A section of your policy titled “Duties of the Insured” requires you to take some very important steps after you have experienced a loss at your home.
• Board up any open windows and doors at your property. Depending on the type of loss (for instance a fire) in many cases the fire department will contact a contractor and request they perform the board up. However, make sure you are only authorizing the contractor to perform board up services only.
• In the event no one makes contact with a contractor for you, you still must take the necessary steps to secure your property immediately and find a contractor yourself. Property that appears to be vacant might result in theft and if your policy does not have a theft provision, you may suffer additional damage that insurance could possibly deny.
• Immediately notify your insurance company of the event. Make sure to document all the calls you make to your insurance company. Do not make the assumption that “the insurance company will look out for your best interests.”
• If you have suffered a fire – ask the fire department about Red Cross. Accept all assistance Red Cross can offer.
• Prepare to locate a shelter or temporary housing for yourself and your family. Your insurance company should also be able to help with making hotel arrangements. A Public Adjuster can also assist you with temporary housing arrangements as well. You may also be able to stay with a family member for a night or two until adequate accommodations can be made.
• Whether you have suffered a fire or a substantial water loss, consider such things as clothing and personal items to fill your immediate needs. If you have to purchase personal items for your immediate needs, be sure to save all your receipts.
• Contact a licensed Public Adjuster to assist you with your claim. A professional should review your policy before your claim is presented to your insurance company. Your claim has to be verified.
WHAT NOT TO DO
• Don’t let your insurance company determine your settlement. Insurance company adjusters represent the insurance company. They are employed to protect the interest o the insurance company. That is how they earn their income. You would not represent yourself in a high stakes courtroom case, so why should you or would you do so when you have an insurance claim? We all know that it is necessary to attain legal assistance when you have been involved in an accident. Well, it is just as important to seek the help of a Public Adjuster for your property claim.
• Don’t waste time waiting for your insurance company to work on your behalf. Did you know that the insurance companies gain a head start in minimizing your claim by immediately forming their own team of experts? Utilize your own right to hire a Public Adjuster to represent your best interest by maximizing the settlement you are legally entitled to and to have your home restored to pre-loss condition. Don’t hesitate to make the right decision and don’t allow time to pass, thinking you can handle the claim and dealing with the insurance company on your own. Hiring a Public Adjuster from the very beginning will ensure a speedy and favorable settlement for you.
• Don’t rely on your insurance company to inform you of all your benefits. You have the benefit of hiring your own Public Adjuster to legal prepare and represent your claim to the insurance company. You should know and understand that a Public Adjuster solely works on your behalf. Do you know that by hiring a Public Adjuster you could form your own team of experts? A Public Adjuster, with your authorization, will hire a general contractor, and a fire restoration company, asbestos abatement company and mitigation company that will work for your best interest. It is important to form a team that is solely working on your behalf. It is a benefit that you are entitled to and your insurance company covers it all. Remember, the insurance company exclusively employs your insurance adjuster and he or she must try to strike a balance between your interest and the interest of the insurance company. You must also keep in mind that if you allow your insurance company to hire the general contractor, fire restoration company, asbestos abatement company or mitigation company on your behalf, they are likely to look out for the best interest of the insurance company as well. It would be a conflict of interest to serve two masters. Why not take advantage of the benefits that you’re entitled to and hire a Public Adjuster, who in turn, will help you hire your own team of experts. Companies that work for the insurance carriers are called “preferred vendors”. That means when you have a claim and the insurance company offers to send out one of their contractors, the contractor has agreed to work with the insurance company and accept the amount of payment the insurance company agrees to pay them, not what you are rightfully entitled to based on your insurance policy.
• Don’t refuse the help you are entitled to have. The preparation of an insurance claim can be difficult if you are not familiar with depreciation, actual cash value, replacement costs, complicated calculations in estimating the damages, and, in general, the claim negotiations process. Not to mention that your insurance company will require you prepare and validate your claim. This is why it is important to hire a Public Adjuster, who is licensed to legally substantiate your claim, which will provide you with the most money possible, based on your policy coverages. What is the primary reason a Public Adjuster can ensure the most money for you? A Public Adjuster eliminates the conflict that will usually occur if your insurance adjuster represents both you and your insurance company.
Each loss varies. The common guidelines are not a substitution for insurance, financial, and legal assistance. Please contact Lioness Claims, LLC for further information regarding your claim. Lioness Claims, LLC does not charge to discuss your claim, review your policy and provide you with guidance on what the best course of action will be, depending on the type loss you have sustained.