Who do they REALLY work for?
Did you know that your flood policy states that “The insurance adjuster whom we hire to investigate your claim may furnish you with a proof of loss form, and she or he may help you complete it. However, this is a matter of courtesy only, and you must still send up a proof of loss within 60 days after the loss even if the adjuster does not furnish the form or help you complete it.”
Did you know that your insurance adjuster probably does not work for your insurance company? During catastrophes or disasters, insurance companies do not have enough adjusters on their staff to handle all of the claims. Because of this, they out-source their claims to independent insurance adjusting companies, who employ independent adjusters. It takes very little training and experience to become an adjuster for one of these independent adjusting companies in times of major disasters. Don’t be surprised if your adjuster is new and just learning.
What exactly does all this mean?
Here is a list of what you must know:
- It is the policyholder’s responsibility to prove their damages and prepare their own claim!
- This starts with a detailed room by room estimate or construction estimate of your flood damages.
- An inventory of personal property (if you have coverage for this in your policy).
- Then, fill out and complete a proof of loss form.
If all this sounds confusing, over-whelming, and time-consuming, you are right!
So, here’s the good news: You have the right to hire your own adjuster to do all of this paperwork for you.
Know your rights! The flood adjuster manual states the following: “We have not authorized the adjuster to approve or disapprove claims or to tell you whether we will approve your claim.” Did your adjuster come to your home or business and tell you what he is allowed to pay for? It states in the manual that the adjuster is not authorized to do this! Until you get a written estimate back from FEMA, you really have no idea what is going to be paid!
*Don’t throw anything away until after the adjuster has documented the loss properly!
After a flood or hurricane, most people immediately begin to throw away damaged items. But a problem occurs if the adjuster did not put those damages in his estimate. How are you going to prove what was damaged if you throw it all away? Did you take really good photos? Did you keep a piece of the damaged carpet? How do you prove the grade of your carpet? These are the things that a good insurance advocate will tell you.
*Be prepared to prove your property loss by saving remnants, receipts, and more.
Here’s why: I recently had a Hurricane Sandy flood victim contact me. As I was reviewing the adjusters estimate, I noticed the adjuster grossly under-paid for oak wood flooring in the customer’s home. I asked the customer about the type and quality of the wood flooring. I asked for the name of the manufacturer, and the thickness of the wood floor. However, the customer told me he had already thrown out all the wood flooring. He threw out the evidence! He could not prove the floor type, so he could not get a full replacement cost. Making mistakes at the onset of your insurance claim can cost you!
Let Advocate Claims Public Adjusters assist you with your claim!
We have the experience to assist you in getting a proper insurance settlement!
Empowering the Policy Holder!
Now assisting Bergen County, Cape may, Ocean City, Sea Isle City, Hudson County, Hoboken County, Monmouth County, Manaquan, Ocean City, Brick Township, Lavallette Borough, Long Beach Township, Toms River and all of the effected Jersey Shore and New York areas.