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Working with an Adjuster for Flood Damage

Flood clean up

For those of you who flooded during Hurricane Harvey, I wanted to share some information that may answer some of your questions on what to expect with your adjuster. Our home along with several others in our area flooded. Fortunately, we had flood insurance.

We met with our adjuster today and now have a few neighbors who have done the same. This is not legal advice and I am not an adjuster! My intention is to pass on information that you can use as discussion points with your adjuster and contractor. This is what we are hearing based on the four adjuster visits my neighbors and I have encountered.

If anyone can add to this or is hearing differently, please post. I hope it helps!

  • The adjusters work as an advocate for the homeowner. They get paid based on what the homeowner gets paid so they have incentive to get you everything you are due.

  • Adjusters handle different types of claims. The adjuster we saw today only came to address flooding. If you have damage from something else such as wind, you may have a separate adjuster and claim number.

  • Make sure the adjuster who arrives for the appointment is the right person. I received a call from an adjuster who was on his way to my house during my scheduled time. The name he gave was not the name I was given when my appointment was made so I called the adjusting company to confirm. It turns out, he was given our claim incorrectly so I was able to call him back and tell him I already someone coming. I have talked to another family who had this happen so it may be fairly common.

  • The adjuster can review estimates you receive from contractors you work with. They may be able to offer guidance on what is a reasonable cost or not.

  • They will provide a line item estimate for everything that was damaged. This should include details down to things like the grade of wall texturing and carpet padding.

  • Floor tile replacement is not commonly covered. We were told cleaning tile and grout is typically covered.

  • Only cabinets that had water touch them will be replaced. They will not pay to replace uppers to match lowers if the uppers didn't get wet. Also countertops and backsplashes that didn't get water damage are not covered. However, if those items break during cabinet replacement, you can file a request to have the cost to replace covered at that time.

  • If your doors are replaced, the hardware is not covered.

  • Outdoor items such as a pool and pool equipment, grills, outdoor kitchens etc are not covered.

  • Nothing outside the exterior walls are covered except A/C.

  • Damaged items inside your garage are covered.

  • You can request an advance on payment from insurance. Without requesting it, the advance is not automatically provided.

For those who have already been through this process, what have you seen? Comments are welcome.

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