Property Insurance Claim — 5 things to Watch For

Recently we have received  many phone calls from insureds who have suffered property claims but are experiencing a situation that is occurring more and more.

Today a call came in and the man mentioned:

  1. He lived in an area where a weather disaster struck months ago. A sales person representing an”adjuster’ rang his doorbell and said he could help him with his roof problem.
  2. He was told that the adjuster would contact him
  3. The adjuster would bring in his “sister” company to write the estimate.
  4. It is recommended the insured use the sister company
  5. This adjuster was going to charge an inflated fee for the services, and also made it known that this fee (25%) was due whether the insured used his contractor or not.  When these sister companies complete repair for the property  basically this may be considered double dipping, or kickback payments.

You always want to make sure:

  • The Public Adjuster you hire has a current license in the State.
  • The Public Adjuster, their firm, has solid real reviews.  (Not just Joe Smith “they did a good job”)
  • The Public Adjuster is charging a fair fee for their services. Typical percentages range from 10 – 15%.
  • The Public Adjuster may disclose their relationship with other companies they plan to bring in to submit your claim, you may want to use caution when you are made aware of this.

AJR Public Adjusters is an Arizona Licensed Public Insurance Adjuster with over 30+ years representing policyholders with insurance claims.

AJR WEBSITE              602-795-5227


 

Dryer Fire Prevention

34% of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them.

You think I clean out the lint catcher every time I put a new load in, I am cleaning my dryer.  You’d be surprised that is NOT ENOUGH.

No matter how good your dryer vent is connected, lint still collects on the inside of the dryer. (view pictures)

Once a year it is a good idea to have a service technician take apart the machine completely.  They take off the front of the dryer, pull out the drum and then can vacuum the inside of all the collected lint.

It may be the best $125 you spend this year.  Fire prevention is important and this is a little thought about way to prevent dryer fires.

Fire Safety Outreach Materials

Consumer Reports – Truths & Myths of Dryer Fires

How To Protect Your Home From Water Damage

Given our current Monsoon Season, here are some tips from the Insurance Information Institute regarding preventing water losses to your property.  Try to take precautions now to prevent water damage to your property.

Below is an example from a client of AJR who suffered water damage and a picture of the ominous looking clouds we are experiencing in the Valley right now.

Water damage is one of the most common and costly disasters affecting U.S. residences, accounting for billions of dollars in losses to homeowners and renters annually. However, consumers can protect themselves with the right amount and type of insurance coverage.

Source: How To Protect Your Home From Water Damage

Is Honey from bees in the walls covered?

This may seem like a strange question. It was to us as we have never heard of this problem before.

A client called us with a dilemma.  About four weeks ago they had a service come and remove a beehive.  The removal company mentioned they should be on the lookout for honey, perhaps that was why the hive was formed.

Our client then noticed about four weeks later, there are stains in his walls and is worried there is honey stored in between his kitchen and garage.  He is wondering is this a covered loss under his homeowners policy as it is doing damage to his property?

We took this information to our sources to see if the client is covered and discovered that NO a loss due to this problem is not covered.

Specifically, Insurance Services Office (ISO) Homeowners Policy (HO) excludes birds, rodents or insects and nesting or infestation, or discharge or release of waste products or secretions by animals.

While the ensuing losses not otherwise excluded are covered, since bees live in the hives the leakage of honey is not ensuing, it is a direct loss.  THERE IS NO COVERAGE.

More FAQ for hiring a Public Adjuster for your next property loss.

Your property/community/business has suffered property damage (fire, hail, wind, flood, water), NOW WHAT?

Your first inclination might be to contact your insurance carrier, but this may not be in your best interests. With all your personal and work commitments it may not be feasible for you to monitor and ensure your claim is being handled properly. Why not level the playing field with the insurance company?

WHY HIRE A PUBLIC ADJUSTER?

 Your insurance company has professional adjusters to represent their interests. As a policyholder you are entitled to hire a professionally state licensed adjuster to represent your interests. The public adjuster has experience and knowledge to assist in preparing, documenting and negotiating claims. Adjusters have reviewed several policies prior to yours and know where to look in the policy to make sure your claim is filed for all the coverage’s you have paid for. Often times finding money that otherwise would have been overlooked.

The adjuster you hire should be experienced, licensed with the state and working for a reputable company who has a clean record with the insurance department. All adjusters need to be licensed and their company also needs to hold a license with the Arizona Department of Insurance.

FEE FOR PUBLIC ADJUSTER

The Public Adjuster is paid a contingency fee of the total monies received from the insurance company. The fee can range from 5% – 20% depending on the size of the claim, and is due at the time money is released from insurance company.

DUTIES OF PUBLIC ADJUSTER

 To act as your representative in negotiating and dealing with the insurance company adjuster. Relieve your stress by engaging in discussions and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf to maximize your recovery. The public adjuster brings in their experts/contractors to estimate and measure the damage independent of the insurance companies estimate. This estimate then provides the framework for the negotiating the adjuster will do with the insurance company.

SOME GOOD QUESTIONS TO ASK PRIOR TO SIGNING CONTRACT:

  •  How many years have you been a licensed Public Insurance Adjuster?
  •  May I have references or see testimonials from previous clients?
  •  Will you personally handle my claim for me?
  •  Will you keep me in the loop and inform me of all outstanding issues   with my claim?

WHEN TO ENGAGE A PUBLIC ADJUSTER:

Ideally the public adjuster should be involved in the claim from the beginning including helping you report the claim.  This is not to say you should feel rushed or pressured after a claim occurs to immediately hire the first person that approaches you. Investigate the company and the individual who will be acting as your representative.

SOME THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR:

 In the State of Arizona contractors are not authorized to represent you in insurance claim negotiations, nor are they professionally licensed or regulated by the state insurance/department agency to do so.

Relying on your insurance company to fairly calculate the amount of damage and what you are owed might not result in a full or fair settlement. The company adjuster who is sent out is measuring the loss for the insurance company not for you.   As the policyholder you are entitled to have the claim loss accurately measured and then be reimbursement for all that you have lost.

BENEFITS OF HIRING A GOOD PUBLIC ADJUSTER: 

  •  An experienced and skilled licensed professional to work on your team.
  •  Someone who understands intricacies of policy and assists in recovering all that you are entitled to
  • Strong advocate on your side to help provide more input and negotiating leverage for the final insurance settlement, more than you may have had on your own.

 

 

AJR Public Adjusters.

With close to 30 years licensed experience in the Public Adjusting field handling claims of all dollar amounts for losses due to fire, flood, water, hail, dust, theft, etc.

www.betterclaimsresults.com

 

“Sistering” a joice and the repair of a home via Summit Business Systems

“Sistering” and the Repair of a Home

Many times we have heard about adjusters telling policyholders they plan to “sister” a joice to repair a damaged property.  This means they are leaving a charred piece and prop it up with a new piece of framing.  The example below illustrates why this is not an acceptable answer to a damaged frame for a property.

Q

We are a public adjusting firm. Our client’s home is insured on an independently filed HO 00 03 05 01.

A recent fire did much damage to the home. Part of that damage was the charring of the framing. Instead of replacing the charred framing members, the insurer wants to use a technique called “sistering.” This technique involves leaving the charred piece in place and installing a new piece next to it. The adjuster says that sistering is an acceptable means of repair and refuses to actually replace the damaged framing.

We have enclosed a copy of the policy for your perusal.

California Subscriber

A

The policy you sent is worded differently from the ISO policy. The ISO homeowners policy promises to replace damaged building property with “material of like kind and quality and for like use.” It makes no mention of how this is to be done. It does not place any limitations on construction methods to be used. The ISO policy would pay to replace the charred timbers with new ones.

On the other hand, your client’s policy says that it will repair or replace the damaged property “with construction techniques and materials commonly used by the building trades in standard new construction.” 

“Sistering,” as we understand it, means that the damaged frame is propped up by the timber fastened next to it. The adjuster may be correct in that this technique is an accepted means of structure repair—repair of an existing structure. However, the policy calls for the use of “common construction techniques and materials used by the building trades in standard new construction.” By definition, sistering could not be a technique used in new construction. 

The wording of the policy has committed the insurer to replacing the frame members with new pieces.

Hey Arizona, Do You have 30 seconds?

Take 30 seconds to hear why YOU need a Public Adjuster for your next insurance claim.

Handling losses for claims including:

FIRE, WIND, WATER, THEFT-VANDALISM, HAIL, MONSOON, HABOOB,  COLLAPSE,  TORNADO, PLUMBING LEAKS,  SMOKE, EXPLOSION,  ROOF DAMAGE,  BUSINESS INTERRUPTION,  LIGHTNING STRIKE DAMAGE,  BUILDING CAR DAMAGE, ETC…

AJR PUBLIC ADJUSTERS   WWW.BETTERCLAIMRESULTS.COM

602-795-5227