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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Roof Maintenance Tips and What to Do if Damage Already Occurred

Few people think about the roof protecting their home or business until there is a problem. In fact, roof maintenance is rarely performed by most property managers or owners until someone notices a problem. 

Even a small issue with a roof can result in costly repairs and having to file an insurance claim. To help prevent damage, a roof should be inspected for signs of aging and other telltale signs of potential failure at least a few times each year. The insurance claims and building science experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters provide the following roof inspection tips:
  • Inspect the attic for signs of leaks and moisture and be sure there is proper insulation and ventilation.
  • Check for missing, cracked, curled, brittle, blistered or other damaged roofing materials.
  • Examine for any signs of puddles on the roof.
  • Inspect the roof flashing and seals around skylights.
  • Look for cracked mortar around chimneys.
  • Be sure gutters are free or debris and properly draining away from the building.
  • During cold weather, watch for the formation of ice dams. 
  • Check for overhanging branches that could damage the roof and clear away any debris that has collected on it. 

“Spending a few moments a couple of times per year to make sure your roof is in good condition could easily prevent thousands of dollars in damages if a problem has already developed that wouldn’t have be recognized until the next big storm,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “For anyone who does experience roof damage that requires an insurance claim to be filed, it’s important that the situation is examined thoroughly for any hidden damages that may have occurred.  Our experts work on the behalf of policyholders to comprehensively document any roof issues and damages that may have occurred throughout the property.  This ensures that nothing is overlooked and the policyholder receives the full benefits of their insurance policy to repair both the visible and hidden damages.”

Policyholders in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey can turn to Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters for help with roof and other types of insured property damage issues. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Winterize Your Property Now to Prevent Costly Damages

A week into the winter season and many parts of the country have already experienced frigid temperatures.  Other areas have had an exceptionally mild winter so far, but these conditions can quickly change.

Strong winds, rain, snow and ice can all takes a toll on a home or business and freezing temperatures can easily burst pipes.  During the winter season, damage from any one of these may allow moisture to enter a property and cause extensive property damage and even mold growth.

Because winter weather can be so tough on a building, it’s important to take preventive steps now to prepare it for the months ahead.  The following tips have been provided by the property damage experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters. They include the following:

·        Insulate exposed pipes and evaluate if the building’s attic, walls, basement or crawl space needs more insulation. This is also a good time to check for any signs of water damage from existing leaks.
·         Be sure the attic is well ventilated.
·       In places with freezing weather, shut off the water to exterior hose bibs and drain those water lines if possible.  Also shut off and drain the yard’s irrigation system.
·         Clean gutters and down spouts to make sure water is able to drain properly and to minimize the risk of ice dams.
·         Make sure water drains away from the building.
·         Check to make sure any fireplaces are operating properly and are not obstructed.
·         Caulk around windows, doors and other opening, also fix any cracks or holes in the foundation.
·         Check for drafts and add weather stripping anywhere it’s worn or missing.
·      Consider having the heating system inspected now to make sure it is operating properly and that there are no carbon monoxide hazards.  This is also a good time to change the air filters and inspect for debris in the ducts.
·         Check the roof, flashing, chimney, siding and skylights for any signs of damage.
·         Trim back any branches that could cause damage to the house during a winter storm.

“If moisture does enter a building, it can allow mold to begin to grow in as short as 24 to 48 hours under certain conditions,” said Tom Allen from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “If mold is found, it can sometimes be removed from nonporous materials, but porous materials will often have to be replaced. Removing these materials improperly could aerosolize and spread mold throughout the structure so it’s important to handle these types of situations carefully.”

People faced with property damage in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey can turn to the insurance claims experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters. Their professionals represent policyholders to ensure that all damages are recognized, documented and properly handled.  Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters’ employ not only the best insurance claims experts, but also seasoned building science and indoor environmental quality professionals. This helps to ensure that all damages are addressed so that the home or business gets repaired correctly. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Holiday Burglary Prevention Tips & What to Do if You Become a Victim

The holiday season is a festive time for family and friends to celebrate together.  It is also one of the busiest travel times of the year. Unfortunately, burglars are all too aware of this fact which makes the holiday season a peak time of year for break-ins and thefts.

To keep a home safe from burglars there are simple steps people can take. They start with making sure an empty home, even if the family is just going away for the day, is securely locked. If there is an alarm, be sure to activate it.  During the night hours, turn on exterior lights and place some interior lights on timers.  Motion sensing lights are also recommended.  Keep valuables out of sight and keep trees and shrubs near doors and windows trimmed to preventing them from becoming a hiding place for burglars.

If traveling for more than a day, have the mail and newspaper stopped or have them picked up by neighbors. It is also a good idea to inform neighbors that the home will be empty so they can keep an eye on it. Some police departments will even offer to periodically check on a home if requested to do so.

Even with the best plans, burglaries still can happen. Victims are advised to immediately call the police if they have been burglarized or suffer any type of theft. 

“Having a police report is essential for starting the insurance claims process when a theft or burglary occurs,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “Many victims are overwhelmed when they have been targeted and are unfamiliar with the claims process and what they need to do to make sure they are treated fairly by their insurance company.  Our public adjusters help policyholders by creating a detailed inventory of stolen or damaged items and understanding what is covered under the insurance policy.  For example, will personal property be covered based on replacement cost or actual cash value. Actual cash value takes into account depreciation which means less money for the policyholder. These are just a few of the reasons a licensed public adjuster who works solely for the benefit of the policyholder can mean the difference between being potentially victimized twice or being treated fairly and getting the most out of an insurance claim.”

Policyholders with a burglary or other type of insurance claim in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are just a phone call away from the experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Preventing Holiday Home Fires & Tips for How to Respond if One Occurs

During the holiday season, people gather with family and friends to celebrate.  These gathering often include feasts and the ambience from holiday decorations along with burning candles and glowing fireplaces.

Unfortunately, the holiday season is also a busy time for home fires.  In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly 47,000 fires occur during the holiday season.  These fires claim more than 500 lives and result in over $550 million in property damage. They also report that December is the peak time for home fires caused by candles and that 1 in every 3 Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical issues.

“Chimney fires, cooking fires and even children playing with matches are also significant causes of home fires this time of year,” said Tom Allen of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “In addition to making sure that a home has properly operating smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher, people need to be vigilant of fire hazards in their home.  Don’t overload circuits or use holiday lights that are frayed.  Keep heat sources away from Christmas trees and keep real trees moist with plenty of water at their base. Also turn off the holiday lights and extinguish fires and candles when people are going to bed or leaving the property.”

It’s always important that people have adequate insurance to cover any loses due to a home fire and now is a good time to review existing policies.  At a minimum, the insurance policy should be able to cover any damages to the home, furnishings and personal belongings. 

For anyone faced with the aftermath of a home fire, the insurance experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters are just a phone call away.  They offer their services in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to property owners of both residential and commercial properties.  Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters only represents policyholders during the entire claims process and their experts help to ensure that no damages are overlooked.  The end result provides the policyholder with the peace of mind that they will receive the most accurate insurance settlement possible so they can rebuild their home or business.   

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cold Weather & Chimney Fires – What You Need to Know

With cold weather impacting much of the United States, the risk of home heating fires increases dramatically this time of year.  In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, home heating fires peak in January and decline to their lowest point during the summer months.

From 2008-2010, an average of over 50,000 home heating fires occurred in the United States each year. They resulted in an annual average of approximately 150 deaths, 575 injuries and $326 million in property losses.  The U.S. Fire Administration reports that confined fires, meaning fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners, accounted for 87% of all home heating fires.

One of the primary culprits is due to chimney fires which occur when residue deposits of soot or creosote on the inner surface of the chimney begin to combust.  A chimney fire can also occur if material has been introduced into the chimney, such as a bird nest, that ignites when hot embers reach it.

“Chimney fires can not only damage the chimney itself, but they can in many circumstances spread throughout the building leading to extensive damages or even the complete destruction of a property,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “People with homes with fireplaces should take steps to prevent chimney fires from ever occurring.  A properly constructed and clean chimney won’t catch on fire so the number one priority is to prevent the buildup of deposits. To achieve this, the chimney should be regularly inspected and cleaned when a qualified professional indicates it is time to do so.”

If even a small chimney fire occurs that remains isolated from the majority of the home, it can still lead to hidden damages not visible to the homeowner.  Policyholders faced with a chimney fire of any magnitude should consider hiring a qualified and experienced public adjuster. The chimney fire experts from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters offer their services in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  They are experienced in identifying hidden damages from small fires and working with policyholders who have suffered a significant or total loss of their home or business.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Southwest Property Owners Urged to Take Steps Now to Prevent Water Damage from Developing El Niño

Every two to seven years, a particularly warm area of water develops in the central and east-central equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean.  The condition is known as El Niño and it not only impacts the ocean, but also changes weather patterns on land across the globe.

In the United States, El Niño is typically associated with warm conditions in the northern states and cooler weather in the much of the southern region of the country during the winter months. Precipitation patterns are also impacted with drier than average winter conditions often forming over the northern tier of the country while the Southwest can usually expect much wetter than average conditions. 

“This year’s El Niño is already developing to be one of the strongest ever recorded,” said Tom Allen of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “Weather forecasters believe it will result in heavy precipitation this winter that will likely cause widespread property damage to parts of the Southwest.”

To prevent property damage due to El Niño, now is the time for property managers and owners to inspect the condition of their home or commercial property and make preparations for what is forecast to be an exceptionally wet winter.  The insurance claims and building science professionals at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters suggest the following actions to minimize or prevent water damage.  They include the following:

·       Make sure the building’s exterior, siding, doors and windows are weather tight.
·       Check roofing materials, shingles or roof tiles to make sure they are in good condition to handle the extra rain or snow.
·       Remove leaves and obstructions from gutters and downspouts and ensure that water is draining away from the building.
·       Inspect sump pumps to ensure they are working properly.
·       Check chimneys, sky lights and roof exhaust pipes to ensure they are properly sealed.

Properties that are impacted by floodwaters are often contaminated with chemicals and harmful microorganisms.  Even those impacted by relatively clean rainwater or melting snow can not only suffer damaged or destroyed building materials and personal belongings, but the moisture can allow for the growth of mold in less than 48 hours in many circumstances.

For people in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico that do experience property damage to their homes or businesses from this year’s El Niño, the professionals at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters are here to help.  Their team of insurance claims experts will comprehensively document any damages and then negotiate and handle any issues that arise with the claim. This provides the policyholder with the peace of mind that no damages were overlooked and that they will receive the most accurate insurance settlement possible.  They also recently sponsored an educational video about preventing water damage and mold growth due to El Niño that can be seen at:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Homeowners Sue Insurance Company and Remediation Contractors over Water Damage

Many property owners who are confronted with damage to their home or business trust their insurance company to have their best interests at heart when they have to file an insurance claim.  One couple in Mission Viejo found out the hard way that this is not always the case.

According to a report from KABC, the couple’s two-story home suffered damage when water from an upstairs bathroom flooded the main floor.  Although they had just recently moved into the home, they had been using the same well-known insurance provider for 20 years.

The couple contacted their insurance company who recommended they use one of several water damage remediation companies that are on the insurance company’s premier program for water loss.  They picked one of the recommended companies to perform the work, but within two weeks could smell what they thought was mold. The insurance company informed them that mold tests were not covered under their policy so the couple paid for it out of their own pockets. The test results revealed mold contamination so the couple and their children moved out of the house.  Another large remediation company on the insurance provider’s premier program was then sent to take care of the problem that was not resolved the first time. However, the homeowners claim they did not remove the mold and simply covered it up.

The couple has now hired an attorney who has filed a lawsuit against the insurance company and the two remediation firms.  The article states the lawsuit claims breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith, fraud, false promise, intentional misrepresentation and negligence.

“Unfortunately, as a public adjuster whose entire mission is to work on the behalf of policyholders, we see cases like this all the time,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “Insurance companies luring customers to use preferred contractors that do not work in their interest, failing to investigate damages properly and thoroughly, and even sometimes providing false information to policy holders about their benefits happens all too frequently. Insurance companies and their preferred contractors are known to try and cut corners to save money.” 

A public adjuster, working exclusively for the policyholder, represents their interests to prevent situations like this from occurring.  The experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters know what to look for, which includes both visible and out-of-sight damages that would likely otherwise go unaddressed.  They comprehensively detail all damages and negotiate for the policyholder to ensure damages covered by the insurance policy are properly handled.  The end result is a happy policyholder with the resources and expertise to repair their home or business.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Residential Garage Fires Frequently Result in Extensive Property Damage

Last month, a homeowner in north Phoenix was hospitalized for burns after he tried to put out a fire that had started in his garage.  Fires start all too frequently in garages, in fact, U.S. fire departments reported approximately 6,600 residential building fires that originated in garages from 2009 through 2011.  These fires resulted in deaths, injuries and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.

In many parts of the country there are no building codes that require smoke detectors in residential garages.  Since garages are used to store motor vehicles and often flammable liquids, they are the source, or contributing factors, for many of these fires. 

With so few smoke detectors found in garages, a fire will often go unnoticed until enough smoke has infiltrated the main residence and set off alarms or is noticed by building occupants. By this time it has often grown in size and severity resulting in extensive property damage even if firefighters are able to quickly extinguish the flames.

“Property damage due to a garage fire includes obvious damage caused by flames and thick smoke, but even a small fire in an attached garage can lead to widespread smoke damage throughout the entire home,” said Tom Allen from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “Representatives from the homeowner’s insurance company will often focus their attention on the directly impacted areas, but people need to be aware of less visible and hidden signs of damage.  At Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, our insurance claims and fire damage experts provide comprehensive investigations into these types of property damage cases.  By documenting all damages throughout the entire property, the insured get their claim settled for the full amount detailed under the insurance policy.  Our team has handled countless cases involving garage fires so clients not only have the entire process handled for them by experienced professionals, they also end up with the resources needed to repair the damages caused by flames, heat and smoke residues throughout the home.”    

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Condominium Property Damage Claims Can Create Challenges Best Handled by an Experienced Public Adjuster

From coast to coast, millions of Americans live in condominiums.  Condos provide their owners with a number of benefits, including in most circumstances no outdoor maintenance, lower costs than buying a comparable house, and the sense of community that living in close proximity to neighbors provides.

Along with the many benefits of condo living, there can also be challenges in the event that property damage occurs to the building.  This damage could be the result of events associated with flooding and water damage, wind damage, fires or smoke damage.  If one of these events occurs, there is a good chance that multiple insurance companies are going to be involved.

“When property damage occurs at a condominium complex and multiple units are involved, it can make navigating several insurance policies and determining who is responsible a real challenging undertaking,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “Engaging a public adjuster to represent the interests of the various policy holders is highly recommended in these types of situations. An experienced public adjuster is an expert at navigating these types of complex claims to ensure the best possible outcome for all of the policy holders involved.”  

Condominium owners with insurance claims in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey can depend on the professionals at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters to represent their interests exclusively. Their public adjusters are also construction experts so hidden damages don’t go unnoticed. This means that all of the property damage will be extensively documented to make sure the insurance company provides all of the necessary resources, as defined by the policy, to make repairs and replace property. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hidden Smoke Damage following a Fire in a Residential or Commercial Building

Even a small fire in a home or business can leave behind lasting effects that may not be readily evident to most people.  Clearly damaged parts of a property will need to be repaired, but don’t underestimate the damage from smoke residues that can take place far from the actual flames.

Smoke and soot from a minor fire can spread widely throughout a property.  There are four types of smoke commonly associated with structural fires, they include:
·       Wet Smoke
·       Dry Smoke
·       Protein Smoke
·       Petroleum Smoke

“Each of these types of smoke are dependent upon factors such as the speed and temperature of the fire and what materials were consumed by the flames,” said Tom Allen from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “They can cause discoloration, etching and pitting of material surfaces.  Smoke residues can also leave behind unpleasant odors and particulates that can act as irritants.  One area that few people think about following a fire is the impact of smoke and soot on all the electronics found indoors.  While most people recognize that extreme heat from a fire can damage electronics and wiring, so too can the presence of smoke residues on circuit boards.  Even small amounts of smoke residue can short out circuits that today are found in almost every device in a home or office that is plugged into the wall.” 

No matter how large or small a fire is, policyholders with property damage claims need to be aware of both the obvious and the hidden damages that may be present.  The insurance claims professionals at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters help property owners and managers identify all possible damages so that insurance providers have a true scope of the cost to repair a property.  This ensures that policy holders are treated fairly by the insurance companies and that their claims are comprehensively settled so that all damages and loses covered by the policy are addressed.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Property Damage Claims in Commercial and Residential Properties May Expose Unexpected Hazards

When property damage occurs, one of the first things a policy holder will typically do is call their insurance company.  The insurance company will send out one of their adjusters to inspect the damage and if it is covered under the policy, an offer to settle the claim will usually be made within a short time frame. 

It is to the benefit of the insurance company to quickly settle these claims and for lowest monetary figure possible.  One issue that may arise and could be overlooked in residential and commercial properties that were built up until the late 1970s is the presence of several hazardous materials. Lead-based paints are a prime example. Exposure to lead-based paints are one of the greatest lead poisoning risks for the public. Demolition and repair activities can create potential exposure hazards if the toxic paints are not recognized. Also, properly handling these materials can be exponentially more expensive than dealing with modern paints and finishes.  

“Lead-based paints were commonly used up until 1978 when they were banned for use in housing,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “Lead is just one potential danger in older properties as other materials, such as asbestos, are also still present in many residential and commercial properties.  Policy holders of these older buildings need to be aware of these potential hazards and not rush to have repair work completed without taking these risks into consideration. This is why utilizing a public adjuster who is experienced in building construction materials and environmental hazards, in addition to the insurance claims process, can be of incredible value to anyone with a property damage claim.”

Policy holders with insurance claims in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are encouraged to contact the insurance experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters. Their professionals represent only policy holders and they not only look for hidden damage that the insurance company may have overlooked, but are also experienced in identifying potential indoor environmental hazards due to the past use of construction materials that may contain hazardous materials.  If these materials are present, the process for repairing any damage needs to follow federal and state regulations to ensure the safety of all existing and future building occupants.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Importance of Flood Insurance for Property Damage Claims

Preliminary estimates of the damages due to the heavy flooding in South Carolina are believed to be over $1 billion.  Unfortunately, many residential and commercial property owners in the impacted areas did not have flood insurance.  In fact, some experts have put the number of people with flood insurance and damaged properties in the state at only about 10%.

Many conditions can result in a flood. Hurricanes, overtopped levees, outdated or clogged drainage systems and the rapid accumulation of rainfall are all common occurrences. Some property owners mistakenly think that just because they haven't experienced a flood in the past they won’t in the future. Flood risks aren’t just based on history, they are also based on a number of factors that include rainfall, river-flow and tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures and changes due to new construction and developments in the area.

“A standard homeowners insurance policy doesn't cover flooding,” said Tom Allen from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC.  “While it will likely cover water damage due to a faulty water heater, it won’t be of any help in a flood.  The storm in South Carolina has been called a 1,000 year flood, but it happened and similar events can happen anywhere. This is why it's so important and a good investment to have flood insurance so a home or business has coverage for these types of events.”

Policy holders who encounter water damage due to floods or other reasons have access to the insurance claims experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters. They represent policy holders and never works on the behalf of insurance companies. Their clients can expect to obtain the most accurate and comprehensive settlement possible so they can quickly and properly rebuild their homes and businesses.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Prevent Property Damage with Fall Home & Building Maintenance Tips

Fall is a good time of the year for property owners and managers to inspect the condition of their home or commercial property.  It is also time to perform some preventive maintenance tasks to help ensure the building is in good condition to provide a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for building occupants.

“Preparing a residential or commercial property for the cool fall season and the upcoming winter now can help prevent a number of costly repairs and also help to increase the building’s energy efficiency,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “Equally important, some of these tasks could help prevent indoor environmental issues associated with mold and moisture, carbon monoxide and other health and safety concerns.”

The insurance claims and building science professionals at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters suggest the following actions:
·       Change filters for the HVAC system and consider having the furnace checked by a qualified professional.  Also inspect the air ducts for the buildup of dust and debris.
·       Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors and change out the batteries.
·       Properties with chimneys should have them inspected each year and cleaned if necessary.
·       Remove leaves and obstructions from gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams and be sure that water is draining away from the building’s foundation.
·       Check the siding for any damage or areas that moisture could enter.
·       Check for any damage to the roof and be sure any skylights are properly sealed.
·       Check windows and doors for drafts and be sure they are properly sealed.
·       Inspect and replace any worn weather stripping.
·       Add insulation to any exposed pipes.
·     In places with freezing weather don’t forget to shut off and drain any exterior sprinkler systems.  Also check outdoor faucets for any leaks.
·       Trim trees that could cause damage to the property due to broken limbs.
·       Consider having any asphalt driveways or parking lots sealed.
·       Clean and cover outdoor air conditioning components.
·       When cold weather arrives and the property is sealed, consider having it checked for the presence of radon.

For those who do experience property damage to their home or business, the professionals at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters are experts at negotiating and handling insured property damage claims.  Their services ensure that no damages are overlooked and that policy holders receive the most accurate insurance settlement possible.  They also recently sponsored an educational video with fall maintenance tips to provide a healthy indoor environment and prevent property damage. It can be seen at:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tips to Prevent Wind Damage to Your Home or Business

Thunderstorms are often associated with high velocity winds and microbursts that can result in extensive damage to a home or business.  Wind from tornadoes and hurricanes also cause billions of dollars in property damage each year and can leave an enormous path of destruction in their wake.

While certain parts of the country may experience strong winds more frequently than others, they can and do occur virtually everywhere.  Wind damage can result in everything from cosmetic and structural damage to a property’s complete destruction.  Even seemingly minor damage can result in water being able to enter a property and causing interior damage to building material and belongings.  This moisture can also result in the growth of mold in less than 48 hours in many circumstances if the materials are allowed to remain wet or moist.

Fortunately, there are steps that property owners can take to help prevent damage due to strong winds.  They include the following:

·       Ensure any rooftop HVAC units are properly secured.
·       Check shingles or roof tiles to make sure they are properly fastened and meet or exceed local building codes.
·       Be sure roof sheathing is properly nailed down and that the connections between the roof and walls will not allow updrafts to damage the roof.
·       Check chimneys, sky lights and roof exhaust pipes to ensure they are sealed and properly secured.
·       Be sure exterior doors are hinged or braced properly and can withstand strong winds.
·     The building’s exterior, siding and windows should be sealed and properly secured to prevent wind damage and wind-driven rain from harming the interior.
·       Trim back trees to prevent damage from broken limbs or uprooted trees.
·     Be sure anything stored outdoors and any outbuildings are properly secured and that fencing is braced well enough to survive strong winds.
·       For commercial properties, check to make sure any signage is properly designed, anchored and secured.

“Wind damage is covered under most standard insurance policies, but there can be exceptions,” said Tom Allen from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “With so many wind damage claims cases under our belts, we have found that insurance companies will often not investigate beyond the obvious visible signs of damage.  This is a significant issue because we have frequently discovered substantial hidden damages that would otherwise not have been repaired if our public adjusters weren’t involved in the claim. As an insurance policyholder, it’s important for anyone facing this type of claim to completely understand how badly their home or business is damaged before settling an insurance claim.”

Property owners that do experience wind damage or other forms of property damage can turn to the professionals at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters for help. Their experts look for more than just superficial damages and work diligently to resolve insurance claims comprehensively to obtain the most accurate insurance settlement possible.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Insurance Claims due to Vandalism & Theft can be a Challenge for Policy Holders

According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 1 out of every 200 insured homes files a property damage claim each year due to theft.  Theft and vandalism are two of the most common reasons that insurance claims are filed for both homeowners and commercial property owners.

Most people find vandalism and theft particularly offensive as the loss often leaves them feeling violated. To make matters worse, insurance carriers typically will look first to see if the claim can be denied due to occupancy or other policy requirements.

“If you are faced with filing a vandalism or theft claim, it is highly recommended to have an experienced claims professional on your side to assist in documenting and negotiating the claim before the insurance company can attempt to deny the claim or provide less than full coverage,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “There are also steps that need to be taken in most circumstances when a theft or vandalism incident has taken place.  Call the police and file a report and be sure to get a copy of the paperwork.  Items that were stolen or damaged need to be documented to show proof of ownership and each item should be listed in the police report.  Quite often the insurance company will offer only partial values for the items so it’s important to have as much documentation as possible.  This documentation may include receipts, appraisals, pictures and videos.”

Due to the complicated nature of theft and vandalism claims, policy holders should consider hiring a licensed public adjuster to be their advocate.  In almost all circumstances, the final claim value is significantly higher when a policy holder engages the services of a professional public adjuster.

For those faced with filing a claim, the experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters will document the loss, review what is covered under the policy and negotiate with the insurance provider to obtain the most accurate and complete settlement possible.  They charge no out-of-pocket costs and only receive a small percentage of the settled claim as payment for their services. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tips to Prepare Unoccupied Vacation Homes to Prevent Costly Water Damage

Whether a vacation property is a million dollar beach home, condo in the city, ski chalet, mountain retreat or simple fishing cabin, many of these properties are vacant for extended periods of time. While these properties provide much needed relaxation and a chance to get away for their owners, they can also turn into a costly nightmare if water damage occurs while people are away. 

When a vacation home is unoccupied, even for a short period of time, a small water leak can turn into a major event.  In fact, water damage is one of the most common reasons for a property insurance claim.  In addition to direct damage due to water, mold can begin to grow in less than 48 hours on many building materials, furnishing and household belongs when moisture is introduced.  Once mold is a factor, remediation costs typically increase dramatically and many insurance policies either do not cover mold or provide only minimal coverage.

“Even if there is not a water incursion, high humidity levels from the environment in a vacant house or condo can lead to mold growth and musty odors,” said Tom Allen from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “Reducing humidity levels through the use of air conditioning during the humid months is one option, but be sure its drain lines are not obstructed.”  

Fortunately, many potential sources of water damage can be averted by checking and preparing the vacation home before leaving it.  Mr. Allen recommends the following steps:

1.     Check the home’s interior and exterior for any signs of leaks and consider turning the water heater off or to vacation mode.
2.    Consider shutting off the water main to the home.  If this cannot be done because of an automatic sprinkler system or other reason, shut off the valves to major appliances within the property.
3.       If the property has a well, consider shutting the pump off. 
4.   Check gutters and downspouts for damage and clear any debris that may be causing obstructions.
5.       If the property has a sump pump, be sure it is in working order.
6.    During freezing weather, be sure the heating system is operating properly and that any exposed pipes are insulated.  It is also a good idea to drain pipes if the water has been shut off by running water faucets and flushing toilets.
7.     Ask a neighbor to periodically check on the property and be sure they know where the water main shut off valve is located.

Vacation and primary homeowners in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey that do experience water damage or other forms of property damage, can turn to the professionals at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters for help. Their experts resolve insurance claims comprehensively and help to ensure that policy holders obtain the most accurate insurance settlement possible.  They also recently sponsored an educational video with tips for preventing water damage and mold growth in unoccupied vacation properties that can be seen at:

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Phoenix Property Owners Learn How Public Adjusters Protect Their Interests when Filing an Insurance Claim

In August, U.S. News & World Report published an article about what property owners need to know and do to file a successful insurance claim.  The article discussions the vulnerable state of mind most property owners find themselves with after a disaster strikes and why they need to protect their interests and not just rely on what they are offered by their insurance provider.

One of the most significant options available to policy holders facing a claim are the resources offered by public adjusters.  In fact, the article lists hiring a public adjuster as one of the key things that can help homeowners file a successful claim.  It states, “While the adjuster sent by the insurance company works for the company, a public adjuster works for you, so he or she will analyze your policy, make your claim and sometimes even help you secure your home, such as covering broken windows or holes in the roof, or find temporary housing.”

In Arizona, one of the leading public adjusters is Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC (HDPA).  In addition to representing policy holders in Arizona, they also offer their services in Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“Most people don’t understand all of the potential hurdles they may face when their home or business sustains damage,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “An experienced public adjusters knows what needs to be done to ensure a positive outcome.  We handle the claim so the policy holder can rest assured that it is taken care of in a professional, comprehensive and timely manner.  The end result is a happy policy holder who gets their property fixed and receives all of the benefits they are entitled to under their policy.”

There are no out-of-pocket costs for HDPA’s customers.  A licensed public adjuster handles all negotiations and receives a small percentage of the claim as payment for their services. 


toll free phone: 800-898-4290

local mesa, az phone: 480-625-3434

fax: 480-656-3501