Check to Fix Hurricane Irma Damage Didn't Arrive, Couple Calls NBC 6 Responds

Hurricane Irma damaged the roof at the home of Martha and Gabino Sanchez. But not all the damage has been fixed since the storm blew through in September 2017.

“It could leak any minute,” said Martha Sanchez. The Sanchez family says their insurance had paid them some money but it didn’t repair all the damage and they felt they were owed more.

“We had no money left or anything,” Martha said. They say the money they were given from their insurance company wasn’t enough - because their claim didn’t include damage to the back part of their home.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Martha said. They hired a public adjuster who resubmitted the claim – the insurance company then increased their payment to $17,647.

The couple says they’d saved the 10 percent needed to pay the adjuster but they say they never got their check.

“They don’t answer us,” Martha said. After more than a month of waiting, they called NBC6 Responds.

“We’re going to be in serious trouble if the leak comes,” Martha said.

NBC6 Responds contacted the public adjuster’s office and a manager told us they “never require a client to pay if the funds are not available” and that Martha had been “informed that her check had arrived and could have picked it up at any time.”

The Sanchez family now has their money and are looking forward to fixing the rest of the damage that needs repaired.

"We’re happy. I slept last night and my husband’s happy,” Martha said. “A lot of us have nowhere to turn to and God bless Channel 6.”

Nancy Dominguez with the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters says consumers shouldn’t worry about paying adjusters before they get an insurance check.

“A public adjuster cannot charge any money up front for handling your claim. They can only invoice you once a company has made a payment on your claim,” said Nancy Dominguez with the Florida Association of Public Adjusters.

A public appraiser can charge consumers up to 20 percent on claims like a fire or a plumbing problem. But if the claim is made during a state of emergency such as a hurricane, adjusters can’t charge more than ten percent within the first year after the emergency.

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