Month: May 2012

DFW Tornado Victims Get The Most Out Of Their Insurance Claims

League City, Texas – April 24, 2012 – As the skies finally cleared in the Dallas area on April 3, 2012 and residents ventured out to see what kind of tornado damage they may have received from the massive storms of the day, it was just the beginning of the turmoil ahead for Dallas/Fort Worth property owners. With many homes demolished and lives uprooted in the wake of an unbelievable 11 confirmed tornadoes in one afternoon, it is hard to imagine that an insurance company might deny a tornado damage claim for its policyholders. However, the truth is that claim delays, disputes, and denials occur often in the insurance industry. The good news is that Morrison & Morrison Inc. has the information to help tornado victims get the most out of their insurance claims.

“It is not uncommon for property owners to experience a disaster after the disaster,” says Clay Morrison, President of Morrison & Morrison Inc. “We’ve already been getting calls where the insurer should have totaled the property for a total loss, but instead the insurer is treating it as a partial repair.”

Similar to the way that “location, location, location” is known as the key to buying property, “document, document, document” is the key to successful insurance claims. It is vital to extensively document all tornado damage done to the property. This entails taking photos and video of the property, contents, and debris prior to moving or disposing of anything. All tornado damage should be noted in order to avoid disputes later, and damaged contents should not be disposed of even if it appears to be a complete loss.

Another element of documentation is keeping written receipts for all expenses, especially if paid in cash. This includes receipts for payments like contractor fees, hotel and restaurant charges, cleaning, storage, etc. Also, be sure to only give copies of photos and documents to the insurance adjuster instead of the originals of any of the documentation. It is vital that proof exists to substantiate your insurance claim, so keeping the originals is the safest way to ensure that documentation is not lost.

Also document any dealings with contractors. Make sure you are given copies of contracts, and that they contain a clear estimate of charges.

Even after substantial documentation of tornado damage, if a property owner experiences insurance claim delays, disputes, or denials, it is important to contact a professional public adjuster like those at Morrison & Morrison Inc. for help.

“Don’t dig the hole that you’re in any deeper than it already is. Get a professional public adjuster who represents only you before you harm your position in the claims process even further,” advises Morrison.

About Morrison & Morrison Inc.
Morrison & Morrison Inc. is a property loss consulting firm and licensed public insurance adjusting group, based in League City, Texas. The company is an authority on assessing, documenting, and negotiating property claim damages. They can help determine the true amount of damages, handle the adjustment process, deal with the insurance company, and if needed, manage the appraisal process. For more information about the company, please visit http://www.publicinsuranceadjuster.net/

McAllen Hailstorm Shocks Residents: Victims Get The Most Out Of Their Insurance Claims

League City, TexasApril 24, 2012 – Astounded residents of McAllen, Texas were blindsided on the evening of March 19, 2012 when a hailstorm hit their city unlike anything seen there before. McAllen was hammered with torrential rain, winds at gusts of 75 mph, and golf ball to baseball sized hail that fell continuously for nearly an hour. The scene was unbelievable to property owners when they looked outside to find huge accumulations of hail on the ground and damage to their property.

That was just the beginning of the turmoil ahead for McAllen property owners, as many are now learning that it is not uncommon for insurance companies to deny hail damage claims for its policyholders. Claim delays, disputes, and denials occur often in the insurance industry. The good news is that Morrison & Morrison Inc. has the information to help hail damage victims get the most out of their insurance claims.

The first step is for property owners to look for signs of hail damage themselves. Look for loose granules on asphalt roof shingles. Also check for granules in rain gutters and downspouts, because the loose granules will eventually wash away. Finally, look for hail dents in exposed surfaces like vents, siding, decks, and also automobiles.

However, it is not enough for a property owner to complete all inspections him or herself. It is not uncommon for hail damage to be unseen, so it is necessary to have it inspected by a professional. Roofs are especially at risk of hail damage and often sustain more harm than it appears.

“There can be extensive damage to a large commercial flat roof,” says Clay Morrison, President of Morrison & Morrison Inc. “and the owner won’t know it until even a year later. Also, you can have multiple fractures in a tile roof that you won’t know about without close inspection.”

Similar to the way that “location, location, location” is known as the key to buying property, “document, document, document” is the key to successful insurance claims. It is vital to extensively document all hail damage done to the property. This entails taking photos and video of the property prior to moving or disposing of anything. Take pictures of any dented siding or broken windows, and photograph any roof shingle granules that may have washed into rain gutters or downspouts. All hail damage should be noted in order to avoid disputes later. Also take pictures of any hail on the property to document the amount of hail that occurred.

Another element of documentation is keeping written receipts for all expenses, especially if paid in cash. Also, be sure to only give copies of photos and documents to the insurance adjuster instead of the originals of any of the documentation. It is vital that proof exists to substantiate your insurance claim, so keeping the originals is the safest way to ensure that documentation is not lost.

Also document any dealings with contractors. Make sure you are given copies of contracts, and that they contain a clear estimate of charges.

Even after substantial documentation of hail damage, if a property owner experiences insurance claim delays, disputes, or denials, it is important to contact a professional public adjuster like those at Morrison & Morrison Inc. for help.

“Don’t dig the hole that you’re in any deeper than it already is. Get a professional public adjuster who represents only you before you harm your position in the claims process even further,” advises Morrison.

About Morrison & Morrison Inc.
Morrison & Morrison Inc. is a property loss consulting firm and licensed public insurance adjusting group, based in League City, Texas. The company is an authority on assessing, documenting, and negotiating property claim damages. They can help determine the true amount of damages, handle the adjustment process, deal with the insurance company, and if needed, manage the appraisal process. For more information about the company, please visit http://www.publicinsuranceadjuster.net/

Dallas Tornado Claims

Was your home or business damaged by the tornadoes that tore through the Dallas metropolitan area on April 3, 2012? At least 11 tornadoes were confirmed, but even if you didn’t suffer a direct hit by a funnel cloud, the path of destruction can be widespread and devastating. If your property suffered tornado damage, there are steps you should take to ensure your insurance claim is not denied.

What You Should Do Now

• Take photos and video of the structure, contents and debris prior to moving or disposing of anything, and before making any temporary repairs.
• Tarp openings in your roof and walls if possible to prevent further damage.
• Do not dispose of any damaged property contents even though you think they may be a complete loss.
• Note all tornado damage, especially “cracks” in the structure that were not present before the tornado.
• Hire a contractor to clean up debris. If you do it yourself, you may not be compensated by your insurer or may only be given minimum wage.
• Make arrangements for living quarters if your home is uninhabitable and for storing its contents.
• Keep written receipts for all expenses, especially if you pay cash. This includes things like contractor fees, hotel and restaurant charges, cleaning, storage, etc.
• Only give copies of photos and documents to your insurance adjuster, not any originals.
• Make sure your contractor’s contract has a clear estimate of charges. If a contract says “the work will be done for an amount the insurer agrees to,” find another contractor. In many cases this type of contract is illegal.

When Your Adjustor Arrives

• Have the adjuster sign for anything you give him/her. This is your receipt that you have provided the documents requested.
• Do not understate what you feel your loss may be.
• Point out all tornado damages and have a witness with you when the adjuster inspects the property.
• Seek professional assistance before signing a proof of loss for your adjuster, so that you can make sure that the document is correct in every aspect.
• Be cooperative, but stand your ground on damages that you are expecting to be covered.
• Be wary of the following statement: “If there is anything else I did not cover, you can just supplement the claim later.” Supplementing is much more difficult than getting your claim paid properly up front.
Even if you do everything right, many Dallas area property owners may still experience insurance claim delays, disputes, and denials. Texas law requires insurance companies to state the reasons for delaying or denying payment, as long as the policy covers tornado damage. Your adjustor should come out promptly to assess your tornado damages, and you can prevent disputes later on by following the guidelines listed above. If your insurance claim is denied, don’t give up! Don’t let yourself become a victim twice when dealing with your tornado damage insurance claims.

McAllen Hail Claims

Was your home or business harmed by the hail that pummeled McAllen on March 19, 2012? If your area was hit by the intense rain, wind, and hail the size of golf balls or baseballs, then you are now likely dealing with insurance claims in the aftermath of the storm damage. It can be a frustrating process, but if done right you can get the money you need.

There are some symptoms of hail damage that you can spot yourself. First, look for loose granules on asphalt roof shingles. Also check for granules in your rain gutters and downspouts, because the loose granules will eventually wash away. Finally, look for hail dents in exposed surfaces like vents, siding, decks, and also automobiles.

Don’t be fooled though! It is not enough for you to perform all inspections yourself. It is not uncommon for hail damage to be unseen, so it is necessary to have it inspected by a professional. Roofs are especially at risk of hail damage and often sustain more harm than it appears. Not only can the roof shingles be damaged, but the structure itself may be damaged by a hail storm. This is one reason to make sure a professional assesses your damage because a quick up-front insurance claim payment may cover only apparent roof damage. But they will leave behind damage to the structure that you may not notice until problems arise later, and then you’ll be stuck dealing with insurance claims all over again. Make sure everything is handled right in the first place!

What You Should Do Now

• Take pictures and video of the structure, contents and debris prior to moving or disposing of anything. Take pictures of any dented siding or broken windows. Also photograph any roof shingle granules that may have washed into rain gutters or downspouts.
• Tarp any openings in your roof and walls if possible to prevent further damage.
• Take pictures of any hail on your property to document the amount of hail that occurred.
• Do not dispose of any damaged property contents even though you think they may be a complete loss.
• Note all hail damage that was not present before the storm.
• Hire a contractor to clean up debris. If you do it yourself, you may not be compensated by your insurer or may only be given minimum wage.
• Keep written receipts for all expenses, especially if you pay cash.
• Only give copies of photos and documents to the insurance adjuster, not the originals.
• Make sure a contractor’s contract has a clear estimate of charges. If a contract says “the work will be done for an amount the insurer agrees to,” find another contractor. In many cases this type of contract is illegal.

When Your Adjustor Arrives

• Have the adjuster sign for anything you give him/her. This is your receipt that you have provided the documents requested.
• Do not understate what you feel your loss may be.
• Point out all hail damages and have a witness with you when the adjuster inspects the property.
• Seek professional assistance before signing a proof of loss for the adjuster, to make sure that the document is correct in every aspect.
• Be cooperative, but stand your ground on damages that you are expecting to be covered.
• Be wary of the following statement: “If there is anything else I did not cover, you can just supplement the claim later.” Supplementing is much more difficult than getting your claim paid properly up front.
As much as you hope the claims process will go smoothly, many McAllen property owners may still have problems with insurance claim delays, disputes, and denials. Texas insurance law requires insurance companies to show reasonable cause for denying or delaying payment, if the policy clearly covers hail damage. Your adjustor should come out promptly to assess your hail damage, and you can prevent disputes later on by following the guidelines listed above. It can be especially frustrating to see your neighbors getting new roofs while your own hail damage claim has been denied, so don’t give up! Continue pursuing your insurance claim if you feel that your policy is not being handled appropriately.