Fourth Circuit Upholds 1-year Statute of Limitations on Flood Insurance Claims

Fourth Circuit Upholds 1-year Statute of Limitations on Flood Insurance Claims

R. Bruce Wallace
USA May 5 2017
In Woodson v. Allstate Insurance Co., the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently upheld a one-year statute of limitations in flood insurance claims. Briefly, Hurricane Irene flooded the home of plaintiffs Gary and Rebecca Woodson in 2011. Allstate had issued the Woodsons a flood insurance policy under the National Flood Insurance Program. The Woodsons filed a claim under the flood policy, and following investigation, Allstate denied the claim on February 28, 2012. The Woodsons sued Allstate in state court on February 27, 2013. Allstate removed the action to federal court on April 1, 2013, asserting in part, the applicable statute of limitations. In its findings of fact and conclusions of law, the district court did not address the statute of limitations issue, but entered judgment in favor of the Woodsons.

Allstate appealed the judgment to the Fourth Circuit, asserting again the application of the one-year statute of limitations. Allstate also argued that the bad-faith handling claim was preempted by the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. The Fourth Circuit, as a preliminary matter, held “federal law exclusively governs claims made on policies issued under the National Flood Insurance Program and to disputes arising out of the handling of those claims, thus preempting state law, and imposes a one-year statute of limitations for all such claims.”

The Fourth Circuit then reviewed the history and purposes of the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA). The Court also noted “[t]he terms and conditions of a National Flood Insurance Policy are specified by regulation.” The policy at issue stated it “and all disputes arising from the handling of any claim under the policy are governed exclusively by the flood insurance regulations issued by FEMA, the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended, and Federal common law.” The Policy also stated an insured “you must start [a] suit within one year after the date of the written denial of all or part of the claim, and … file the suit in the United States District Court of the district in which the covered property was located at the time of loss.” Based on the regulations, history, and scope of the NFIA, the Fourth Circuit concluded, “claims under [the] Policies, and disputes relating to the handling of claims under those policies are highly regulated and subject exclusively to federal law.”

Turning to the merits of Allstate’s argument, the Fourth Circuit found the Woodsons had not initiated their lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations. Following denial, the Woodsons filed their lawsuit in state court in North Carolina one day shy of the one-year statute of limitations. Allstate removed the claim to federal court more than one year after the denial of the flood claim. Allstate argued the Woodsons had not filed their claim in a United States District Court within one year, as required by the policy, NFIA, and its regulations. And the Fourth Circuit agreed. Because the issue was not raised by affirmative defense or motion, the court went to some length to discuss how Allstate had raised the statute of limitations in pre-trial submissions and at trial. Resolving this issue in favor of Allstate, the court ruled “[t]he district court was presented with the limitations issue and the relevant evidence, and the Woodsons were undoubtedly aware that the issue was before the court, as they addressed it explicitly during closing argument.”

The Fourth Circuit also agreed the Woodsons’ claim for bad faith handling of the insurance claim under North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act was preempted by federal law and therefore barred.

Dealing with Staff Insurance Adjusters

Dealing with Staff Insurance Adjusters

Feb 9, 2015 by Rick Kinney

Filed under Adjusters

Insurance adjusters are supposedly there to help you, but in reality they are hired by insurance companies to look after their interest not yours. Insurance adjusters are professionals that know how to polish their keywords and terms in order to make it look like they are doing you a favor by giving you a phenomenal deal while actually taking advantage of you and your legitimate claim.

When not working as an staff insurance adjuster, they may be very nice people. To be a staff insurance adjuster requires them to conduct business this way as it is their job.  Therefore, you should be on your guard to protect your own interest. After all insurance companies have their professionals so should you!

Here are some techniques on how to deal with staff insurance adjusters when property damage occurs.

  • Do not sign anything without reading what ever  it is the adjuster wants you to so thoroughly. As a matter of fact tell them to leave whatever it is he/she wants you to sign and inform the adjuster that you will get back to them after you have had the chance to examine the documents. Staff Insurance adjusters are experts in cloaking their statements with policy language that common everyday policy holders do not understand. That is unless you specialize in the insurance industry.  They are also trained to find the smallest of faults with your claim in order to make you feel like you did something wrong, pass guilt so they can limit or lower your property damage insurance claim settlement. Therefore, never take anything they say at face value. There may be hidden verbiage in the documents that waive your rights. So read every line carefully and sign only after you are fully satisfied…or call us. We would be happy to assist in your property damage insurance claim. After all, we have been settling insurance disputes and generating equitable property damage insurance claim settlements for policy holders since 1992. We are your advocate in property damage insurance claims.
  • Do not let the staff adjuster control you or make your claim for you: Staff Insurance Adjusters are very good at influencing their clients. Instead of receiving the full policy benefits stated during the loss inspection, they go back to their office and send you an offer which reduces the amount of loss considerably.  This is a ploy to avoid paying you the replacement cost of your property damage. Adjuster have a way of applying excessive depreciation to a claim and when done it is reduced tremendously. Call us or send us an email because we can help get what you are entitled too. Advocate Public Adjustment (215) 364-4546. Email: or
  • Do not let them intimidate you by using verbiage and keyword terms that you have know understanding of what they mean: Most people have very little knowledge of insurance terms and property damage insurance settlement practices. An staff insurance adjuster usually takes advantage of this situation and intimidates you into agreeing to their company’s offer instead of one that is rightfully owed under the policy benefits for that policy.  You are dealing with corporate America and to them it is all about the bottom line.  If you receive a property damage claim settlement that you are not in agreement with then request the release of the “Good Faith’ offer. Make certain not to sign anything at all until you are fully 100% satisfied. If you are having any insurance disputes at all then reject their offer and contact us immediately. We can intervene and get you what you rightfully deserve as your advocate. One call does it all. (215) 364-4546.
  • Do not let staff insurance adjusters influence the inspection time and date: You are the policy holder that pas the premium. You are the customer or named insured, so set the time and date that you know you will not be pressured for time. Insurance adjusters may ask to meet you early in the morning when you are in a hurry and lay out their terms and conditions. This is a technique to put pressure on you knowing that it usually works with unsuspecting insureds. So do not let them determine the time. Once again, ask to meet them when you have plenty of free time.
  • Do not let staff insurance adjusters reassign your claim to another adjuster: By assigning the claim to many different persons make the claim file confusing to you and then you get frustrated because of the length of time. They beat you up by delaying the policy benefits and settlement that you truly deserve. After being frustrated to the point you just settle what they give you. This is a tactic and formula that works for them not you! Delaying property damage insurance claim settlements can be a strict violation of the state claims practice act. We can help you if you fell that your claim is taking too long to settle and if you are getting the adjuster run around.
  • Request their insurance estimate in writing. That’s right send the adjust an email requesting his /her valuation report per the inspection date he/she was out to verify the property damage.    Let them make the and then contact us for a FREE Review. No Obligations at all.

Tags: staff adjuster, staff insurance adjuster, property damage, property damage insurance claim settlements, advocate, insurance disputes,


Winter Storm Titan

Winter Storm Titan

Winter Storm ‘Titan’ Ready To Slam New Jersey, Pennsylvania: Be Prepared

Posted by Tom Davis (Editor) , 
This section is supported by our sponsor.



What could be the strongest winter storm of the season will impact New Jersey eastern Pennsylvania on Monday, with upwards of 10 inches of snow and ice.

While high temperatures on Sunday will be in the mid 40’s, cold air will rush into the area Sunday night and temperatures should be at or below freezing by midnight on Sunday and will remain below freezing until Wednesday.

The following weather conditions are expected for this storm:

On Sunday, cloudy and mild with light rain starting by sunset. Temperatures will quickly fall during the evening and should be at or below freezing by midnight.

On Monday, Rain will quickly change over to a wintry mix and to all snow prior to sunrise. A couple inches of snow and ice possible by sunrise on Monday. Heavy snow on Monday will end Monday evening. Snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches with localized greater amounts on Monday. Winds will gust up to 25 mph, causing blowing and drifting of the snow.

Near-record setting cold air will enter the area Monday night as nighttime lows will be around 5 degrees with wind chills below zero.

Snow fighting equipment in towns such as Barnegat and Waretown have been inspected and is ready to be deployed with the start of winter weather. In addition, roads are being pretreated over the weekend with a salt solution.

Local officials are urging residents to monitor weather forecasts over the weekend. While there is always some uncertainty regarding exact timing and amount of snow, there is “no question” that a major winter storm will impact the area on Monday, the National Weather Service reports.

Many towns advise to please plan now to remove all street parked vehicles off the roadways by Sunday evening. Once the storm commences please stay off the roads if possible. This will allow for emergency vehicles to respond to call for service and for better plowing conditions.

Basement Flooding and Water Mitigation

Basement Flooding and Water Mitigation

by: Rick Kinney

Do you have the basement flooding water mitigation woes? Because a basement nature is usually a underground structure, basements are prone to water and moisture damage. It doesn’t take the ‘Delaware’ or ‘Schuylkill’ rivers to over flow their banks and or a major hurricane like ‘Sandy’ to cause basement flooding in southeastern pennsylvania. In reality, underground basement cellar flooding usually happens due to water build up in the surrounding soil and subsurface water saturation.

Therefore what is a property owner to do when the basement floods or a sump pump overflows? Prevention is constantly the best remedy, particularly when it comes to your dwelling and personal belongings. Since one or more inches of water can cause thousands in revenue when repairing the home and replacing personal belongings damaged as the result of a basement flood.  Also tiny leaks can be major catastrophes if mold develops and takes over. If your basement cellar isn’t overwhelmed by flood waters today, then take the recommended precautions to avoid the absolute most typical basement underground cellar flooding issues. You will save your self a great deal of heartache (and cash) later on. A heater alone can cost $5,000.00, wallboard, insulation, flooring, furniture, belongings stored in the basement, and much more.

Initially, if you’ve got cinder block walls, use a waterproof compound or a tar base product following the manufacturers application specifications. DO NOT cut corners and be cheap during this step of water proofing the foundation walls. You may possibly also require a 2nd coating if water seepage goes on after the very first application. Utilize a waterproof coating that’s especially developed to block water moving through because of to hydrostatic stress or water pressure that causes basement walls to leak through and cause basement flooding.

What’s hydrostatic stress-force? This might be stress-force triggered by water in the soil which could range from the water table, rainfall runoff moving toward your home underground, or also your dwelling’s own roof gutter system.

Other prevention measures consist of repairing leaks, making sure there is appropriate drainage, and setting up a sump pump with a battery backup system just in case the power should go out during a severe storm. Water that leaks into a basement doesn’t always originate from a foundation leak. For instance, if you’ve got a leaking plumbing fixture or appliance above, where do you suppose the water is likely to show up? That’s right…down to the basement underground cellar!

Keep in mind that a defective gutter system can cause major basement flooding? Is rainwater draining correctly away from the basement foundation walls or is water gathering in the soil and pressing against your foundation cellar walls? Make certain that your dwelling’s gutters are draining correctly and are pitched away from the foundation basement cellar walls. Does the terrain near your house slope away from the foundation it or toward it? Preferably, the ground should slope away from the basement walls. If it does not then you may have to hire a professional to pitch the ground away or adjust the grade of the ground.

Sump pumps are typically utilized as a preventative device that discharges ground water that leaks in through foundation walls, french drains, and subsurface water out through a drain discharge pipe.  In the past, sump pumps had been utilized after flooding took place. Today, numerous municipalities have actually limited builders from routing rainwater from gutters to the sewer systems as they try to comply using the Clean Water Act. If the water isn’t carried away from your basement cellar, flooding can take place.

The sump pump functions is to eliminate or discharge water from the lowest parts of the cellar basement, also below the cellar basement flooring. A sump pit opening collects rising ground water. The sump pump triggers on as soon as the water reaches a “decisive” level and starts pumping the water out through the discharge drain line. The water is forced through the drain line discharge pipe that diverts it away from your dwelling’s cellar basement foundation.

A multitude of different kinds of sump pumps are on the market. Many utilize a “float” which activates the pump as soon as the water reaches a specific level. Some are created to work underwater while other types are not meant to get damp. Various materials such as plastic and cast iron impact the cost and lengthy term overall performance of the pumps. In addition, sump pumps can be driven by either water or electrical energy.

Sump pumps should have a “check valve” to avoid water from moving right back in when the pumping is finished. Or else, the water will flow  straight back in, activate the sump pump, and produce an endless pumping phase. Select the kind of sump pump that best satisfies your particular basement cellar. Make certain to inspect the sump pump frequently assuring that it will work efficiently when the time comes to keep the basement dry.

If your sump pump failed and or basement flooding occurred then call ADVOCATE PUBLIC ADJUSTMENT  for Expert advice and claims representation. We are Your Advocate in Property Damage Insurance Claims. Help is only a click away.  If you live in the following countiesBucksCounty, Chester County, Delaware County, MontgomeryCounty, and or PhiladelphiaCounty then we are only a phone call away.

Call (215) 364-4546


Rick Kinney

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Prevent basement flooding from snow melt and sump pump failure

Prevent basement flooding from snow melt and sump pump failure

By Rick Kinney

Twitter: @privateadjuster  


Basement Flooding 1

Bucks County Pennsylvania — While most residents in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and in the Philadelphia area are surely ready for higher temperatures and the resultant snow melt that will accompany them, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Services employees and all of the above mentioned county employees that have been plowing local roads all winter long now have another equally important task — to prevent storm drain flooding.

Crews have been working the last few days on storm sewer drains making sure that they are not blocked or frozen over from the accumulated snow and ice from this winter. In addition to clearing and digging ‘Catch Basins’ that help water runoff into area’s to help with storm sewer systems.

With temperatures expected to hit highs of between 41 and 45 degrees during today and 60 – 65 degrees Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Local areas such as BucksCounty, Chester County, Delaware County, MontgomeryCounty and Philadelphia accumulated snow on the ground is expected to melt significantly.

To make matters worse, Friday’s forecast also calls for a 100 percent chance of precipitation and thunder storms. Saturday to be in the upper 50’s as well as Sunday.

Prevent basement flooding if possible and have the right insurance protection

Homeowner’s need to understand that water that leaks through basement walls or backs up from a storm sewer or drain is specifically excluded under the exclusions part of the insurance policy found in Section 1 Property Coverages.

If you have a basement that has a sump pump then you will need to have the sump pump overflow endorsement or backup of sewer and drain endorsement in order for coverage to exist. Sump pumps should be check every year to see if they are working correctly and should have a battery backup just in case a severe storm causes a power outage. It is also important to make sure that the discharge line from the sump pump is not frozen.”

Please be advised that there are only a few companies’ that offer these types of endorsements. More importantly if you are lucky to get a sump pump or backup endorsement then make sure you select the correct limit of liability coverage. Some carriers will only offer $5,000.00 in total for dwelling-building coverage in addition to personal property damage in the basement. There are higher limits that you can select from such as $10,000.00, $20,000.00 or even the actual loss sustained which is the best coverage you could possibly get. The actual loss sustained means that the limit of coverage allowed would fall under the Coverage Dwelling limit.

Let’s face it a heater could cost $5,000.00 at minimum to replace. If you have a $5,000.00 limit and have thousands of dollars worth of building/ personal property damage then this obviously would not be enough and you will be out of pocket thousands of dollars. In addition to drying out the basement to avoid mold issues. Mold remediation can cost THOUSANDS of dollars to clean up professionally.

If you have any questions regarding the home insurance claim process then contact ‘Rick Kinney’ or his staff for a FREE No Obligation Policy review. Do not wait until its too late and the damage is done. Mold 

Rick KInney

Rick Kinney       ‘Your Advocate in Property Damage Home Insurance Claims ‘ Basement Flooding Bucks County, Basement Flooding Chester County, Basement Flooding Delaware County, Basement Flooding Montgomery County, Basement Flooding Philadelphia, Bucks County Sump Pump Failure, Chester County Sump Pump Failure, Delaware County Sump Pump Failure, Montgomery County Sump Pump Failure,


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Receive Professional Public Adjuster Help with a Home Insurance Claim from Advocate Public Adjustment

Receive Professional Public Adjuster Help with a Home Insurance Claim from Advocate Public Adjustment

In the aftermath of all the winter storms that we have been experiencing this winter (2014) such as ice storms, fallen trees damaging homes, frozen pipes bursting causing severe water damage to a home and or personal property, fire damage, ice damming roof leaks, wind damage to roof and siding systems and or other major perils insured against, homeowners should never have to worry about how to regain the standard of living they enjoyed before disaster struck, in addition to getting their property restored to  apre-loss condition. Advocate Public Adjustment will maximize the home insurance claim settlement making sure you receive the money necessary to repair your home completely.

We generate fair, equitable property damage insurance claim settlements that you deserve from an insurance company at competitive fees. On average our fees range from 15-20% but for larger losses we can negotiate that down to a standard that is reasonable.  After all we are your Advocate in Property Damage Insurance Claim Settlements.

Typically homeowner insurance claims are not as simple as just filing the claim and waiting for a check to arrive in the mail. It requires a claims investigation of the building’s interior and exterior, which means digging deep to uncover hidden damage that could potentially be overlooked by a staff adjuster or independent claims adjuster working for the insurance company.

It requires thorough written and photographic documentation of the visible and hard-to-find damage. It requires using the evidence gathered during the investigation to negotiate with the insurance company making sure you are paid what is rightfully owed.

It often requires overcoming stalling or de-layment practices that insurance companies use and also drafting rebuttal letters to refute low ball offers and rejecting property damage estimates that do not depict the correct scope of damage cutting through bureaucratic red tape. Advocate Public Adjustment will handle every aspect of your claim from start to finish making sure you receive every dollar that you are entitled too.

A home insurance claim must be considered within the context of the extent of the damage, the cause of the damage, and the policy language that describes what is covered. A typical homeowner’s policy covers:

  • The building or dwelling itself under (COVERAGE A-DWELLING)
  • The building’s contents under (COVERAGE C-PERSONAL PROPERTY)
  • Additional living expenses if you cannot maintain the standard of living you and your family were a custom to living under (COVERAGE D- LOSS OF USE)
  • Law and ordinance coverage or codes upgrade coverage which is usually 10% of the building limit of liability.

When it comes to the COVERAGE A – DWELLING portion of the claim Advocate Public Adjustment will provide a unit cost estimate that is used in the insurance claims industry. This itemizes every part of the repair /rebuild process needed to restore your property back to a pre-loss condition. Therefore if your home is damaged by a wind storm, fire, flood, hurricane, or other destructive event then we have you covered as your advocate in property damage insurance claims.

Far too often many home insurance claims are underpaid. Insurance company representatives have a unique way of overlooking damage that can expand on the settlement offer increasing your payout.

This of course is unacceptable and as Your Advocate we make certain that this does not happen. Our services include locating and substantiating the origin and cause of loss, uncovering hidden and hard-to-find damage and, when necessary, calling upon our deep network of engineers, emergency service vendors, and other trained specialists to provide their specific areas of expertise to protect your assets and property from further damage.

The portion of a homeowner insurance claim that is most often under evaluated is contents or personal property. In this, the aid of a public adjuster can be particularly valuable for policyholders. The process of documenting damaged and lost contents is a massive undertaking that consists of inventorying, pricing, and arriving at the proper depreciation value for each and every item.

COVERAGE C – Personal Property claims can be complex if the contents have been severely damaged or destroyed. We have conducted thousands of these investigations, and have developed the process into almost an art form. Keep in mind, also, that the insurance company’s interpretation of a lost or damaged item’s value might differ from the amount required to replace it.

For example, a TV bought seven years ago might be recorded at its depreciated value, rather than the $cost to purchase a similar TV today. We can negotiate a higher payment for that television, or for unique items that are difficult to valuate.

In addition, Advocate Public Adjustment will negotiate with the insurance company plus request an advance payment on a portion of the contents damage so clients have the funds to replace damaged clothing, damaged furniture, and ordinary day-to-day items required to maintain your standard of living while gong through the home insurance claim process.

Under COVERGAE D- Loss of Use…The coverage for additional living expenses helps displaced policyholder’s and their family members maintain a reasonable standard of living while they wait for their property to be repaired or rebuilt.

Claims involving this type of coverage with regards to homeowner insurance claim can be tedious and time-consuming, but Advocate Public Adjustment will take the stress and headaches from you and handle it. This is part of the service we offer at competitive fees.

We don not apply our fees to expenses, such as rent for an apartment or temporary housing, this portion of a policy covers increased food expenses, and other, less-obvious items, such as excess mileage on cars incurred because of the loss. We advise our clients to keep a record and to document their additional living expenses and keep receipts, mileage, and other increased costs for day to day expenses.

Advocate Public Adjustment uses a unique combination of experience and knowledge of the insurance claims process to serve as advocates for our clients. Our goal is to make sure that the policyholder receives the largest settlement possible from their insurance company. We have negotiated millions of dollars in property damage insurance claim settlements on behalf of our clients.

We have an A+ BBB rating and Angies List profile. We have been practicing property damage insurance claim settlements since 1992.

We assist policyholder’s / named insureds by:

  • Performing the daily monitoring and legwork necessary to advance the claim. This includes communication with the insurance company, attending on-site meetings, submitting documents and forms, etc.
  • Assuring that all the duties, terms, and responsibilities of filing a home insurance claim are adhered to according to the specific terms of the insurance policy
  • Presenting the claims package to the insurance company, supported by scientific evidence, detailed estimates with proper supporting documentation, in-depth deficiency reports and professional testimony
  • Negotiating with the insurance company to ensure our clients receive the largest settlement possible

Contact Advocate Public Adjustment for help with a home insurance claims or business insurance claim, or for answers to any claims-related questions.

CALL (215) 364-4546

Rick Kinney

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Federal Aid Programs for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Emergency Declaration

Release date: 

FEBRUARY 6, 2014

Release Number: 


Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s emergency disaster declaration issued for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Assistance for the Commonwealth and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

  • FEMA is authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas.
  • Specifically, FEMA is authorized to provide emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program at 75 percent Federal funding.

Initial Notice

Date of Notice: 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Billing Code 9111-23-P


Federal Emergency Management Agency

[Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-3367-EM]

Docket ID FEMA-2014-0003

Pennsylvania; Emergency and Related Determinations

AGENCY:  Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

ACTION:  Notice.

SUMMARY:  This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of an emergency for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (FEMA-3367-EM), dated February 6, 2014, and related determinations.

EFFECTIVE DATE:  February 6, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Manage­ment Agency, 500 C Street, SW, Washington, DC20472, (202) 646-2833.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:  Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated February 6, 2014, the President issued an emergency declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act), as follows:

I have determined that the emergency conditions in certain areas of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania resulting from a severe winter storm beginning on February 4, 2014, and continuing, are of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (“the Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such an emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

You are authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas.  Specifically, you are authorized to provide assistance for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance is supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs.  In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal emergency assistance and administrative expenses.

Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, Department of Homeland Security, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Donald L. Keldsen, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this declared emergency.

The following areas of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been designated as adversely affected by this declared emergency:

Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York Counties for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance – Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households – Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants – Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant



W. Craig Fugate,


Federal Emergency Management Agency.


Ice Storm damage to trees, power outage, frozen pipes, and roof leak


Rick Kinney

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President Obama Signs Pennsylvania Emergency Declaration

FEBRUARY 6, 2014

Release Number: HQ-14-008WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to supplement the commonwealth and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from a Severe Winter Storm on February 4, 2014, and continuing.The President’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York.Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.

Donald L. Keldsen has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal response operations in the affected area.

If you are a BucksCounty, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County resident and have experienced property damage from this winter storms then call Advocate Public Adjustment to negotiate a larger insurance claim settlement on your behalf. Fallen tree claims, frozen pipe burst, and roof leak, Call (215) 364-4546 for a FREE Policy Evaluation.


Rick Kinney

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As temperatures drop below freezing

As temperatures drop below freezing 

As temperatures drop below freezing-

As temperatures drop below freezing many homeowners and businesses face the inconvenience and expense that comes with property damage associated with (Freezing of water pipes). While we all know to bundle ourselves up in order to keep warm, many people forget to make sure their water pipes stay warm as well.

frozen pipe burst

Ice forming in a pipe does not typically cause the water pipe to burst where the blockage develops. Allowing the frozen pipe blockage in a pipe to continue to freeze and expand inside the pipe causes water pressure to increase downstream — between the ice blockage and a closed faucet at the end. Usually the pipe bursts where little or no ice has formed.

As Temperaturers drop below freezing here are some tips to help avoid the common causes of Frozen Water Pipes:

Here is how to prevent freezing of the plumbing and heating pipes to your home or business when temperatures drop below freezing.
• Pipes running along exterior walls of the interior of the building are of a major concern and require special attention whe temperatuires drop below freezing.
• Insulate areas where drafts occur that create vulnerablity for water – heat pipes to freeze.
• When insulation isn’t enough, consider pipe wrappings that are embedded with  (heat tape) that provide an outside source of heat.
• Remove all yard hoses from all hose bib faucets. The faucets can’t drain properly with a hose attached and will freeze and break if the hose is left attached. Make certain that all hose bib faucets are shut off and drained!
• During extreme cold weather as temperatures drop below freezing resist the urge to lower your heat in order to save money while you are gone for the day. As a matter of fact you should turn it up during the extreme colder days. In the long run you will be glad that you did. What’s an additional $100.00 for heat when you can be looking at tens of thousands of dollars in property damage? Frozen supply lines that burst can cause severe water damage to a home or business when temperatures drop below freezing.
• Open the cabinet doors to kitchen and bathroom cabinets so heat from the room will help warm the water pipes.
• Running water doesn’t freeze easily. During extreme cold weather when tempaeratures drop below freezing, keep a steady stream of water trickling out of taps or spouts that are attached to vulnerable pipes.
• If you have a sprinkler system, drain all outdoor pipes and turn off the water supply to that system.
• Know where your fresh water main supply emergency shut-off valve is located in the building just in case you need to turn off the entire water supply to the home or business.

 As Temperaturers drop below freezing Snow Birds

Snow Birds should winterize their property before going away for an extended period of time as temparatures drop below freezing . Most insurance policies have a 30 day vacancy requirement in the policy. This is located in the ‘Freezing’ peril that allows for coverage. There are many types of policies on the market and freezing of a plumbing / heating system isn’t covered in all policies. You must adhere to the policy conditions and act under ‘Your Duties after a loss’.

• Turn off the main fresh water supply that enters the house at the street or inside at the water meter.
• Remove garden hoses from all outside hose bibs and open these faucets to drain all of the water out of them and leave them open until spring arrives.
• Drain the hot water heater. Turn off the pilot light on gas water heaters and be sure to turn off the electricity to electric water heaters before you drain them.
• Use an air compressor to blow any trapped water out from all of the water pipes and heat pipes in the building. Open all taps – faucets and leave them open until you come back from your trip. This will help keep condensation from freezing and bursting the water lines as temperatures drop below freezing.
• Flush all toilets (to empty the tank) and every faucet (to drain water from pipes) in the home, including outdoor faucets.
• Empty all toilet bowls by siphoning or bailing and sponging as temparatures drop below freezing. Pour a mixture of food grade antifreeze and water into all toilet bowls and traps of all sinks, showers and bathtubs. Don’t drain these traps. The water in them keeps sewer gases out of your house.
• If your water supply is from a well, switch off the pump and drain it along with the above-ground pump lines and the tank.

As temperatures drop below freezing and your pipes freeze then call Advocate Public Adjustment (215) 364-4546 right away!

• To prevent a frozen pipe from bursting you should open the faucet it supplies with water. Then add heat to the area where the pipe is located.
• Turn off the fresh water supply to that particular water pipe line.
As temperatures drop below freezing anf if a pipe does rupture then immediately turn off the main fresh water supply to your building.
• Know where your main fresh water emergency shut-off valve is located in the building and tag it for future reference.
• If the worst does happen know that Advocate Public Adjustment is here to help with all emergency restoration services 24/7 and maximize the insurance claim settlement as Your Advocate Public Adjuster.

As temperatures drop below freezing and your property becomes water damaged then you should contact Advocate Public Adjustment in order to negotiate a frozen burst water pipe insurance claim.

We are your Advocate in Property Damage Insurance Claims as temeperatures drop below freezing. After all can you really trust insurance companies these days? They have professionals looking after their interest so should you! 


(215) 364-4546

Rick Kinney

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Adjuster Bucks County

Adjuster Bucks County

Adjuster Bucks County


Advocate Public Adjustment

Your Adjuster Bucks County

15 – 20 % Contingency Fees

(215) 364-4546


No Settlement | No Fee | No Obligations



Advocate Public Adjustment, LLC Serving Southeastern Pennsylvania Residents & Businesses 22+ Years Experience

Fire Claims 5- 10% Fee, All Other Claims 15-20% Fee Great Service Family Owned Business


Bucks County's Public Adjuster is Advocate Public Adjustment Advocate Public Adjustment is your Adjuster Bucks County in Southeastern Pennsylvania . Our contingency fees are so competitive at 15% – 20 % that larger public adjusting firms cannot compete against us. We maximize claim settlements while saving you money, in addition we offer great service, return phone calls, and are only a phone call away.

We are your Adjuster Bucks County, and at Advocate Public Adjustment our mission is to make sure the insurance company pays you enough money to rebuild any and all property damage sustained to your home or business while providing the highest level of professional service.

Our claims staff will work to protect home owners and business owners manage their claims, and fully document their losses in order to maximize their financial interest in all insurance claim settlement returns.

Our goal is to reduce the emotional and financial burden placed upon you per the insurance policy contract as the result of a direct physical loss. We know the insurance claim process!


Public Adjusters Insurance Claim Settlement Services

Advocate Public Adjustment Adjuster Bucks County is dedicated to addressing all of your property damage insurance claim needs as your public adjuster. Each property loss or insurance claim is unique and Advocate Public Adjustment Adjuster Bucks County will work diligently to determine the extent of your loss.

Below is a listing and description of the varied services that we offer.

Free Policy Review…no obligation

Let us review your insurance policy for free. Many times, individuals or business owners do not carry appropriate insurance coverage. As your Bucks County Adjuster Advocate Public Adjustment we want to inform you if you are or if you are not properly insured to value before it is too late.

Public Adjusters Insurance Claim Management

Advocate Public Adjustment Adjuster Bucks County take charge quickly and ensure that you are protected in your time of need.

Our experienced, professional public adjuster claim staff will manage every aspect of your property damage insurance claim. Southeastern Adjuster Bucks County are Advocate Public Adjustment, LLC will be available anytime, to give you the peace of mind that you deserve. There is no claim too large or too small. We have 22+ years of full time property damage insurance claim settlement practice and have negotiated thousands of claims for Pennsylvania residents and business owners through the years. Whether it’s fire damage, smoke damage, water damage, lightning strike, wind damage or any other catastrophic damage such as hurricane damage, flood damage, tornado damage, or severe winter storms, we have the knowledge and insurance claim negotiation skills and experience to rebuild your property.

Advocate Public Adjustment Adjuster Bucks County will immediately protect your property from further damage and provide emergency services in order to begin the restoration process. We will arrange for temporary housing solutions and secure emergency living funds to replace clothing or any other need that has developed from your loss. We are your Adjuster Bucks County Advocate Public Adjuster, LLC.

Public Adjusters Insurance Claim Settlement

Advocate Public Adjustment will review the final settlement options with you for your home, business and personal property. We will make sure that you receive everything you need to maximum your insurance claim settlement as your public adjuster.

We will prepare settlement documents for payment including business interruption, extra expense and business income claims (if applicable).

There are absolutely NO fees paid to Advocate Public Adjustment for our services by you, the insured. No out of pocket cost for our intervention protecting your assets as we handle every detail for a FANTASTIC Contingency Fee 15% – 20% Maximum.

Adjusters Public, Public Adjuster, Adjuster Bucks County Adjuster Adjuster Bucks County


Advocate Public Adjustment is Your Adjuster Bucks County

Call Now

(215) 364-4546

Fire Claims 5- 10% Fee, All Other Claims 15-20% Fee

Great Service Family Owned Business

Advocate Public Adjustment is Your Adjuster Bucks County when negotiating higher insurance claim settlements that you deserve. Competitive Fees Call Now 215-364-4546

Rick Kinney

Find us on Google+