Fire in Vacation Home, BBB A+ Review

Appreciating our valued clients who choose to share their experiences about working with AJR, here is another A+, Better Business Bureau Review.

Thank you to our valued clients — Margi & Wayne Cook for your very kind words.

HERE

 

AJR Public Adjusters — 602-795-5227

“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.

If only I knew about AJR Public Adjusters for my last insurance claim

As we go about our business day at AJR, many times we meet people who have never heard of a public adjuster, or what we do.  Often times we hear, “if I only knew about your industry/services prior to my last claim”.  We reached out to some of these people to get their viewpoint on their settlement process.  (THE COMMENTS IN BLUE IS INFORMATIVE INFORMATION FROM AJR ABOUT THE CLAIMS PROCESS)

Comments below are from Rick Kidder,                                                                                    Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, CEO

WHAT WAS THE TYPE OF CLAIM THAT OCCURRED ON YOUR PROPERTY?

Hail damage, significant damage to roof, A/C and other property

Claims on property can range from fire, wind, water, hail, theft, monsoon, etc

WHAT TYPE OF EXPERIENCE DID YOU HAVE WITH THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER?

Friendly, courteous, relatively thorough BUT did not test A/C unit

Generally interactions are friendly and courteous, but as in this case all coverages were not explained or handled for the policyholder

WHAT/ IF ANY PROBLEM AROSE WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY?

A/C unit outside fan and compressor had to be replaced, but knowledge of that fact came well after the insurance claim was settled

Here is a situation where the insurance company was not forthright with the policyholder, explaining coverages they were entitled to and policyholder settled claim without all the information pertinent to their situation.

WHAT KIND OF TIME FRAME DID IT TAKE TO SETTLE YOUR CLAIM?

Check on the spot

Anytime a check is given on the spot, that is not to the policyholder’s advantage. How does the insurance company even know all ramifications of the loss in a quick look at the damage?

WERE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE SETTLEMENT?

Yes, except, had I known of hail damage to A/C unit, I would have been able to replace the unit and not just patch it up.

Policyholder did not know about all clauses and features of their policy that they could take advantage of or taken proactive step and have the A/C unit tested.  This is where AJR is able to give the policyholder an edge, since we know of all things to do from the start, we can help  put your claim in the best position to maximize recovery from insurance company and not miss any claimable issues. 

DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE ON EQUAL GROUND WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY, AS FAR AS KNOWLEDGE AND COVERAGE’S YOU WERE ENTITLED TO?

No

This is where AJR can assist, with over 28+ years experience, our knowledge and customer service are unsurpassed in the industry.  We have read policies cover to cover for many years and know where to look to ensure policyholder is receiving all that they are entitled to.  Our job maximizing recovery for policyholder is demonstrated over and over.  

Look at what some of our previous clients have said.

 

DID YOUR CLAIM TAKE AWAY FROM PERSONAL TIME?

No

Often on larger losses personal and work time are affected in dealing with the insurance company.  AJR takes on this burden for you.

HAD YOU KNOWN PRIOR TO YOUR CLAIM ABOUT A PROFESSIONAL ADJUSTER WHO WORKS FOR YOU, DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD HAVE HIRED THEM TO ASSIST WITH THE CLAIM?

Yes

Comments below are from Janet Robbins,                                                                              Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce,                                                                            Business Development Executive 

WHAT WAS THE TYPE OF CLAIM THAT OCCURRED ON YOUR PROPERTY?

Property damage due to weather.  It was a lightning strike.

Many different forms of weather can cause property damage.  Monsoons, hail storm damage, wind storms, lightening damage, haboobs, & wildfires are big ones here in Arizona.    Other locations in the country experience different types of weather damage from hurricanes &  tornadoes among others.

WHAT TYPE OF EXPERIENCE DID YOU HAVE WITH THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER?

It was all handled by phone

How can an insurance company assess and estimate a loss if they have never set foot on the property? Damages  can not correctly evaluated without an onsite inspection.

WHAT IF ANY PROBLEMS AROSE WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY?

There weren’t necessarily problems except that I did not know that my coverage only was based on replacement costs (RC) and not what I paid originally.  Nor did it replace items over a certain amount and they had to be repaired instead and still don’t work properly.

This confusion could have been cleared up with AJR in your corner.  Policies have many different clauses which we are able to clearly clarify and explain your rights in the process.  Policy holders are entitled to “like” kind and “like” quality to be made whole, and we are able to negotiate on policyholders behalf to make sure insurance companies are paying for policies which clients have purchased.

WHAT KIND OF TIME FRAME DID IT TAKE TO SETTLE YOUR CLAIM?

I think over six (6) months.

Claim settlement depends on many factors.  AJR assists and in a timely manner submits your claim.  We have no control over the insurance companies timeliness in handling information once we submit on policyholders behalf.  However, we work hard to expedite the claim.

WERE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE SETTLEMENT?

No not at all.  One of the largest and most expensive items had to be repaired and still does not work to the quality of its original condition before the lightening strike.

AJR is in your corner through the whole claims process.  AJR assists and ensures that policyholders are not placed in a position to accept less than they deserve with their claim.

DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE ON AN EQUAL GROUND WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY, AS FAR AS KNOWLEDGE AND COVERAGE’S YOU WERE ENTITLED TO?

Absolutely not.  Found out things as we went along actually costing insurance company more in the long run because they were not clear on what steps we had to take to get replacements and/or repairs.

AJR helps throughout the process making sure claim is submitted with correct information to ensure coverage.  AJR is in constant contact with the client, explaining steps along the way confirming understanding of steps to be taken.  Thorough documentation is kept for each claim to assist in negotiations with insurance company.

DID YOUR CLAIM TAKE TIME AWAY FROM WORK, PERSONAL TIME?

Yes, it did.

Understanding how stressful a property insurance claim can be,  AJR immediately steps in to alleviate some of the stress which lets you get back to work, and personal time not having to manage your insurance claim on a daily basis.

HAD YOU KNOWN PRIOR TO YOUR CLAIM ABOUT A PROFESSIONAL ADJUSTER WHO WORKS FOR YOU, DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD HAVE HIRED THEM TO ASSIST WITH THE CLAIM?

I absolutely would have. I didn’t know they existed.

Now that you know about this industry, AJR is your professional adjuster with over 28+ years experience.  Our knowledge and experience are unsurpassed in the Valley.  Our personal service enables you to get back to life as normal as possible after an event occurs.  With your next insurance loss, give us a call immediately for a no obligation consultation.

Once you hire AJR we will help you report your claim and take over from there, bringing in our experts to estimate all damages and monetary loss you have sustained.

Here is some guidance on what to do when your next claim occurs.

AJR Public Adjusters –602-795-5227

www.betterclaimresults.com

 

 

 

 

“Sistering” and the Repair of a Home via Summit Business Systems

Q

“Sistering” and the Repair of a Home

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.

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional service. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

Privacy Policy Contact Us Copyright © 2015, Summit Professional Networks

How can a Public Adjuster Help ME with my next property insurance claim, and when should I CALL?

It’s best for people to engage with us when the property loss occurs.  Claims occurring from fire, wind, water, theft, hail etc.  We help them report the claim and take care of all the necessary duties according to the contract from there.

A few ways to think about it is, if you are called to the IRS for an audit you would take an accountant with you to represent your interests. Why deal with a professional insurance adjuster without your own professional licensed adjuster to represent you and your interests.

The reason its best to engage us at the very beginning of the process is as in other situations, “anything you say can and will be used against you”.  To prevent any problems like this from occurring, its best to engage us at the beginning.  I think this answers your question about “should I wait until a problem occurs”.

Additionally part of our job is to maximize the recovery from the insurance company.  To leave no stone unturned and peruse policy to make sure policyholders are claiming all  coverages that they have paid for that apply to each particular claim.

Our 28 + successful years of experience handling claims into the millions of dollars ensure thorough and complete handling of each claim.

We are paid a small percentage of the settlement, no higher than 10%.  AND as the claims get higher the percentage can go down and is negotiable.  (a $1,000,000 claim, we would not be taking 10%).  The insured pays our fee not the insurance company (though it comes out of the proceeds).  The knowledge we have of policies and the gain the insured receives helps cover this cost and provides additional monies.

People/Companies don’t generally know what’s in their policy or understand them, therefore don’t realize what they are entitled to.  This is where our knowledge and experience assist.  Additionally, when property claims occur, it is an extremely stressful situation. Adding to this stress is dealing with the insurance company and their adjusters, since they want to pay out as little as possible for claims.  Why handle this stress on your own, and try to navigate policies and professional adjusters.  We have been there done that and know how to do it the quickest best way to maximize the return.

www.betterclaimresults.com

AJR Public Adjusters 602-795-5227

AJR Highlights: REASONS TO CALL US FIRST WITH YOUR NEXT PROPERTY INSURANCE CLAIM

Highlights about AJR for you to reference should the need arise with your next insurance claim

FIRE, WIND WATER, THEFT, HAIL ETC

(602-795-5227)

www.betterclaimresults.com

  • When an insurance claim (fire, water, wind, theft, hail etc. ) occurs its best to call AJR first.
  • We will help you report your claim.
  • We will immediately come out to assess initial damage.
  • We will bring experts or utilize your experts to estimate property damage.
  • We will take inventory of all contents damaged.
  • We will price cost for replacement of contents items.
  • We will negotiate on your behalf to maximize settlement with your insurance company.
  • Ensuring you have taken advantage of and exhausted all clauses in your insurance policy.

With AJR you get:

  1. State licensed Public Insurance Adjuster with over 28 years experience
  2. An adjuster whose experience includes handling claims into the millions
  3. An adjuster who has handled previously but not limited to residential, business, apartment buildings, Condos, HOA’s claims
  4. Personal Attentive Service from Business Owners not employees.
  5. Ongoing Communication and updates regarding your claim as new information becomes available
  6. A company that does everything in our power to help settle your claim as quickly as possible

Any questions at any time please contact us at

602-730-8555 (OFFICE)

480-519-9099 (BRUCE CELL)              bruce@ajrpa.com

480-519-9199 (STACY CELL)               stacy@ajrpa.com

www.betterclaimresults.com

Home Insurance Exclusions to be aware of via Insure.com

Some good tips to be aware of re: exclulsions to homeowners policies.

If you find yourself with an insurance claim, call AJR to help maximize recovery and confirm you are utilizing all coverages afforded to you.

AJR Public Adjusters, 602-795-5227, http://www.betterclaimresults.com

Home insurance exclusions: What your policy won’t cover

No matter what type of home insurance policy you buy, there’s a list of common problems (called “perils”) that most insurance companies will not cover.

Knowledge is your best defense when you have a possible home insurance claim. Knowing exactly what your homeowners insurance policy covers and excludes also helps you determine whether you want to purchase additional coverage.

For example, do you know which of these problems is not covered by a home insurance policy?

  • A car careens off the street and crashes through your living room wall.
  • A skunk gets into your house and stinks up everything you own.
  • A foreign army invades the United States, destroying your house in the process.

Answer: You’re not covered if an invading army destroys your house (acts of war are excluded), but you are covered if your house is hit by a car or perfumed by a skunk.

Things covered by home insurance policies

There are a variety of standard homeowners insurance policies. The most basic policy, HO-1, covers only a few perils and insurance companies have stopped selling it in most states. The HO-2, generally called the “broad form,” covers 16 perils. They are:

home insurance exclusions

  1. Fire or lightning.
  2. Windstorm or hail.
  3. Explosion.
  4. Riot or civil commotion.
  5. Damage caused by aircraft.
  6. Damage caused by vehicles.
  7. Smoke.
  8. Vandalism or malicious mischief.
  9. Theft.
  10. Volcanic eruption.
  11. Falling objects.
  12. Weight of ice, snow or sleet which causes damage to a building.
  13. Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from within a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic fire-protective sprinkler system or from a household appliance.
  14. Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system or an air conditioning or automatic fire-protective system.
  15. Freezing of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic, fire-protective sprinkler system or of a household appliance.
  16. Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current (does not include loss to a tube, transistor or similar electronic component).

An HO-3 policy is often called a “special form” because it covers everything except certain perils outlined in the policy. It is the most popular type of policy. The standard HO-3 policy contains these exclusions:

  • Ordinance or law, such as demolition or construction required to bring your house up to code.
  • Earth movement, such as earthquakes, shockwaves, sinkholes, landslides and mudflows.
  • Water damage, such as floods, sewer back-ups and water that seeps through the foundation.
  • Power failure.
  • Neglect, meaning you failed to take reasonable means to save your property during or after a loss.
  • War, including undeclared war and civil war.
  • Nuclear hazard.
  • Intentional loss, meaning something you did on purpose with the intent to cause a loss.
  • Governmental action, such as the destruction, confiscation or seizure of covered property by any governmental or public authority.
  • Loss to property, resulting from faulty zoning, bad repair or workmanship, faulty construction materials and defective maintenance.

Find out more about these home insurance basics.

There are two important questions to ask your home insurance agent: What losses does your policy cover and not cover? And what additional coverage might you need given your situation?

Examples of home insurance exclusions

Since policies can differ by state and insurance company, the only way to know what your exclusions are is to read your own policy. If you come across something you don’t understand, ask your agent or insurance company about it. Here are some scenarios that address home insurance exclusions.

Q: What happens if a wild animal sneaks into my home and wreaks havoc?
A: You’re covered. Technically, the animal vandalized your home. Vandalism is covered under most standard policies.

Q: What if I need a building code upgrade?
A: Not covered. If your home suffers damage and you want to upgrade it when you repair, you’ll have to do it at your own expense. A standard home insurance policy pays only for what you originally insured. However, some insurance companies sell a “rebuilding ordinance or law coverage” rider. This extra coverage pays a specific amount toward upgrade costs — but under this type of policy you have to suffer a disaster before it will pay to upgrade.

Q: My basement flooded and most of my possessions have been destroyed. Am I covered?
A: No. For protection against floods, you’ll need flood insurance. Also, water coming into your home from backed-up sewers is typically excluded, but you can purchase optional coverage to protect yourself from this.

Q: Can I make an insurance claim for my home’s value plummeting after the city built a prison in the area?
A: No. Selling cost is not insurable. Your home is insured for the amount you’ll need to rebuild it and replace the contents.

Q: Am I covered for damage to my home that resulted from a power outage?
A: Each policy contains coverage for the loss of food in your refrigerator and freezer, usually up to $500. Electronics, such as your computer, are not covered under standard home insurance policies if there’s a surge when the power comes back on, unless the surge is due to a covered peril such as lightning.

Q: A company dumped pollutants into a stream that runs through my property. Am I covered?
A: No. If something like this were to happen, the party responsible would be liable for your clean-up bill — probably after a lengthy court battle. But some insurance policies contain coverage to clean up oil spilled in your house by the oil company that fills your tank.

Q: Suppose lightning strikes a power line leading into my home. Are my damaged possessions covered?
A: Yes. Any damage caused by lightning — such as fire or damage to electronics from a surge — is covered.

Q: One of my appliances caught fire and caused my hot water heater to explode. Am I covered?
A: You’re covered. This is an instance of what insurance companies call a “sudden and accidental loss.”

Q: I’m running a small business from my home. Is my computer and office equipment covered?
A: If you run a business out of your home, you should be insured separately. A simple home office might require only an endorsement to a home insurance policy, but a hair salon, day care or construction business poses greater potential liability and requires a separate business insurance policy. See our business insurance section.

Freaky incidents and home insurance exclusions

Q: A religious phenomenon damaged my home. Now what?
A: You’re covered. Every now and then you’ll hear about something unusual, such as a house where oil is pouring out of the walls for no apparent reason and the Virgin Mary appears in the oil. If that happens to you, and you make a claim for the damage done to your walls, you’re covered.

Q: What if a plane, train or automobile crashes into my living room?
A: You’re covered. Cars and trains fall under coverage for damage from vehicles hitting your house, while airplane damage is paid for by coverage for objects falling out of the sky.

Q: Suppose an antigovernment militia invades my neighborhood. Is my destroyed home covered?
A: If the United States government determines that it was not an act of war, you should be covered. Acts of terrorism are covered, but not acts of war.

Q: A nuclear power plant problem irradiated my home. Are my home and possessions covered?
A: No. Nuclear accidents are a standard exclusion. You’d have to go to the power company that owns the nuclear plant and get it to pay up.

Q: My house slid down a cliff. Am I covered?
A: No. If you build or buy a house on a cliff, be aware of the risks involved. A standard home insurance policy won’t pay if your house slides down because of a landslide or any other reason. That’s considered “earth movement” and is excluded. Your best bet is to check with your agent about getting coverage for such an event. (If you live in California, a California Earthquake Authority policy will cover earth movement only if it is seismically induced, so if you live on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, you will need additional coverage.)

Q: My house, which was built over an old coal mine, was swallowed by a sinkhole. Am I covered?
A: No, this is also excluded as “earth movement.” This is a problem for homeowners in Coal Belt states, including Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, but random sinkholes have appeared all over the country. While a home insurance policy doesn’t cover sinkholes due to old mines, you can purchase coverage (known as mine subsidence insurance), usually from your state’s Mine Subsidence Authority. Check with your state’s department of insurance or your insurance agent.