We have recognized on major television, radio and internet media for many years. Here, Natural Disaster Insurance Expert and Renowned Attorney Scott Mager talks to CBS National about what to do after a disaster (talking about Hurricane Sandy)
DON’T GET BLOWN AWAY BY YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY AFTER ANDREA
StormHelpTeam.org’s Secrets to Securing the Most Money in Your Insurance Claims
By Property Damage/Disaster Insurance Guru Scott Mager[i]
With Andrea upon us, people will struggle to secure the right information when they have property damage. The more urgent and detailed you are in pursuit of your claim, the more dollars that may be available. Here are important secrets to maximize your chances to secure the most money the fastest.
CHECK TO SEE IF GOVERNMENT RELIEF IS AVAILABLE Check to see if the Governor has declared a ‘disaster,’ because then FEMA is activated and if the State is approved for Individual Assistance, you can secure up to $31,000 in aid in the form of immediate repairs (electricity/electrical work, fuel for energy sources, plumbing, etc.), as well as other assistance.
NOTIFY ALL INSURANCE COMPANIES. Damages can be caused by wind, water or other ways. Notify each insurance company for which you pay a premium that may cover your claim, such as flood insurance, homeowners insurance or business insurance.
TAKE/IDENTIFY MORE PICTURES AND VIDEO Take many pictures and video of every aspect of your house from different angles, including those showing damages. Detail on the video or write on each pictures (or state on the video) exactly where the room or damaged item is located.
NOTIFY INSURANCE COMPANIES OF REPAIRS Get multiple estimates and notify each insurance company in writing of anticipated repairs, informing them of the date and list of repairs (with pictures, repair estimates, expert reports included), offering to have them revisit the premises, speak to your contractor or make suggestions on repairs. If you can, retain samples of damaged property, such as shingles or other roof materials, wood from floors or wall, stucco, pieces of doors or windows, etc.
HIRE THE RIGHT EXPERTS You need to retain the best experts who have specific and substantial experience in handling storm claims. You may need a special kind of engineer, roofer, window inspector, field adjuster or all of them. Your windows might not be broken, but they may have failed due to the mass winds. Your roof or structure may have suffered damage that you cannot see. There are certain kinds of reports and estimates that must be produced to maximize getting the most money the quickest and only certain experts know how.
CONSTANTLY WRITE Do not rely on oral representations from anyone. Write letters or emails after every discussion with an insurance company or adjuster, whenever a representation is made, a promise provided or a number stated. They should be in sufficient detail as to properly reflect what has been promised, completed, not completed, etc. and should request they let you know in writing if there is any inaccuracy in what you have written.
CONSIDER HIRING AN ATTORNEY OR GOING TO STORMHELPTEAM.ORG The insurance companies know that individuals and business owners are unaware of the technical provisions of complicated insurance policies or what specific requirements you MUST complete or you get nothing. The data shows that insurance companies pay sooner and in larger amounts when you retain a storm-damaged- litigation-experienced attorney who has handled many storm (property damage) claims.
If you are unsure about what to do or whether to hire someone, go to sites like www.StormHelpTeam.org and fill out the form (or call 855-58 –STORM), and for NO CHARGE, an expert will call you to explain the insurance process and your options.
Scott Mager is a well-known natural disaster insurance expert and attorney who spent hundreds of hours in Florida, New York and elsewhere, arming citizens with winning strategies to secure more money. He has the unique experience at the highest level of seeing both sides of insurance disputes, having served as the Chief Attorney for one of the largest insurance companies in the world – where he also received their National Litigator of the Year
Award – and having represented or helped thousands of residents and companies secure tens of millions of dollars of insurance money. He has lived through, researched or been involved with dozens of disaster events, and lectures around the country, having completed over 150 articles, case summaries and lectures. He has also given hundreds of hours of philanthropic work, and won such awards as the NFL Community Quarterback Award for Extraordinary Philanthropic Service, among many other honors. He is a regular contributor to the Storm Help Team efforts.
New York, NY – Storm Help Team is encouraging Superstorm Sandy victims to focus on harnessing their frustrations at insurance companies into a social media campaign aimed at urging insurers to do right by their policy holders – to institute better business practices, more thorough investigation, more detailed responses that include payments and specific itemization of what will not be paid and why, and other helpful information needed during the insurance policy claims process.
The social media campaign is headed by Storm Help Team (Twitter: @stormhelpteam), a consortium of engineers, lawyers, public adjusters, estimators, general contractors, window / door inspection experts and other experts working throughout the Sandy-impacted area, led by renowned attorney and disaster relief reimbursement specialist Scott Mager.
“Having seen the effects of dozens of storms, and the continuing delays in payment, the time is now to empower property owners with all the experts and resources necessary to more quickly secure payment of all the money they deserve,” said Mager.
Scott Mager is a nationally recognized attorney with professional advice on how to get reimbursed for recovery efforts.
Mager has been on-the-ground with Storm Help Team (www.stormhelpteam.org) in the Hurricane Sandy-impacted area for months, speaking to entire community groups about the steps they can take to get rightful reimbursements for property losses.
Mager will be joining Legislator Dave Denenberg, speaking to residents at the Merrick Public Library at 2279 Merrick Ave., Merrick, NY, along with representatives of FEMA and some local government officials, to help residents who are concerned about low, minimum or no payments yet from insurance companies, as well as about hiring contractors who might notbe operating ethically.
Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, 7:00 p.m.
Merrick Public Library, 2279 Merrick Ave., Merrick, NY
Mager has assisted numerous families in the New York metro and New Jersey shore areas and offers the following key points in the wake of Hurricane Sandy:
When insurance companies give you the runaround, it’s often in the form of one of the three D’s: Delay, Deny, Defend. Sometimes, they will use all of these tactics. They will delay handling your claim, deny your property was damaged, and, if you take them to task, they may defend their decision in drawn-out court battles.
Insurance companies, and the adjusters working for them, also know that many people don’t know their rights or would rather not spend time and money in court. They may offer you a low settlement, betting that you’ll take less money (sometimes a LOT less) over no money at all.
To arrange interviews with Scott Mager or Superstorm Sandy victims, contact:
Tyra Haag, firstname.lastname@example.org, (865) 982-6626
Dave Bicofsky, email@example.com, (201) 638-9864
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