Hurricane Sally Victims Denied the Right to Hire a Public Adjuster
We are now nearly four-weeks post Hurricane Sally. Although the physical storm has passed, the aftermath is still being felt across coastal Alabama and the Florida panhandle. Noble’s Pensacola team is working around the clock assisting countless property owners across the area with their property damages. However, we haven’t been able to help everyone. Numerous Alabama residents are reaching out to us, but due to the state’s law (or lack thereof), they can’t hire public adjusters. It infuriates us to deny our services to those reaching out in this time of need.
Alabama made several attempts to pass state laws allowing the licensing and regulation of public adjusters. This was in 2011 and 2016, but for reasons unbeknownst to us, both bills were denied. This puts hundreds of home and business owners with storm damages at the mercy of the insurance companies solely because of where they live.
The Florida Panhandle received the brunt of the damages being on the east side of the storm. However, Alabama certainly didn’t get away scot free. According to al.com, city officials of Gulf Shores estimated over $27 million in damages to structures. Many coastal Alabama properties suffered damages from the flooding and 100+ mph winds. They went through the same storm and incurred the same type of damages. However, they don’t have the right to hire a public adjuster, like their Florida neighbors right across the state line.
Who’s Lining Their Pockets?
Of course, the insurance companies are fully aware of what is really going on in Alabama. The laws are clearly working to benefit these giant corporations. In fact, we were recently contacted by an Alabama homeowner with damages. After explaining the state laws behind it she was appalled. She then exclaimed, “now I guess we know who’s lining their pockets!”
They know the chances of settling underpaid claims are much higher here compared to most other states. Take Florida, for example, where the insurance companies lowball settlements all the time, even knowing a public adjuster can intervene. Just imagine what they can get away with in Alabama when there is no option to hire a public adjuster. This leaves policy holders stuck between a rock and a hard place.
You Can Invoke the Appraisal Provision
Alabama insurance holders do have other options! If you believe you’ve been underpaid on your hurricane insurance claim, you can invoke your insurance policy’s appraisal provision. Nearly every insurance policy includes the provision but many are unaware of it. Some believe the only other option is to hire an attorney. Taking the legal route is very expensive and time consuming and should be considered a last resort.
Appraisal is used to settle disagreements when the insurance company offers an improper settlement amount for the claim. The Alabama Department of Insurance defines appraisal as “an evaluation of a home insurance property claim used to determine the value of a damaged property. The property owner and the insurance company hire separate appraisers who choose a third appraiser to act as an umpire. The appraisers review the claim and the umpire rules on any disagreements. The decision is binding up to the loss amount.”
Appraisal is one of many tools Noble uses to help those who feel they’ve been shortchanged on their claim. As the largest and only fully staffed PA firm in the U.S., we are highly experienced in handling appraisals. With Noble on your side, it can increase the chances of getting an appropriate settlement for your claim. This allows you to focus on getting your property repaired and back to its pre-storm condition. Learn more about Noble’s appraisal process here.
If you’re an Alabama homeowner or commercial property owner with a Hurricane Sally loss, let Noble help with your appraisal. We’ll work for you to ensure that you receive a fair settlement for your insurance claim.