How do I determine my damages?
Unless you’re a trained contractor or a builder it may be very difficult for you to do. We definitely do not recommend that you exclusively rely on your insurance company or their independent or field adjuster. It’s important, before you resolve any claim, to bring in a professional from the community that you would actually have do the work and get an idea from them of what it would actually cost, what they would charge you, to bring your home back in [inaudible 00:00:32] to pre-lost condition, meaning the condition of your house before the damage occurred. There are a lot of factors that go into that in terms of whether or not other things have to be changed to match because Florida has a statue that requires the insurance company to maintain everything that matches in your home. It could be tile, kitchen cabinets, painting but whatever it may be these are all factors that go into the cost. The other thing is there may not be things that are apparent or obvious to you behind the walls, behind the cabinet, so you need to make sure that somebody’s inspected or assessed that so you don’t accept the value of a claim that’s way low than what it ends up being once they get in and they’re in the middle of the work. Another issues with that is you generally don’t want to sign a release if you’re not absolutely required to and sometimes when you’re unrepresented the insurance company may try to get you to sign a release when they pay the claim. You generally do not want to do that unless you have no choice because you don’t know what may be found or discovered later and you may have a right to, what’s called, a supplemental claim. The key answer is you may not know, which is why you need to talk to somebody that you would actually have do the work and find out what they would do the work for and not what the insurance company tells you the work should be done for.