Even though Hurricane Matthew’s exact path is still uncertain it is better to be prepared than to be caught without a plan! Harry Levine Insurance is here for you if and when the storm strikes. As insurance professionals our job is more than just showing up to the office every day. Our job is to be there for our clients when they are in their most difficult moments.
We urge you to adopt a Hurricane Preparedness Plan (see below). We urge you to monitor the storm. We urge you to take photos of your home and belongings and to find your insurance policies. Keep them dry and safe! You will find a listing of all of our insurance company partners’ claims contact information here on our website. Please make a note of your carrier’s contact information.
If you do need to file a claim after Matthew passes please remember that contractors using “Assignment of Benefits” clauses in their contracts should not be trusted. These predatory companies are literally and legally stripping you of your rights as a homeowner and a policy holder if you sign an Assignment of Benefits. They disallow you from participating with the claims adjuster and your repairs. They even lead to disputes that often lead to liens against a home that the owner can do nothing about. AOB’s are often a red flag for insurance claims abuse and fraud. If you have damage and need immediate assistance we urge you to call a reputable disaster mitigation service. Harry Levine Insurance has relationships with two in the Central Florida area: Baxter Restoration and Emergency Services and Reconstruction (ESR). Neither of these vendors uses Assignment of Benefits clauses and both have a proven track record across our area. If you have insurance with one of the following carriers we urge you to call them directly in the event of a loss. They each offer managed repair programs that will send reputable mitigation specialists as soon as possible and interface seamlessly with you and your adjuster: Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, Edison Insurance Company, People’s Trust Insurance Company, and Tower Hill Insurance Group.
We truly hope that Floridians see just a little rain and a little breeziness. Should the weather get destructive we will be here for you!
Q: I’ve had damage to my property. What do I do?
A: If you have Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, Edison Insurance Company, People’s Trust Insurance Company, or Tower Hill Insurance Group call them immediately to have a mitigation specialist dispatched. If you have another insurance company immediately call Baxter Restoration (844-627-9432, http://www.orlandodisasterrestoration.com/), Emergency Services & Reconstruction (407-422-0144, http://esrfl.com/), or a non-Assignment of Benefits using vendor of your choosing. Next, call us to assist in claims filing if necessary.
Q: My neighbor had damage. I think my property is ok. He/she is getting a new roof. Should I file claim to see if I have damage too?
A: You should have your property inspected by a professional. Filing a claim if you are not aware of actual existing damage may or may not lead to future insurance difficulties, and it may clog the system unnecessarily. Please call us to discuss and/or call a preferred mitigation vendor for a consultation and inspection.
Q: I am without power. Where should I go?
A: If you are without basic utility services and you can safely travel doing so may be wise. Most homeowner insurance policies contain a provision for Additional Living Expenses. Please keep any hotel, travel and food/beverage receipts. Subject to your actual insurance contract you may qualify for reimbursement of such expenses.
Q: There is water in my house. Am I covered?
A: This is a case by case scenario that only a claims adjuster can determine. However, we can say that the source of the water is critical. If you do not have Flood Insurance water that has intruded from a river, lake, pond and certain inundation by rain and even swimming pool overflows are not covered by homeowner insurance. If you have damage such as to your roof or windows/doors and driving rain is allowed inside must homeowner insurance does provide coverage. Please call us to discuss your individual insurance contract. Read more about Flood Insurance…
Q: I’ve called a mitigation service and/or my insurance carrier. Why haven’t they shown up yet? Why haven’t I heard back from them?
A: Please be patient. Major catastrophe events like hurricanes stretch the claims system to the max. Most vendors should have relatively immediate responses (assuming roads are passable and its safe to travel) and most claims organizations should have full-blown responses within just a few days. Today’s world demands immediacy. Vendors and carriers will do their best to provide just that despite extreme circumstances.
Q: I’m just totally confused. Help.
A: Give us a call or stop by. If we can be open we will be and there’s always a pot of coffee on!