Written by: Business Spotlight

Your Property Damage Experts

Husband-and-wife duo bring a human element to the insurance industry while helping homeowners navigate claims.

Whether it’s from fire, hurricanes or other causes, property damage is an unfortunate aspect of life for many in South Florida. When these incidents do occur, you’d like to think that homeowners and business owners can rely on their insurance companies to make things right — but unfortunately that isn’t always the case.

To ensure that you get the most value from your property damage claim, you need more than just an insurance company. And this is where a public adjusting company like CMC Claim Consultants comes in.

Cristina and Michael Cordo, the owner and vice president, respectively, of the company, have been helping homeowners with claims of this nature for years. It could be a hurricane, a fire, a burst pipe or any number of things gone wrong. “Our job is to help you get your life back on track after disasters strike,” says Michael. “Most people don’t understand their policies or how to navigate them. That’s where we come in.”

“We’re experts just like the insurance companies,” adds Cristina. “We make sure we maximize all the damages and take everything into account, from door casings to outlets to behind the walls to the air conditioning unit. Everything adds up. We don’t get paid unless you do.”

A Tale of Two Claims

In many cases, policy owners faced with unpaid claims opt for the legal route. “I know clients still unresolved after five years,” says Michael. “In the meantime, what do you think is happening to their house? They’re pulling out loans and trying to fix patches. The extent of the damage just continues to snowball. Let’s not forget that attorneys get paid by the hour. Multiply that by five years, and now you’re looking at a $1 million settlement.”

CMC offers an underused alternative not advertised by most insurance providers. Most policies have what’s called an appraisal clause. If you and your insurance company do not agree on the value of your claim or are still in disagreement on the damages to your property or the price to fix your damage, this is an alternative dispute resolution method that could expedite the settlement of your claim. It involves two sets of appraisers: one for the client and company, respectively, plus a mutually agreed-upon umpire to mediate the process so both parties can come to an agreement.

“The appraisal process works,” says Michael. And the CMC reputation for this process is second to none, with licensed employees, and thus experience, in all three aspects as adjusters, appraisers and umpires.

The Appraisal Process

Let’s say you file a claim for property damage. Then the insurance company offers a small amount of money. Most people accept this and move on for various reasons: They don’t want the fight, don’t know the true extent of the damage or perhaps are simply thankful they got anything at all. The good news is that by the money exchanging hands — no matter how small — the insurance company has essentially admitted fault.

Now you can get a full, unbiased home appraisal performed by an adjuster of your choosing, like CMC, to assess the true extent of any damages done. The insurance company will do the same. After the inspections, everyone meets with the predetermined umpire to come to terms. Because the insurance company has essentially already admitted fault, the negotiating balance of power shifts. The process stays out of court and costs the policyholder nothing if they’re unable to recoup damages, which is unlikely the case.

Advice for Policyholders

“Double-check your policy,” advises Cristina. There seems to be a trend towards people taking insurance discounts, ones they don’t always understand. A lot of policies have been cutting water damage, as property owners assume this falls under their mandatory flood insurance. However, that is not the case. It’s important that people in South Florida have both.

“You can send us a copy of your policy. We’ll always double-check it for free,” Cristina says. “We’ll let you know exactly what’s covered and what’s not. Also, be sure to always have current photos of your full property, especially before a hurricane. Keep everything documented and keep receipts for any repair or cleanup.”

Family Values

What started from the corner of their kitchen has grown into a full-fledged family operation. In 2004, Cristina and her father first launched what is today an award-winning, community business. Little by little, they brought in family to assist with the operation, which today consists of the dynamic husband-and-wife duo plus several highly trained and skilled adjusters.

Their passion for the business is evident. “We are a family business fighting for families,” says Cristina. “In a moment when you need somebody the most, we’re there to reassure you you’ll be okay. Your home is your castle. You deserve to feel safe in your home. Those types of things drive us to do what we do.”

CMC Claim Consultants, Inc., is located at 12651 South Dixie Hwy., Suite 207, in Pinecrest. For more info, call 305.668.3335, email info@cmcpublicadjusters.com or follow them on Instagram at @cmc_claimconsultants.

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Last modified: September 5, 2022