How Can Policyholders Protect Themselves from the “See No Evil” Claims Adjuster in Water Damage Insurance Claims?

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
Founder of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

When policyholders suffer a serious property loss from a broken water line or any form of water damage, much of the damage may be impossible to observe with the naked eye.  If water saturates wood behind drywall or flooring, this type of damage can only be identified by using appropriate technology.  Unfortunately, some policyholders that suffer water damage notify their insurance company and take appropriate steps to mitigate damages only to find that their settled claim failed to correct serious problems because of a less than thorough inspection.

Insurance companies have a duty to conduct a diligent survey that does more than simply include damage pointed out by the policyholder.  There is a better chance that this happens if your insurance company sends out a licensed Florida adjuster with experience, so you should specifically request that this type of adjuster be sent to meet with you to inspect the damage.  When you meet with the adjuster, you should ask for a business card so that you can confirm the adjuster is licensed in Florida. 

Some policyholders that suffer damage to their business or home do not realize that there are tools that experienced adjusters can use to uncover water damage or other hazards that are hidden under floors, drywall, or roofs.  If the adjuster uses an infrared (IR) camera, this can detect hidden moisture that can cause further loss when the property is not restored to its pre-loss condition.  Water trapped behind a wall or in a floor can cause deterioration of the wood or future mold claims.  Experts suggest that this technology be used when water damage occurs because of leaky pipes, flooding or broken water pipes. 

If the adjuster summoned to the property only inspects the damage you specifically point out, you should indicate that you are concerned that there may be other damage and request assistance in identifying that damage.  If the adjuster fails to do anything more than examine the damage you specifically observe, this will often result in an incomplete survey.  This may necessitate future claims for catastrophes caused by the failure to properly repair the property to pre-loss condition after the first incident causing water damage.

Property owners who cannot get the adjuster sent out by the insurance company to conduct a full investigation of water loss by using IR technology or other methods to detect water penetration behind walls or in floors or roofs might want to contact a Florida insurance claims attorney.

You can reach Miami Property Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].

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