Frequently Asked Questions
No, but it’s always a good idea to at least speak with a Public Adjuster regarding your loss. We offer a FREE INSPECTION, policy review, and consultation. All of this for absolutely NO MONEY DOWN and we work on contingency, to be paid after the insurance company pays your claim. If we believe your loss does not require our assistance, we will be more than forthcoming with that information.
The first 48 hours after a disaster are crucial. The steps you take in the beginning will have a significant impact on the outcome of your insurance claim. We see it all too often, an insured compromising their position because they weren’t represented by a licensed professional. Often, our services are requested after the insured has received a partial settlement or after the irreparable damage is done to settling the loss.
Attempting to inventory your possessions and work on rebuilding, after a loss can be very time-consuming. The demands of preparing a claim to comply with the requirements of your policy are a full-time job, even for the experienced professionals. Disagreements can arise concerning what is covered and what is excluded, the scope of damages, depreciation, and material costs. Remember, the burden to prove every detail of your loss to the insurance company is your responsibility. Public Adjusters relieve you of the claim responsibilities allowing you to devote your time with your family and to everyday business.
Insurance agents are licensed experts to sell insurance policies on behalf of the carrier. They are not traversed in the knowledge required to appraise and prepare claims. Insurance companies rely on adjusters, not agents, to settle claims.
- You will need to provide all or part of the following to your insurance carrier:
- Itemized appraisal to replace structural damage
- Itemized inventory and appraisal of all personal property
- Depreciation schedules
- Identification of any betterments and improvements
- Identification of Ordinance or Law
- Separate the damaged from the undamaged property to determine salvage value
- Provide documents and records to prove income loss for any business interruption or increased cost of living
- Submit a Proof of Loss if requested by the insurance company.
Public Adjusters work on a contingency fee. This means there is no fee until the claim is initiated and managed through settlement. This fee is a small percentage of the claim settlement. Clients have found that our services have proved to be financially beneficial and the fees absorbed in the claim settlement.
A public adjuster is the only entity by law able to represent the interests of the insured and negotiate with the insurance company. General Contractors including "insurance restoration contractors" do not have the experience and licensing required to deal with your insurance company. Contractors are not able to represent you or negotiate with your insurer on your behalf, unless they are also licensed as a Public Adjuster. They are simply involved to restore the property back to its pre-loss condition.
Your claims adjuster or agent calls their favorite restoration company in to remove the contents to be cleaned and restored. These contractors are literally given work by the adjuster. A licensed skilled contractor can explain how and why the band-aid approach insurance companies and their vendors tend to take in repairs is not the appropriate fix. Most importantly, never decide to sign a contract with someone you don’t know. Get references, call the Chamber of Commerce. Then and only then, sign on the dotted line.
You can see in this quick clip of “Holmes Makes It Right”, the upward battle a homeowner faces after her house was set on fire.
Issues/Questions That May Arise with Your Claim
Replacement cost means, how much it would cost for you to replace the item that was damaged today, with like, kind and quality. But, what if you cannot replace an item that was damaged i.e., Historic home, antiques, items that are no longer in production? How is a monetary value determined for those items?
Actual Cash value equals the replacement cost minus depreciation, therefore determining the proper Replacement Cost is extremely important.
Insurance limits vary greatly depending on your policy. Within a typical policy there are several endorsements that may be added, that could raise your recovery limit in excess of the policy limit stated with your declaration page.
Inflation guard is a provision that can automatically increase coverage limits periodically throughout the term of the policy. It is often computed by a specific formula.
Code Coverage can be added to your policy but is not always included within a standard insurance policy. If you suffer a loss and are now required to bring your building up to code (electrical/sprinkler system), your insurance may cover these additional costs, but limitations may apply.
These expenses are charges covered by a homeowner’s policies over and above the policyholder’s customary living expenses. ALE is generally applied when the policyholder needs temporary shelter after a covered peril has made their home/apartment uninhabitable. These expenses may include; hotel rooms, temporary apartment/housing, restaurant meals, furniture rentals, additional mileage to work, etc. If part of your dwelling is held for rental, the rental loss may also be covered under this portion on your policy.
These are just a few of the questions we can help you with. Every loss is different and each policy can have any number of provisions that may provide additional coverage, or take coverage away. The best thing for you to do is call Disaster Recovery Adjusters LLC immediately after you suffer a loss.