One of my bathrooms recently flooded and it has been surprisingly difficult to get the repairs done. My plumber, who I have used for ages, gave me the name of a public adjuster and was pretty adamant that I use him. I used my insurance company’s private adjuster, and when I told the plumber this he suddenly lost interest in working with me. Perhaps he was in cahoots with the public adjuster? If you ask Citizens Property Insurance Corp, they would definitely tell you that he was!
Citizens has seen a drastic uptick in non-weather-related water damage claims in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties lately – just like my flooded bathroom. The insurance giant believes that this is because plumbers are having their clients use public adjusters rather than private ones so that they can submit falsely-inflated invoices for repair work. Think about it: my plumber insisted that I use a particular public adjuster, with whom he obviously has some sort of a relationship. These buddies can work out a way to make the claim seem larger than it is, charge for more extensive repairs, then pocket the difference. This is pretty fishy! However, a private adjuster who works for an insurance company is going to try to benefit his or her employer.
Citizens is trying to stop public adjusters and plumbers from colluding against it by proposing a change of its rules. Whereas now policyholders must notify their agents of any property loss or damage “promptly,” Citizens would like to define “promptly” as 72 hours. This means that sneaky plumbers would not be able to get in and finish their work without the insurance company’s own adjuster taking a peek at the damage beforehand, which should eliminate many of those falsely-high invoices.
The new 72 hour policy is still being reviewed by Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation, but it seems to have spooked the contractors who do this kind of work for homeowners who properly submit their claims. I honestly do think that it is why I have had a hard time getting my bathroom repaired because normally my guys get right back to me. After all, I am a realtor and I do give lots of referrals!
Anyone have a good plumber?
If you need help buying or selling a home give Ashley Cusack a call at 305.798.8685, or visit her website at: Luxury Miami Real Estate.
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