Public Adjuster Fees in Florida

The following are the statutory rules for public adjusting fees in Florida:

Hurricane Claims: Capped at 10% for the first year following a hurricane as long as the governor declared the storm a state emergency. After the first year following the hurricane, the fee is capped at 20%.

Commercial property claims are not subject to the 10% cap.

Non-Hurricane Claims: Capped at 20%

The fees are calculated after the deductible is taken out.

Example of Public Adjuster Fees in Florida

$52,500 settlement — $2500 deductible = $50,000
10% Fee applied would cost $5000

Remember, no public adjuster can charge fees for money that has already been recovered by the insured.

Another example: The homeowner receives a check for $5,000 and then the public adjuster comes in and settles the claim for $50,000, then, the 10% fee is based on $45,000 new money.

I am happy to look at your claim to see what I can do to help you. I abide by the statute which regulates public adjuster fees in Florida.

Florida Allstar Public Adjusting, Inc.
Alan Himmel, Licensed and Bonded Public Adjuster. 954-659-8333

The Appraisal Clause

If your insurance policy has an Appraisal Clause, you have the option to ask for an appraisal if you feel like you are not getting a fair settlement and negotiations with the adjuster have it a brick wall.  The appraisal process is generally not for claim denials, but rather for situations where you don’t agree on the amount of the settlement. Either the insurance company or the insured can demand appraisal.

How the appraisal process works…in Simple Terms.

Once the Appraisal is invoked, both parties (the insurance company and the insured) will provide a person who acts like the appraiser. Generally, this person is a licensed insurance adjuster.   These two people will then choose a person known as an umpire just in case the two appraisers cannot come to an agreement on the amount of damages.  If the two appraserss cannot agree upon the choice of which umpire to use, then the courts will choose the umpire.

So, now, with the umpire chosen “just in case”, the two appraisers will meet at the property and go through the damages line by line.

The idea is to find common ground on the items in terms of the cost.

If the two appraisers can come to an agreement, and the homeowner is okay with the amount agreed and value of the damages, then a piece of paper is signed and that amount becomes binding.  The appraisal settlement amount is then sent back to the insurance company where it will be processed for payment.

If the two appraisers cannot come to an agreement, then the umpire who is supposed to be a third (impartial) person, will make the final decision on the settlement.  

The umpire will make the final decision which is also a binding settlement.  This means, unless there was some mistake in the way the appraisal was handled in terms of legality, you usually have to accept the settlement for whatever it is, good or bad.

This process can either go in your favor or not in your favor.  There are also more costs that must be paid. The insured usually has to find their own appraiser who will get paid a percentage of the settlement.  This is on top of any other fees that the homeowner has agreed to pay, such as public adjuster fees or attorney fees.

Furthermore, if the claim goes before an umpire, each party is responsible for splitting the umpire fees.

Usually, my advice for an appraisal is based on the amount in disagreement.   In other words, it has to make sense because the costs to use the appraisal process generally could run upwards of $2000 just for the cost of the umpire.   Then, the appraiser will take generally 10-20% of the settlement amount ON TOP of any other public adjuster or lawyer fees.  So, if you are fighting over 4 or 5 thousand dollars, it probably does not make good business sense to do appraisal because of the costs and also the risk of the appraisal not going in your favor.  You could actually end up with a smaller settlement than what the insurance company is offering as a settlement.

I am happy to go over your claim with you for free and answer any questions you may have.  Call us today at 954-659-8333.  I am happy to assist.

Average Time To Settle Homeowners Claim

Does it seem like you are waiting and waiting and waiting and nothing seems to be happening on your homeowners claim?  Are you curious what the average time to settle homeowners claim should be?

What is the Average Time To Settle Homeowners Claim in Florida?

There is a 90-day rule in place, and insurance companies know this.  So, this means that they have plenty of time to keep asking questions or not answer phones or emails or claim they are investigating it, etc.  Often times, what goes on over there is that they have so many claims that they are trying to handle, that they fall behind and they just cant get your claim handled.  These claims go beyond 90 days.  THIS IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM.  IT’S THEIR PROBLEM because they are not in compliance with the law!    I was told once by a claim rep that I know that she currently had more than 130 files she was working at one time. This is what she said, and at the same time, she was told by her supervisor that she is not ALLOWED to handle any more than 80 at a time.  How does that work?

So here is the scoop:  Here is an excerpt from the actual law.  Insurers in Florida have a 90 rule:

627.70131  Insurer’s duty to acknowledge communications regarding claims  

“Within 90 days after an insurer receives notice of an initial, reopened, or supplemental property insurance claim from a policyholder, the insurer shall pay or deny such claim or a portion of the claim unless the failure to pay is caused by factors beyond the control of the insurer which reasonably prevent such payment.”

I routinely leave 20 to 30 voicemails and emails every day and sometimes I don’t get called back for a week.

Truth be told, there are some adjusters that work fast and do their best to not have files backing up.  They come into work and they really try to settle claims and get files off their desks to make room for new insurance claim files.  This can speed up the average time to settle homeowners claim. They answer phones and emails and they can be quite helpful.  Many insurance claim adjusters are not, however.  

Contact my office for help or advice:

My name is Alan Himmel and I am a public adjuster and my company, Florida Allstar Public Adjusting has been around for over a decade.  My job is to help people with their insurance claims to get them the best settlement possible. Let me speed up the average time to settle homeowners claim.  Let me deal with the stress of dealing with your adjuster.  I am always happy to talk to you about your claim. If you need help, call me and I will answer your questions.  954.659.8333 Alan Himmel, Public Adjuster.

Water Damage Kitchen Cabinet Insurance

Water Damage Kitchen Cabinet Insurance

Do you think you have a kitchen claim but you are not sure?  Is there such a thing as water damage kitchen cabinet insurance?

Yes, in most cases, kitchen cabinets are covered as long as the cause of the damage is listed under one of the covered perils on your homeowner’s insurance policy.  Water leaks under the sink, dishwasher leaks, refrigerator ice maker water feed lines are all probable causes and in most cases, your insurance company will pay for these losses.  Over the years,  I have handled almost all types of kitchen cabinet claims.

Don’t Give Up fighting Water Damage Kitchen Cabinet Insurance

As a public adjuster, it is my job to fight on your behalf and get you paid for this type of damage.  Don’t assume that your insurance company will pay for a whole new kitchen just because you have a little water stain on the bottom of the cabinet.  Often times it becomes a fight and that’s where the job of a public adjuster comes in. 

Moreover, the insurance policy states that the insurance company is required to match materials.  In other words, they cannot agree to change your bottom cabinet without agreeing to replace ALL of the cabinets. If they only paid to replace the damaged one, it would not match the rest of the cabinets. Insurance companies don’t always make this process easy. You need a public adjuster if you want to get a fair settlement. A public adjuster works on your behalf, not the insurance company’s behalf. 

My name is Alan Himmel and I am a public adjuster since 2006.  Every day, my job is to fight for people who get denied and lowballed by their insurance company.  I get great pleasure in helping people win these claims and recover settlements for kitchen cabinet damage claims.   Please call me directly and I will try and answer any questions you may have.   Again, you can call me direct: 954.659.8333 Alan Himmel, Public Adjuster.