October 2016, a mighty Hurricane Matthew slammed the NE Florida Coast. It was the first Hurricane to directly hit NE Florida since 2005. The estimated cost in our area was over $7 million, with most of the damage coming from flooding and debris.
For the most part, our area was prepared and power back up in just a few days. For two neighbors, their stories are the complete opposite of that.
Two homes identically built located on the inlet with surge waters estimated over 20 ft., was blasted with flood waters which sat for hours along with some roof damage. When you walked in the two homes to assess the damage the smell of rotten sea water and dead fish took over. It was almost unbearable.
One neighbor had an itemized list of everything in his home ready for review. Furthermore, he had every receipt dating back to when he built his home back in the 90’s. From the drywall, to the custom flooring along with all the contents. There was nothing he owned in the home he did not have documentation for.
After meeting with the adjuster one week after the storm, he collected his full claim check in record time. His check was delivered within 3 weeks of the storm and the contractor was on site getting his home to being livable again and ordering his new furniture and appliances.
His neighbor, on the other hand, with the same amount of flooding had nothing. He had no receipts for the special wood flooring. He had no receipts or serial numbers for the outdoor commercial cooking units that he had installed overlooking the inlet.
The home he worked so hard on building for retirement was covered in complete devastation. When his adjuster came to meet him just 2 weeks after the storm he had nothing to show except rotten wood, ruined custom-made rugs, that are no longer on the market nor did he have receipts for the rest of this contents.
He called his agent in a complete panic mode not knowing what to do. He could not figure out the cost of his contents to complete the itemized required contents list. The agent went over and took pictures of everything. Thankfully the furniture brand was still readable.
After 2 months of searching the internet to complete the itemized list. The negotiations began with the adjuster and the flood company.
Finally, after 5 months of back and forth with the company, the settlement check was received. His check, however, was about $40,000 less than his neighbor as he could not provide proof of some of the lost contents.
Are you prepared for Hurricane Season?
Did you know in the event of a loss that you must show proof of your contents to your insurance company before the claim is paid?
Click here for hurricane preparedness tips for homeowners as well as business owners. Please be prepared before it’s too late.
When you think about an independent insurance agency in Northeast Florida, you probably think of a small to medium size office run by a family or a few employees. If you have never visited or been inside Bates Hewett & Floyd, you have not experienced the big picture. With 30 employed professionals we are one big family (some blood, most not) that spans three offices and are spread throughout the many facets of insurance that Bates Hewett & Floyd.
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