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    Post: Insurance nightmares in Florida

    Posted by Greg Weatherman on 10/27/04

    To anyone interested,

    I am looking for anyone in central Florida who feels they
    have gotten the run-around by insurance adjusters.

    I have recently been working in central Florida in the
    huricane ravaged areas. I have tested homes and found
    unacceptable moisture content levels (0.7 Aw or higher)in
    gypsum board above the 4 foot line. We have been told by
    every State Farm insurance adjuster they will only cover 4
    feet of wallboard removal - even though the water sat in
    the house for several days to a week.

    One adjuster claimed FEMA mandated the 4 foot level for
    coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program
    (NFIP). We have made calls to FEMA and found this to be a
    complete fabrication. A State Farm adjuster even admitted
    this fact to several witnesses when we put them on the spot
    at a later date.

    State Farm adjusters are saying their is no coverage for
    mold even though FEMA's website says otherwise. The truly
    sad part is the knowledge gained from North Carolina after
    they were hit by 2 hurricanes in one year is public
    knowledge. One of my partners is a former independent
    ajduster. He indicates the adjusters of today are poorly
    trained and told the canned response when they are dealing
    with a catastrophic event like a hurricane. From what I've
    seen, he is right on mark. They can't even read a simple
    document for the amount of coverage for additional living
    expenses (ALE).

    What the homeonwers don't know is the part that is a kick
    in the pants:

    If an adjuster lowballs the the cost to fix covered
    damages, the structure will not be done right. If the
    structure is not done right, you can't sell the property.
    You will now have an economic loss since you will be forced
    to sell at a lower price or no sell at all.

    You might buy one of these home and find it moldy. Your
    insurance will not cover any pre-existing problems while
    you go belly-up.

    More than one resident in Port Orange FL have publically
    complained at a town hall meeting about the behaviour or
    State Farm and Allstate. The mayor has told the residents
    to go after them for bad faith if they are lowballing the
    jobs. The mayor is a general contractor and understands
    the dilemna.

    Even worse, their are firms who are engaging in remediation
    according to their own scope of work. These firms do not
    have professional insurance. Usually CGL policies do not
    cover professional acts. This means a homeowner has no one
    to pursue if the job is botched and the house left moldy. I
    find it ironic an insurance company like State Farm allows
    contractors to engage in activities that put the policy
    holders in economic and/or finacial risk due to insurance
    coverage issues.


    Greg Weatherman
    aerobioLogical Solutions Inc.
    Arlington VA 22202

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