Is it time to review your homeowners insurance coverage?

With the recent rash of superordinary storms, homeowners may find damages to their home which may be covered by their homeowners insurance.

What happens after the claim is approved, the check arrives and your contractor shows up to give an estimate, but finds hidden damages and your check won't cover the costs to repair your home? Homeowners do have the right to have the adjuster return, but who will back up your request for more money to repair your home?

Members of the Carbon Builders Association know how often it that scenario affects local consumers and on Tuesday night they heard Metro Public Adjusters explain how they are able to help local homeowners maximize their settlements.

Each month Carbon Builders Association meets to hear updates on how they can better serve their customers through ongoing educational programs. Speaking at the November meeting was Larry Meyerhofer, regional vice president of Metro Public Adjusters, Inc.

Meyerhofer said that public adjusters watch out for the policy holder and in most cases, they are able to help homeowners get more funds.

"The public doesn't know what we do," said Meyerhofer. "We are certified and licensed by the state. We are certified to look for water damage, roof inspections, plumbing leaks, fire damage and a lot more."

Meyerhofer said that in one case a woman's washing machine hose had sprung a leak and the insurance adjuster had offered $22,000 and he was able to secure an additional $62,000 to make repairs to her home because the insurance adjuster missed some of the damages.

"My job is to argue with the insurance adjuster to get your best offer," he said.

"I've seen homeowners have their claim denied five times and I was able to help them get their claim resolved," he said."

Meyerhofer said that he had met a local plumber who was trying to help lower income people with plumbing leaks. He said he often had to open walls to fix pipes and the people were poor and often didn't pay him.

"I knew that a lot of the damages may be covered by insurance and I worked with him and his customers," he said. "He started getting paid for his work and the homeowners were able to fix the holes in the walls with their insurance money."

Meyerhofer said that not all homeowners insurance is the same and it was important to have the right coverage.

"Open letters immediately from your insurance company and read it," he said. "Updates arrive in the same envelope as cancellations."

Meyerhofer noted that if your homeowners insurance is canceled, your mortgage company will get insurance for you, but it will be higher priced and will only cover what is owed on the loan.

"This type of insurance is not in your best interest," he said. "Regular homeowners insurance is cheaper and will provide coverage you need in the event of an emergency."

Meyerhofer said that Metro agents will assist homeowners by going over policies.

"Know your policy and that is your best defense," he said. "Consider contacting a public adjuster. Let us help you make your insurance do what it is supposed to do."

Meyerhofer said there is a need for public adjusters because many insurance adjusters do not have the knowledge that public adjusters have.

"We are certified to look for hidden damage in your home," he said. "If you want to make sure that you get enough funds to repair your home to original condition, consider calling a public adjuster."

Mike Troutman, president of the Carbon Builders Association, said that he has referred some of his customers to Metro and they have been satisfied with their services.

"When I was asked to bid out a recent job, I knew there wasn't enough money to do the repairs," said Troutman. "I suggested they call Metro and they helped my customer get more money to make the repairs."

For more information about Metro see the website at www.metropa.com or call Anthony Ricciardi at 570-620-1401.

Troutman noted that members of the Carbon Builders Association will host and OSHA Fall Protection Training for the residential construction industry on Dec. 5. The training is for remodelers, roofers, painters, siding installers, gutter installers, electricians, plumbers, HVAC and any contractor who works at heights of six feet or more off the ground levels.

Carbon Builders Association is also in the planning stages of the Home Garden and Business Expo to be held April 27 and April 28 at Blue Mountain Ski Area, Palmerton. Spaces will be available for vendors and displays.