Prior to starting my real estate career, I spent the better part of a decade counseling those in need – people struggling with job losses, homelessness, and addictions. All of them
Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and Storms, Oh My!
Dated: August 31 2019
Greetings from the Real Estate Oracle!
I welcome you!
Incidentally, I always knew our first blog series was going to be on hurricanes. And here I am as Hurricane Dorian is hours away from my doorstep. Perfect.
Two years ago when Irma came and went, it left us with an unnoticed battered roof and a leak that went undetected for 11 months. When we realized the leak, we called our insurance company. Their reply, “Why didn’t you call us after the hurricane?”
Why would I? After all, my roof wasn’t leaking, and I didn’t realize the shingles were affected.
They continued, “Every time a hurricane passes you need to call us right away. No matter what.”
WHAT? No matter what? Isn’t that a waste of time? And shouldn’t I be worried about my homeowner’s insurance rates being affected?
You see, I own and lead a large real estate team in Central Florida. We’ve sold over 1500 homes since 2007 and have met and spoken to thousands of homeowners over the years.
I wonder how many customers are calling their insurance company after a hurricane. No matter what. Are you?
I decided to bring in a professional. Attorney Chris Ramirez represents consumers who have problems with their homeowners insurance companies. I have known Chris for years. He’s one of the good ones.
Amy: Hi Chris! Thank you so much for helping. Can you tell us what exactly you do?
Chris: I am an attorney that represents homeowners, condo associations, and business owners involved in disputes with their insurance companies.
Amy: And what’s the reason you do what you do?
Chris: Early on in my career I saw insurance companies mistreat their policyholders. I thought that it was wrong. Policyholders pay specifically for these insurance benefits. The insurance companies had the audacity to deny the policyholders on valid claims! Now, being able to help a homeowner obtain money to put their home back together is the best part of my job.
Amy: Wow, that’s a really a great story. I like you even more. Can you share the biggest mistake you see homeowners making?
Chris: Sure. They expect and assume the insurance company to do the right thing and take care of the claim. Insurance companies are only concerned with paying as little as possible on a claim.
Amy: Okay, so then what’s the process? What does this look like for the homeowner?
Chris: First, a loss happens at the property (i.e. pipe burst, hurricane, fire, etc.). Second, the homeowner files the claim with the homeowner’s insurance company. Third, an insurance company adjuster visits the home to assess the damage. The adjuster prepares a scope of repairs. Fourth, the insurance company contacts the homeowner and lets them know how much will be paid out or if the claim is denied. Most of the time, homeowners contact me when they find out the insurance company’s decision (to pay or deny). Homeowners also contact me if the insurance company is taking too long to get back to the homeowner.
Amy: Well that seems simple enough. Though I hear from my customers they are scared to call.
Chris: Unfortunately this does happen. However, you should not be afraid to tap into the resources you’ve already paid for. Also, all homeowners should shop their policy every single renewal period for better rates.
Amy: Okay, so step one is to file a claim? What’s the easiest way to do this?
Chris: You can call up your insurance company or file the claim on your company’s website. It’s actually pretty easy.
Amy: That is easy. Okay, so if a storm is on its way, is there anything we should do now?
Chris: Absolutely. 1. Take photos of everything! 2. Take a look at your policy and make sure you have all of the necessary coverages. 3. Have a list of some trusted companies ready in the event of any loss at the home.
Amy: Photos? Okay, that’s what I’ll be doing asap. And who am I calling first?
Chris: If the damage to the home is something that does not require immediate cleanup or repair, call the insurance company first. If the damage requires immediate cleanup, then call an emergency services company, general contractor or roofer, etc. to mitigate further damage. Then call the insurance company to report the claim.
Amy: That’s great information. And for new homeowners, what happens if you buy a home and find out after you close there was a claim?
Chris: That really depends on the situation. It could be easy or it could be difficult.
Amy: Alright. So if people need your services, how do fees work? Do they pay you?
Chris: No. There are no costs or fees unless the firm makes a recovery for you. If we file a lawsuit and win, the insurance company pays me.
Amy: Oh so that’s really great. You don’t get paid unless you get results.
Amy: Excellent. Well, we appreciate you, Chris, and thank you so much for sharing your insights!
Chris: It’s my pleasure, Amy. Thank you!
If you’re in need of Chris’ services, then please reach out to us directly. For any questions about your home, we have additional resources – tree cutting, mold remediation, or restoration after a storm.
Next week, I have a homeowner’s insurance company that will share more things we should know about.
Have a safe Labor Day, and to all of my Florida friends, please stay safe!
– Amy, Unraveling Real Estate Obscurities
KeyBella Homes at Keller Williams
6900 Turkey Lake Rd., Ste 1-3
Orlando, FL 32819
Remember, if your friends or family members are thinking of selling or buying a home, we’d be honored to help and will take amazing care of them. Feel free to visit us at keybella.com or call us at 407-445-7013.
Real Estate team that has helped close over 1700 homes since 2005. Exceeding Expectations is Our Standard!....
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