TAMPA, Fla. – Oct. 12, 2016 – American Integrity Insurance Company is mobilizing its disaster recovery team to help impacted customers get their homes – and lives – back to normal in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The Tampa-based home insurance company has activated its disaster recovery team and is deploying its mobile catastrophe unit to Jacksonville on Oct. 14 to assist its policyholders impacted by the storm.
“Our thoughts are with all residents on Florida’s east coast who experienced the brunt of the damage from Hurricane Matthew,” said Robert Ritchie, American Integrity Insurance President and CEO. “We stand ready to serve our policyholders who were affected by the storm and help them get back on the road to recovery.”
Customers can also call 844-My-AIIC-1 or file a claim online at IntegrityStormResponse.com as quickly as possible to expedite the recovery process and help them avoid scams.
Beware of AOB – the storm after the storm
“After a storm, some unscrupulous contractors could try to take advantage of hard working Floridians who are simply trying to restore their homes,” says Teresa Heller, Senior Vice President of Claims at American Integrity Insurance. “It’s a good idea for consumers to avoid contractors who knock on their door soliciting their business. We can’t emphasize how critically important it is for homeowners to work directly with their insurance company throughout the claims process to help them steer clear of scams.”
All consumers should refrain from signing paperwork they don’t understand, especially any that include an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) clause. Such contracts include words to the effect of, “I transfer and assign any and all insurance rights, benefits and causes of action under my property insurance policy to the contractor.”
When consumers sign an Assignment of Benefits contract, they may give up their rights to their claim, including financial reimbursements and legal control. This allows contractors to bill the insurance company directly – and pocket the money without doing the repairs or charge inflated costs for their work, leaving the policyholder to pay the excess charges. In worst case scenarios, contractors could place a lien on a customer’s home for unpaid services – and contractor’s liens in Florida are enforceable by foreclosure.
Post-storm recovery tips
American Integrity recommends following these steps if you’ve experienced damage to your home:
- Stay safe. If you need to vacate your home because it is unlivable, keep all of your receipts for temporary lodging and other expenses.
- File your claim right away.
- If you do not have a home inventory list, create a list of the damaged items and include as much information as possible, such as model and manufacturers’ numbers, receipts and photographs.
- Take photographs of the damage.
- Protect your property by making temporary, not permanent, repairs to prevent further damage.
- Read all paperwork carefully and ask for recommendations and credentials when selecting a contractor. American Integrity Insurance partners with Nexxus Solutions Group, a network of licensed and credentialed contractors who warranty their work for three years, for their customers’ post-loss home repairs. Nexxus Solutions Group can be reached at 1-855-963-9987.
It’s important to note that after a storm, American Integrity responds to claims based on severity. After helping customers who have been displaced from their homes, adjusters will reach out to policyholders based on the level of damage sustained by their home.
“While we’re striving to get the claims process started for all of our customers as quickly as possible, we’ve got to help those whose homes are uninhabitable first – providing them with shelter, food and clothing,” Heller says.
For more information about American Integrity Insurance, visit www.aiicfl.com or call 866-968-8390. To file a tropical storm or hurricane-related claim, please call 844-MY-AIIC-1 or go to https://aiicfl.com/manage-claims/report-a-claim.
About American Integrity Insurance Group (American Integrity)
American Integrity Insurance, one of the largest writers of Florida homeowners insurance, has in excess of 225,000 customers and is represented by more than 800 independent agents. The Tampa-based company offers sound and comprehensive property insurance solutions, including traditional home insurance and coverage for vacant homes, condominiums, manufactured homes, umbrella and dwelling fire policies. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.aiicfl.com, call 866-968-8390, or connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Instagram.