Opinion: Homeowners overwhelmed by flooding can contact a Social Security adjuster
Opinion: Homeowners overwhelmed by flooding can contact a Social Security adjuster

Neighbor's car moved to someone else's yard.  Photo by Chris Stone
Neighbor’s car moved to someone else’s yard. Photo by Chris Stone

As a homeowner, you invest a lot of time, money, love, imagination and hard work into your house and property.

Of course, you hope nothing goes seriously wrong. Still, you buy homeowner’s insurance for peace of mind and to make sure you’re financially protected if your home and belongings are damaged by unforeseen events like fire, vandalism, theft, or a storm.

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Today, climate change is causing increasingly variable weather patterns. Natural disasters, including severe storms and wildfires, are becoming more frequent and devastating.

In 2023, nine “atmospheric rivers” flooded the western United States, dumping record amounts of rain and snow. According to the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, more than 32 trillion gallons of water flooded California, accumulating $4.6 billion in damage.

In early 2024, torrential Pineapple Express storms drenched Southern California, dropping more than a foot of rain in less than two days. This new wave of atmospheric rivers has caused life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in areas with vulnerable burn scars. Rainfall in February was just one centimeter short of the record for the area set in 1998. More rain had already arrived across the waterlogged region in early March — and the season isn’t over yet.

Due to the skyrocketing costs and increasing difficulty of obtaining and maintaining homeowner’s insurance in a state prone to various natural disasters, many homeowners are taking a significant risk and simply giving up. Several major carriers have recently withdrawn or exited the California homeowner’s insurance market.

But even insurance holders often find at the worst possible time that a standard homeowner’s policy doesn’t include flood coverage—property damage from water, mud, debris, falling rocks, downed trees, etc. Less than 2 percent of California homeowners have flood insurance — but nearly a quarter of Californians live in areas now at high risk of flooding.

What happens if your home is damaged by a flood?

Severe flood damage can be extremely upsetting, even traumatic. It is important to act quickly, but try not to panic.

First, prioritize safety! Stay away from the affected area. Flooding can be harmful to your health in many ways. Depending on the source, they may be contaminated, contain hidden debris, electrical hazards, or other hazardous conditions. Contact emergency services immediately if you think there is a safety risk.

Then contact a social security adjuster. When there is damage to the home, the first impulse of most homeowners is to call their insurance company. Remember, though, that while your insurance carrier has adjusters to assess your property damage, they work for the company, which usually wants to make the minimum payout possible.

Whether or not you believe your homeowner’s insurance policy covers the type of damage you’re experiencing, it’s wise to contact a qualified state insurance adjuster before calling your insurer or starting a claim.

A public insurance adjuster is a licensed independent professional with experience in the insurance industry. Many also specialize in a related field, such as construction – which gives them a solid understanding of the repair and restoration process, the costs involved, how to mitigate further damage, etc.

How a social security regulator can help

Dealing with an insurance company for flood damage claims can be a complicated, frustrating and overwhelming process – especially after a distressing event.

An experienced and respected state insurance adjuster will help you navigate all the necessary steps, streamline the claims process, ensure smooth communication on both sides, and obtain fair compensation while avoiding litigation.

The Social Security Regulator will:

  • Assess the extent of loss or damage.
  • Document damage with reports, photos, video, and more.
  • Calculate the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property.
  • Interpret and explain your policy; to help you understand the fine print, complex language and nuances of your coverage.
  • Prepare and organize everything you need to file a claim (gather evidence, fill out forms, provide detailed assessments).
  • Communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.
  • Client’s attorney; negotiations with the insurer.
  • Dispute resolution, organizing alternative resolution methods (arbitration, mediation) to avoid legal battle.

A skilled Social Security adjuster can help you navigate a complex, often emotional process and ultimately make your claim more effective and help you get a fair payout.

John Petrov is a contractor and insurance adjuster with over 25 years of experience in the construction industry.

By admin

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