaluated fairly and objectively.

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