• Megan Connor

Hurricane-related water damages: don’t assume replacement is required

In 2018, Hurricane Michael ravaged the Florida Panhandle, resulting in more than $3.4 billion of paid homeowner’s claims, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.


After receiving an estimate of more than $70,000.00 to replace various instruments, speakers, and commercial-quality recording equipment, the adjuster reached out to Zap Consulting to assess the damages and determine if the replacement costs were in line with current market value.


With hurricane-related claims, particularly in the immediate aftermath of the storm, home and business owners are scrambling to get their lives back to normal. Understandably, with emotions running high, insureds may believe all items exposed to the storm require replacement; however, in this case, Zap Consulting discovered only (3) of (35) or 8.57% of claimed items sustained damage from water exposure due to Hurricane Michael. The remaining (32) electronics were found to be in proper working order.


During Zap’s investigation, we discovered the items were never exposed directly to wind-forced rainwater from the hurricane. Instead, a small leak in the roof resulted in prolonged humidity exposure to the claimed items. While such humidity exposure can certainly damage electronic items, mainly by degradation of internal components like circuit boards, a thorough on-site assessment revealed significantly fewer damages than previously assumed.


A final recommended Replacement Cost Value (RCV) and labor amount of around $5,300.00 was determined as a result of Zap's investigation, saving the carrier approximately $64,700.00 or 92.4%.





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