Re-Building Green

Re-Building Green
The concept of sustainable building incorporates and integrates a variety of strategies during the design, construction and operation of building projects. The use of green building materials and products represents one important strategy in the process of a green restoration after a home or business has sustained damage.

Green building materials offer specific benefits to the building owner and building occupants:

Reduced maintenance/replacement costs over the life of the building.
Energy conservation.
Improved occupant health and productivity.
Lower costs associated with changing space configurations.
Greater design flexibility. 
Building and construction activities worldwide consume 3 billion tons of raw materials each year or 40 percent of total global use (Roodman and Lenssen, 1995). Using green building materials and products promotes conservation of dwindling nonrenewable resources internationally. In addition, integrating green building materials into building projects can help reduce the environmental impacts associated with the extraction, transport, processing, fabrication, installation, reuse, recycling, and disposal of these building industry source materials.

What is a green building product or material?
Green building materials are composed of renewable, rather than nonrenewable resources.

Overall material/product selection criteria:

Resource efficiency
Indoor air quality
Energy efficiency
Water conservation
Affordability
 
Resource Efficiency can be accomplished by utilizing materials that meet the following criteria:
Recycled Content: Products with identifiable recycled content, including postindustrial content with a preference for postconsumer content.
Natural, plentiful or renewable: Materials harvested from sustainably managed sources and preferably have an independent certification (e.g., certified wood) and are certified by an independent third party.
Resource efficient manufacturing process: Products manufactured with resource-efficient processes including reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste (recycled, recyclable and or source reduced product packaging), and reducing greenhouse gases.
Locally available: Building materials, components, and systems found locally or regionally saving energy and resources in transportation to the project site.
Salvaged, refurbished, or remanufactured: Includes saving a material from disposal and renovating, repairing, restoring, or generally improving the appearance, performance, quality, functionality, or value of a product.
Reusable or recyclable: Select materials that can be easily dismantled and reused or recycled at the end of their useful life.
Recycled or recyclable product packaging: Products enclosed in recycled content or recyclable packaging.
Durable: Materials that are longer lasting or are comparable to conventional products with long life expectancies.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is enhanced by utilizing materials that meet the following criteria:
Low or non-toxic: Materials that emit few or no carcinogens, reproductive toxicants, or irritants as demonstrated by the manufacturer through appropriate testing.
Minimal chemical emissions: Products that have minimal emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).  Products that also maximize resource and energy efficiency while reducing chemical emissions.
Low-VOC assembly: Materials installed with minimal VOC-producing compounds, or no-VOC mechanical attachment methods and minimal hazards.
Moisture resistant: Products and systems that resist moisture or inhibit the growth of biological contaminants in buildings.
Healthfully maintained: Materials, components, and systems that require only simple, non-toxic, or low-VOC methods of cleaning.
Systems or equipment: Products that promote healthy IAQ by identifying indoor air pollutants or enhancing the air quality.

Energy Efficiency can be maximized by utilizing materials and systems that meet the following criteria:
Materials, components, and systems that help reduce energy consumption in buildings and facilities.

Water Conservation can be obtained by utilizing materials and systems that meet the following criteria:
Products and systems that help reduce water consumption in buildings and conserve water in landscaped areas.

Affordability can be considered when building product life-cycle costs are comparable to conventional materials or as a whole, are within a project-defined percentage of the overall budget.

Sinkhole Repair in Florida

Sinkhole Repair in Florida
There are many methods of sinkhole repair.  Here is a list of the commonly used types for sinkhole repair in Florida.
Compaction Grouting
Pressure Grouting 
Chemical Grouting
Epoxy Injection
Steel Piers
Helical Piers
Floor Slab Piers
Pre-Construciton Piers
Injection Piers
Concrete Piers
Waterproofing
Carbon Fiber Wall Reinforcement
Every case is different.  Only an expert can decide which method is best for you.  Call Restorsurance today if you have a sinkhole, we can help you navigate your complex insurance claim and repair it right the first time.

Florida’s Property Insurance Claim Process Laws

Florida’s Property Insurance Claim Process Laws

Below is a list of laws that govern the conduct of property insurance claims in the state of Florida. This list is not meant to be comprehensive, only to provide an overview of the protection and guidance the law affords:
F.S. §624.155(1)(a)1– Any person may bring a civil action against an insurer when such person is damaged: (a) by violation of any of the following provisions by the insurer: (1) Section 626.9541(1)(i), (o), or (x)

F.S. §624.155(b)1 – Not attempting in good faith to settle claims when, under all the circumstances, it could and should have done so, had it acted fairly and honestly toward the insured and with due regard for her or his interests.

F.S. §624.155(b)2 – Making claims payments to insureds or beneficiaries not accompanied by a statement setting forth the coverage under which payments are being made.

F.S. §624.155(b)3 – Except as to liability coverages, failing to promptly settle claims, when the obligation to settle a claim has become reasonably clear, under one portion of the insurance policy coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy coverage.

F.S. §626.9541(1)(i)1 – Attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application, when serving as a binder or intended to become a part of the policy, or any other material document which was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of, the insured.

F.S. §626.9541(1)(i)2 – A material misrepresentation made to an insured or any other person having an interest in the proceeds payable under such contract or policy, for the purpose and with the intent of effecting settlement of such claims, loss or damage under such contract or policy on less favorable terms than those provided in, and contemplated by, such contract or policy.

F.S. §626.9541(1)(i)3a – Failing to adopt and implement standards for the proper investigation of claims.

F.S. §626.9541(1)(i)3b – Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue.

F.S. §626.9541(1)(i)3c – Failing to acknowledge and act promptly upon communications with respect to claims.

F.S. §626.9541(1)(i)3d – Denying claims without conducting reasonable investigations based upon available information.

F.S. §626.9531(1)(i)3e – Failing to affirm or deny full or partial coverage of claims, and, as to partial coverage, the dollar amount or extent of coverage, or failing to provide a written statement that the claim is being investigated, upon the written request of the insured within 30 days after proof-of-loss statements have been completed.

F.S. §626.9541(1)(i)3f – Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation in writing to the insured of the basis in the insurance policy, in relation to the facts or applicable law, for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement.

F.S. §626.9541(1)(i)3g – Failing to promptly notify the insured of any additional information necessary for the processing of a claim.

F.S. §626.9541(1)(i)3h – Failing to clearly explain the nature of the requested information and the reasons why such information is necessary.

69O-220.201(4) – The work of adjusting insurance claims engages the public trust. An adjuster must put the duty for fair and honest treatment of the claimant above the adjuster’s own interest, in every instance.

69O-220.201(4)(a) – An adjuster shall disclose all financial interest in any direct or indirect aspect of an adjusting transaction.

69O-220.201(4)(b) – An adjuster shall treat all claimants equally. An adjuster shall not provide favored treatment to any claimant. An adjuster shall adjust all claims strictly in accordance with the insurance contract.

69O-220.201(4)(c) – An adjuster shall never approach investigations, adjustments, and settlements in a manner prejudicial to the insured.

69O-220.201(4)(d) – An adjuster shall make truthful and unbiased reports of the facts after making a complete investigation.

69O-220.201(4)(e) – An adjuster shall handle very adjustment and settlement with honesty and integrity and allow a fair adjustment or settlement to all parties without any remuneration to himself except that to which he is legally entitled.

69O-220.201(4)(f) – An adjuster, upon undertaking the handling of a claim, shall act with dispatch and due diligence in achieving a proper disposition thereof.

69O-220.201(4)(g) – An adjuster shall promptly report to the Office any conduct by any licensed insurance representative of this state, which conduct violates any insurance law or Office rule or order.

69O220.201(4)(h) – An adjuster shall exercise extraordinary care when dealing with elderly clients, to assure that they are not disadvantaged in their claims transactions by failing memory or impaired cognitive processes.

69O-220.201(4)(i) – An adjuster shall not negotiate or effect settlement directly or indirectly with any third party claimant represented by an attorney, if said adjuster has knowledge of such representation, except with the consent of the attorney. For purposes of this subsection, the term “third party claimant” does not include the insured or the insured’s resident relatives.

69O-220.201(4)(j) – An adjuster is permitted to interview any witness, or prospective witness, without the consent of opposing counsel or party. In doing so, however, the adjuster shall scrupulously avoid any suggestion calculated to induce a witness to suppress or deviate from the truth, or in any degree affect their appearance or testimony at the trial or on the witness stand. If any witness making or giving a signed or recorded statement so requests, the witness shall be given a copy thereof.

69O-220.201(4)(k) – An adjuster shall not advise a claimant to refrain from seeking legal advice, nor advise against the retention of counsel to protect the claimant’s interest.

69O-220.201(4)(l) – An adjuster shall not attempt to negotiate with or obtain any statement from a claimant or witness at a time that the claimant or witness is, or would reasonably be expected to be, in shock or serious mental or emotional distress as a result of physical, mental or emotional trauma associated with a loss. Further, the adjuster shall not conclude a settlement when such settlement would be disadvantageous or to the detriment of a claimant who is in the traumatic or distressed state described above.

69O-220.201(4)(m) – An adjuster shall not knowingly fail to advise a claimant of their claim rights in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract and of the applicable laws of this state. An adjuster shall exercise care not to engage in the unlicensed practice of law as prescribed by the Florida Bar.

69O-220.201(4)(n) – A company or independent adjuster shall not draft, unless approved in writing in advance by the insurer and such written communication can be demonstrated to the Office, special releases called for by the unusual circumstances of any settlement or otherwise draft any form of release. Except as provided above, a company or independent adjuster is only permitted to fill in the blanks of a release form approved by the insurer they represent.

F.S. §626.878 – An adjuster shall subscribe to the code of ethics specified in the rules of the Department (formerly the Department of Insurance).

F.S. §626.877 – Every adjuster shall adjust or investigate every claim, damage, or loss made or occurring under an insurance contract, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract and of the applicable laws of this state.

The Insurance Claim Process

The Insurance Claim Process
Homeowners insurance provides safety and security for your property, costly gadgets and other items as well as covering injuries sustained by anyone on your property. Insurance companies offer different types of coverage and the premium varies depending on the state where you reside. Keep in mind that before you file a claim, you need to identify the type of claim you intend to make. The line of approach differs depending on whether it is theft alone or damage to property or both. With an injury, the claim will also differ. If there is loss due to natural disasters, the approach will again be different. Here’s how you can file a claim with your insurance provider.

Theft and/or Damage to Property
Step1
Inform the police immediately if you are making a claim of theft and/or damage to property. File a police complaint even if costly items are not stolen. Keep two copies of the complaint—one for the insurance company and the other for your reference.
Step2
Make a list of the stolen items and the damaged portion of the property. Give it to the police department.
Step3
Contact the insurance company about the theft and/or damage to property. Provide a copy of the police complaint and the list of stolen items and damaged property.
Step4
List the names of people you have spoken to in the police department and the insurance company.
Step5
Ask the insurance company if further formalities are necessary for the claim. If the damage and loss is large, the insurance company will send an adjuster for inspection. If the damage is minimal, the insurance agent may complete the formalities without an inspection.
Step6
Take photographs or a video of the damaged portion of the property. Make at least two copies of photographs and videos so that if you need to provide the photos or video to the investigating authorities you always have a copy for future reference.
Step7
Prevent consequential damage to your property by completing temporary repairs and keeping the receipts for reimbursement from the insurance company.

Injuries
Step1

Ensure prompt treatment if there are injuries to a person(s). Injuries may be caused by sudden falling on your property or by incorrectly using tools.
Step2
Preserve hospital receipts and prescriptions for reimbursement from the insurance company.

Natural Disasters
Step1

Inform the insurance company and the local government where you reside immediately in case your property is affected during natural disasters, such as hurricane or earthquake. Seek their help in getting immediate relief.
Step2
Cooperate with the authorities and complete the necessary formalities as requested. Usually, during unforeseen or even anticipated natural disaster, the government might have devised a new policy or emergency policy. It is usually in your best interest to cooperate with the authorities so that the relief efforts can be provided swiftly.

How Does Your Policy Rate?

How Does Your Policy Rate?

Rating the adequacy of your insurance policy in advance of a disaster will eliminate many unpleasant surprises when it comes time to place a claim.
Answer the following questions to determine how your policy rates:
Is the information technology infrastructure covered by a separate policy?
Does a detailed itemization of assets exist?
Does the policy pay for the restoration of electronic data?
Are clearly defined loss claim procedures documented?
Does the policy have a “utility service interruption” grace period?
Does your insurance carrier have “pair & set” salvage rights over your property?
Does your policy cover all out-of-pocket recovery costs?
Is the process of determining the cost of interruption identified?
Does the policy exclude priority of payments of legal costs from coverage amounts?
If you answered NO to two or more of these questions, then your insurance policy is in need of an adequacy review. Begin by determining what your insurance needs are. Then meet with your insurance agent to review your current policy.
An independent policy analysis is highly recommended before you make any final policy changes.