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Insurance company trying to settle not sure what to ask for? Hurricane Micheal Damage

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hathawaywares

New member
I'm located in Youngstown Florida Near Panama city. This is from Hurricane Micheal that hit Florida!

I have mediation scheduled in a few days with the insurance company. Are attorneys claims adjuster that came out and looked at are house 8 months ago said it was roughly $105,000 worth of damage. The insurance company that i am suing called my attorney and offered to settle for $15,000 i said no. They called back that same day and said they would settle for $50,000 i said no. My attorney said $50,000 would be a good deal. I feel like she is trying to close they case and just get paid. Realistically what can i ask for, i dont know what i can get? My attorney gets paid separate from my settlement and they are getting $20,000 thats for now if it goes longer i'm sure they would make more.
I just feel like i'm being taken advantage of and neither my attorney or the insurance company cares. Its been almost a year and i'm ready for this to be over but i dont want to leave money on the table from lack of knowledge and experience. My attorney has been pretty good and she is willing to keep fighting and not pressuring me at all to say yes. I'm looking for any advice before i go to mediation or tips etc. Thanks so much!
 


ALawyer

Senior Member
There are several issues here. First, there is the issue of exactly how much damage was done from wind (flood damage is usually excluded from homeowners policy claims) and what it will cost to repair the damage, and possibly make "code upgrades" if required by your jurisdiction. Second there is the issue as to whether you had at insurance equal to at least 80% of the replacement value of your home (as if not, the coinsurance clause in your homeowners policy would reduce your recovery pro-rata. Third, is the issue as to whether you took prompt steps to mitigate the damage, as if you tarried and further damage that could have been prevented occurred, the insurer would not be liable for that. Forth would be the issue of exactly what insurance company you have as although I am not a Florida lawyer, I seem to recall that some companies or state run entities were able to get the legislature to limit their liability.

As the damage occurred about a year ago, presumably you already made most of not all the repairs and have paid bills from one or more contractors. The mediator should regard the total of those bills as pretty much is what the insurance company should pay and you should get, again subject to the limitations I outlined above. Of course, if the contractor also made "improvements" -- not required as "code upgrades" -- the cost of any such improvements would be deducted from what you should expect to recover.

If the repairs have not been made, your negotiating position before the mediator and your legal position at trial would be much worse. If the matter went to trial you would have to bring in expert contractors to testify as to what the cost of the repairs would be. If you're in mediation the mediator would also expect that you will show some concrete evidence from reliable professionals that the repairs would be as costly as you claim. That's what you are entitled to, less any deductible.

If your insurance company is acting in "bad faith" you might just be able to get in addition to the cost of repairs significant extra damages -- usually up to 4 times what they should have paid you -- for the insurer's bad faith and violation of the unfair claims settlement practices (as offering $15k for what even they recognize is worth at least $50k seems to be bad faith per se) -- IF your lawyer knows what he or she is doing or asks a lawyer who is an insurance law expert. Your lawyer should certainly make that claim to the mediator and if the case can't be settled, to the court, and may have to amend the pleadings.
 
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adjusterjack

Senior Member
I'm a retired property claims adjuster. Florida was my territory for many years and I handled quite a few hurricane claims, including Katrina.

ALawyer has given you a proper assessment of your situation and I also find something smelly about the offer of $15,000 followed by an offer of $50,000.

That being said, I am going to answer the following questions:

Realistically what can i ask for, i dont know what i can get?
What you can get is exactly the amount of money that it costs to repair your home less your deductible. No more, no less, and not any BS amount put forth by your public adjuster who is likely padding the estimate to make his commission and save you your deductible.

So tell me. What was the damage that your home sustained during the hurricane? Presumably you have a list. Itemize it for me and describe your house.
 

hathawaywares

New member
I'm a retired property claims adjuster. Florida was my territory for many years and I handled quite a few hurricane claims, including Katrina.

ALawyer has given you a proper assessment of your situation and I also find something smelly about the offer of $15,000 followed by an offer of $50,000.

That being said, I am going to answer the following questions:



What you can get is exactly the amount of money that it costs to repair your home less your deductible. No more, no less, and not any BS amount put forth by your public adjuster who is likely padding the estimate to make his commission and save you your deductible.

So tell me. What was the damage that your home sustained during the hurricane? Presumably you have a list. Itemize it for me and describe your house.
New roof needed small leaks i had patched up but the roof has a bow in it and needs to be replaced. The houses back main bedroom is not level and is shifted so the back of the house needs to be jacked up and braced and repaired . Windows about 5 of them need to be fixed glass broken and blown out. The floor throughout the home is all wood of the same type. The kitchen area and floor took major water damage so because of the space being so large, i was told the whole floor through the home would be covered because of the damage. So i'm getting the money to replace the floor throughout the whole home. My bathroom floor was also damaged it is the only room in the house with tile floor and it is also really soft and all has to come up. The kitchen cabinets and and tops all have to come out from water damage.

The Adjuster was hired by my attorney and they came up with the figure of 105,000 or 115,000. Which didn't make scene to me. But thats what she said it was.

So for a quick look..

my house is worth 105,000 roughly 3 bed 1 bath.

3 beds 1 bath 1,089 sqft




1 . I need a new roof.
2. New floor through the whole house.
3. New bathroom
4 new kitchen cabinets and tops.
5 house needs to be leveled in the back half possible the whole thing.
6 cracks in sheet rock around crown molding and roof need to be repaired.
7 Painting the inside.
8. Had a new water well put in.
9. windows about 4/5 windows need to be fixed.

Thats the main things. Its just weird she calls me today and says they want to settle for 54,000. I told her no and i was looking at getting a second opinion. Which she was fine with. It just frustrates me how they go from 15,000 to 50,000 in the same day and she told me to take the 50,000. Now there offering more money.

I have Mediation with them on Friday. The insurance company is trying to get me to settle before mediation so they can call it off is what my lawyer is telling me. Also my wife is in law enforcement and we have 3 k9's in the house. So dealing with adjusters and this whole thing has been a pain in the ass lol.

Thanks so much for looking at this and helping!
 
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adjusterjack

Senior Member
I think you do have at least $50,000 in repairs. But for a small house I doubt if it's going to be anywhere near $100,000.

I suggest you get a general contractor to give you a bid on what the actual repairs will cost.
 

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