Homeowners should protect themselves by buying insurance policies that cover them from any possible liability to any disaster or act of God, and everything in between. A good insurance policy is the best option homeowners have to protect themselves from any contingency that may happen in the future. Having said this, one of the main goals a homeowner should seek is efficient coverage, that by offering him financial support, in case his home is burglarized or damaged, guarantees him the certainty that any loss will be minimized.
It is also a well-known fact that many insurance companies do whatever they can to avoid a full pay-out to the beneficiary of the policy, by disputing elements of a claim. Here is when the Public Adjuster enters into the game, helping you build your case for a fair settlement. Below you’ll find an explanation of how a Public Adjuster can help you optimize your claim and get the most out of it, as well as provide you with a better understanding of how homeowner insurance claims work.
What is a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim?
An insurance claim is a statement with the description of damage suffered by the home typically as a consequence of burglary or a natural disaster. Theoretically, after reviewing the claim, the insurance company will pay the homeowner the costs of the damage back.
Statistics data show that in 2021, 85% of homeowners in the United States have their home insured and that the average cost of those policies, paid off by the homeowners, is approximately $1,445 per year. There are 2 ways of looking at this expense, but only one is correct. You may see it as an expense or as an investment, which is exactly what it is. It is a worthy investment that will prevent huge losses to the homeowner, in case the house undergoes extensive and costly damage. Here is a brief description of the proceeding the homeowner should follow to file an insurance claim.
Contact McKinley Public Adjuster
Whenever your house suffers damage there is a lot to be done and it can be overwhelming. Your first step should be to contact us. We, at McKinley Public Adjuster will report the home damage to your insurance company and obtain and provide the important information to you such as:
· determine whether your insurance policy covers your damages or losses,
· time frame you have to file the claim, and
· if an estimate for repairs is required as part of the claim
Sometimes the insurance company will determine if the possible insurance payout for the damage or loss exceeds the deductible. The insurance company will only pay the exceeding amount. The deductible is the amount of money the homeowner will have to pay himself. As an example, if the loss is $5,000 and the deductible is $1,500, the owner pays the $1,500 and the insurance company pays the $3,500 difference. Nevertheless, this is theoretical, as the insurance company may also dispute the total amount of the damage or loss.
We, at McKinley Public Adjuster, can help you obtain all the necessary information and with the claim filing as well.
What documentation has to be provided to the insurance company?
Normally there is a proceeding the insurance companies require to be completed before offering the homeowner any payment. There are some documents that have to be presented to the insurance company to ensure a fair pay-out. These documents include evidence of the damage. Once all documents have been gathered and the claim has been filed, then starts a process the insurance company goes through before the final settlement. We, at McKinley Public Adjuster can help you throughout this process, making sure the information is accurate and complete as well as timely presented.
The mentioned information includes:
· Photographs of damage
· A home inventory list describing the lost items and their value
· Proof of the lost items’ value, such as receipts, if you kept them or an estimate on such lost or broken objects
Any lost or broken item should be described in great detail, as well as provide, whenever possible, any appraisal you may have on any of the lost, stolen, or broken items. The best description the homeowner can provide, the better. Also, if there is proof of the paid amount for those items or any appraisal on them, they will help us make your claim stronger by providing further substance to the amount we’ll be claiming. We can also help you with the estimates on any home repair.
File A Police Report
In case of robberies, a police report is mandatory and the insurance adjuster will require it. This won’t be necessary in those cases of home damage due to natural disasters. The insurance company may at his sole discretion, examine the report to confirm the details of the crime.
Fill Out Paperwork
After completing the above steps, the homeowner will have to fill out some forms. These forms will be provided by the insurance company and more likely, these include:
· Proof of loss form
· Property damage release
· Residency investigation checklist
Upon receiving these forms duly filled, the insurance company will review them and determine the pay-out, based on the evidence and at her discretion.
How Insurance Companies Decline Pay-Outs
Having done all the above-mentioned due diligence enhances the possibility of a fair settlement. Nevertheless, it is also true that the insurance company will try to decline or at least reduce the amount of the settlement based on any of the following reasons:
· The forms were submitted too late
· Incomplete or wrong information
· Fraud suspicion
The insurance company might attempt to dispute the validity or the accuracy of the information. They may say that there is not enough proof that an item was stolen, or that there is responsibility or negligence of the homeowner in case of any natural disaster or damage due to a fire. Even in those cases in which the documentation was properly provided, the company may try to dispute its validity or the accuracy of it. Most insurance companies have their insurance claims adjusters to evaluate the damages and provide support for the sum they’ll have to pay. As you may see, hiring an unbiased, fair public adjuster may prevent many of these setbacks and make the whole process smoother and fair to you.
How Public Adjusters Help Homeowners
As public adjusters we, at McKinley Public Adjuster, will evaluate the damages and will estimate the amount of the settlement. The difference with the insurance company’s adjuster is that we are on the homeowner’s side. In other words, to us, achieving a fair settlement by not minimizing the damages, and giving the homeowner the possibility of receiving the amount that would suffice to compensate his losses, is paramount. Below please read about what public adjusters may do to accomplish their task:
· Throughout analysis: Public adjusters are typically better trained and experienced than insurance company counterparts and can provide a more extensive and accurate analysis of the damage as well as of the costs to compensate or repair them.
· Paperwork management: Public adjusters usually assist clients with the paperwork involved in a claim, making sure there is no missing information and that all deadlines are being taken care of.
· Claim presentation: Claims have to be presented in a clear and precise manner. Public adjusters help homeowners by managing stressful phone calls, sending emails, and organizing the documentation accordingly.
As public Adjusters, we try to put homeowners at the same level as the insurance company. Our goal is to prevent homeowners from being foiled or fooled by insurance companies. We do this by providing resources and putting our knowledge into their service. We are aware that the average person lacks the necessary knowledge and expertise to prevent this from happening and therefore they may end up as victims of the insurance companies.
Contact McKinley Public Adjuster now!