There will always be surprises, and one of them is; Claim for sudden unexpected and accidental covered loss. Covered loss implies that your insurance policy applies. Examination of your Policy and the situations of your loss is important in determining if a loss is covered.
You are shocked and amazed by the hurricane, the fire, and the theft. But you may even be more surprised by how your Policy administers the loss. The application of your Policy in your loss calls for studying your complete Policy.
A person will be given the responsibility of studying your Policy. This Policy must be the same as the one that was in existence when you experienced the loss. And will contain:
- Such information like your declaration page, which will summarize the amount of your Policy.
- The full Policy and its full conditions with any other supplements found on the declaration page.
Adjusters with as much as 30 years of experience have been asked about the contents of the Policy. Their response is usually the same: ”the policies are too numerous and have many attached conditions to be kept straight. They’ve had to read it on every occasion. It is better to read the Policy the customer bought and recognize what applies to that precise Claim.
Your Policy is important, but if you have lost it in disasters like a fire or flood, you should immediately ask your agent for a complete Policy. Once more, this will be the declaration page, having a summary of the amount of your Policy, the full policy conditions, and any other supplements found on the declaration page.
It may also consist of notices concerning modifications in the insurance code that the state insurance department requires.
If you read the Policy yourself, you will find it difficult to understand; because the Policy could deny some things covered by the Policy in one section in another. Financial limits may apply to certain items or classes of items. When your company insurance adjuster arrives to investigate your loss, ask him to explain the type of Policy you have and how he will handle your loss.
They will critically inspect your property to determine the value of your property and compare it to the value of the coverage you purchased. If something appears out of line, it will likely be stated again to the underwriting department. Excesses or shortages in the amount of the purchased insurance, or a different situation from what was reported, could result in your Claim being denied, rated, or dropped. Though this usually would not occur. It’s a routine.
Engaging the services of a public adjuster would always give you the best results.
Then comes the loss or damage inspection. The Adjuster inspects the damaged home and everything in it, or both; they will interview you for records and observations. Be detailed and answer any questions asked. You don’t want them guessing or making general conclusions for the cause of the loss; because the Policy does not cover some causes. It is impossible to settle a loss without knowing the Policy.
What do you need to provide the Adjuster to assist with the loss inspection and settlement? Every Adjuster would expect you to have: an inventory of all damaged items, bids or price quotes on repairs, and pictures showing the impact of the damage before clearing the site. The photos are required if you have cleared the damaged area.
Adjusters will have to confirm fees – either by using their estimate or verifying it by engaging known contractors for additional estimates. He will verify price quotes and costs of damaged contents and take measurements and photos of the damaged site. He must prepare concise and easy-to-understand documentation. Anyone who picks it will understand it and see the justification for the damage payment to avoid any complications.
If it is a complete loss – fire or flood or tornado, there may still exist few remains to inspect. Your Policy, purchase receipts, and photo albums showing what each room looked like before the disaster could all be gone. You may be seeking to reconstruct your property and contents from reminiscence.
Your Adjuster can also have a problem inspecting your property due to unsafe situations inside the structure itself, or roads can be closed due to flooding or damaged power lines. They might be unable to communicate with you due to phone and mail delivery issues.
You may experience a situation where your file is assigned to different adjusters due to the destructive nature of the loss and the sheer extent of claims. And may soon lose track of who’s dealing with your Claim.
Every Adjuster is unique and may handle your Claim differently due to their training and experience. Adjusters have limited flexibility in their choices, as found in their company’s guidelines. A process started by one Adjuster may be treated differently by another. It could lead to a great or bad Claims experience.
Organize all your information in one place and ensure to give this file to a public adjuster when you hire one. Never mail these documents to anybody if they are the only set of photos of your damages. Many have been unfortunate as the only copies of their Claims information were lost in transit due to confusion surrounding the catastrophic events. Many have lost their only copies of their Do no longer provide your only set of images to an adjuster. Always make copies of all sets of documents. Save a copy of photos and documents on a computer and your email. Only ship them with the aid of a licensed return receipt; and use package shippers like FedEx, UPS, DHL, or a few comparable providers that track sent items.
Here’s what you need in that folder:
1. Policy documents and information- containing the declaration page, Policy, and appendices for the time of the loss.
2. Your contact information – Your mobile, home, and work telephone numbers, a mailing address, and the contact of the independent Adjuster given to handle the claims.
3. Copies of all current and previous correspondence to and from your insurance company.
4. Copies of all estimates produced by your insurance company adjuster. Also, include all copies of checks if you can.
5. Copies of bids, estimates, and recommendations prepared by your insurance company adjuster.
6. Copies of all receipts for replacements, emergency maintenance, or other activities done due to the loss.
7. A separate envelope of receipts for every month that you’ve had to seek alternative accommodation in a hotel, a house, diner receipts, etc., of additional living costs due to inability to make use of your home laundry or kitchen, etc. These expenses are usually reimbursed if there are receipts to back them.
8. Documentation of damaged contents, preferably as a Microsoft Excel file. You may also need the user manuals and receipts of items, their models, and serial numbers if available. This inventory should have a description of the item, highlighting the date of purchase, the current cost of replacing the item, and the age of the item. It’s very helpful to list these gadgets and items through the room they had been in for organization purposes.
9. Make copies of the photographs of the loss. Before and after photos are beneficial if it is a large loss. After taking the photographs, make replicas by copying them to a cd, a flash drive, your email, or in the cloud for record purposes.
10. If you have hired a public adjuster, you should keep a copy of their contracts and invoices for services inside the folder.
By being organized this way, you’ll experience less frustration dealing with the insurance company as you work towards your claim settlement. It will offer the documentation your Public Adjuster will need to get your Claim as your representative.