20 Pitfalls of Fire Insurance Claims (Don’t be a victim twice)
Your fire insurance claim is complex and intimidating. The pitfalls are many. The insurance industry is a complex business and with known and unknown pitfalls. You need to avoid these when filing your. Insurance policies are written in confusing and incomprehensible language only experts understand. Some Attorneys do not understand insurance policies while other do. Our owner is one such attorney. If you need legal help check out the Law offices of Jason E. Harris P.C.
Misrepresentations and misunderstandings are common. Claims practices in the handling of fire insurance claims vary widely. Do not assume the insurance adjuster sent by the insurance company is an expert. Sometimes they are right out of college with little or no experience.
They are often inexperienced in property claims handling. The department of insurance licenses public adjusters to assist, develop, present and negotiate all aspects of your fire insurance claim.
In most cases, the claims process takes less time and results with a higher settlement when one uses a public adjuster.
- Insurance Agents will tell you to stay away from Public Adjusters? Once you know the truth you will understand who is really on your side. Insurance Agents sell insurance and do not settle claims. They like to keep the profit loss ratio low. Higher claims hurt the insurance agents.
- Why does the insurance company adjuster wants you to wait until he/she makes you an offer before you hire a Public Adjuster or talk to one?
- How to find out what the insurance company really wants to pay you within the 1st 48 hours after your loss?
- When your agent and/or insurance company adjuster tells you that your loss is a total, what do they really mean?
- What are the 10 most common mistakes an insured makes after the loss, the most common mistakes an insured makes when selecting a contractor?
- Should you cash out or repair or replace?
- Why is it impossible to get all of your insurance money on your contents to claim when you have a partial loss?
- How do you read and understand your insurance policy?
- How do you calculate all of your potential coverage within your policy?
- What deadlines will you be faced with within your policy for a fire insurance claim?
- What are your duties after the loss?
- Why is there depreciation on a replacement cost policy?
- What is a Proof of Loss and all the other required paperwork for a valid fire insurance claim?
- Why will the insurance company not pay you all of your money up-front on most losses?
- How do you properly document you’re Additional Livening Expense (A.L.E.) claim?
- How do you properly take inventory for your contents claim?
- What are the 21 ways to determine your up-front money on a structure claim?
- What is the difference between estimating a loss versus appraising a loss?
- How does a Public Adjuster get more money for you on your fire insurance claim?
- How will you react to this crisis and make decisions to minimize your losses?
Be Aware Of These Fire Insurance Claim Pitfalls and Be Prepare
You are immediately being put in a situation to make a “major decision” that will either benefit you or hurt you financially. If your insurance company is spending a lot of time trying to convince you not to hire a public adjuster, BE ON GUARD!
Your only responsibility immediately after your loss to your insurance company is to protect your property from further damage. Insurance companies will try and get their “preferred contractors” on your loss as soon as possible.
These contractors will try to get you to sign a contract to repair your property without a dollar amount. Most of these contracts are not legal. Be sure to check! If there is a pack out and cleaning company brought in by the insurance company, remember that the cleaning bill and pack out charges are deducted from your contents money.
There may be other “Complicating Factors” involved in your fire insurance claim, such as a bankruptcy, pre-foreclosure, foreclosure, separation, divorce, death, arson etc. We routinely are involved and handle all of these types of situations on a regular basis. You have other options available to you after your loss.
You have the right to cash out and not repair your property after a fire insurance claim. You have the option to replace your property anywhere else in the country. (Policy Permitting) These are things you need to be made aware of in your insurance policy. Types of coverage’s, hidden extensions of coverage, limitations of coverage, deadlines to file paperwork, total loss methods of payouts on your claim etc.
Consult With Harris Today And Enjoy The “Harris Advantage”. We understand fire insurance claims. It’s second nature to us.
Our Free consultation with no obligation will help you tremendously. Visit our Free Consultation page for more details.
Don’t let the insurance company and all their “preferred vendors” intimidate you. The pace is quick after a new claim. Your insurance company wants to Control all the aspects of the claim.
This is why they tell you that if you use their people you don’t have to worry about a thing. They will pay all the contractor invoices directly. The insurance companies try to utilize their “pricing company” to settle your contents claim. These prices are usually below the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP).
But the Paperwork usually says they do not work for the Insurance company. Crazy. They recommend them but then when things go wrong they say we did not?
Don’t worry… Don’s tress over your fire insurance claim. Guess what? It is legal to hire a public adjuster to represent you. The department of insurance licenses us to help you. Your insurance company won’t cancel you if you hire a public adjuster.
There will be a lot of people giving you advice after your fire and how to handle your fire insurance claim. Be Cautious! Your family and friends mean well, however, listen to the people who have been through what you are about to go through yourself.
We get money in different ways. Proper pricing, Better documentation, Accurate estimating, Proper depreciation, Knowledge of real estate and market values, Construction and mortgage companies’ expertise and over a 100 years of combined experience in negotiating with insurance company adjusters. These will all effect how your fire insurance claim is settled.