What are my RESPONSIBILITIES after a loss?
Your responsibilities will differ depending on your claim. Most importantly, notify us promptly to file a claim. In addition:
How will my claim be adjusted?
There are different types of adjusters, who may play a role in handling an insurance claim. Mostly commonly the insurance company employs desk adjusters who service as your contact person throughout the claim process, make coverage determinations, (sometimes with the assistance of supervisors). and issue checks letters describing denial of coverage.
Depending on the type and extent of the damages to your property, we may require a home inspection. In that case, one of our field adjusters will contact you to schedule the inspection. The field adjuster will create an estimate for damage to your property. Your desk adjuster will compare the inspection estimate to your policy to determine if coverage is available for your damages. If the loss is covered under the terms and conditions of your policy, then your desk adjuster will review a settlement with you and provide you with a copy of the estimate.
Your claim may be assigned to an independent adjusting company that is hired by our claims companies to perform the desk and field adjusting duties described above. In that case, the independent adjusting company will contact you to schedule and perform the inspection, write the estimate, and contact you directly to discuss the settlement of your claim.
You may also engage a public adjuster to represent you in the claim handling process. Public Adjuster are paid by you, even though these funds sometimes come from the settlement amount paid to you by the insurance company. Some companies act both a public adjuster and a contractor. In these scenarios, however, a possible conflict of interest may arise if the public adjuster fee is based on the rate being charged by the contractor. Any contractor that seeks to give advice, advocate or negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company, prepare a claim, or give advice about coverage based upon a review of your insurance policy is acting as a public adjuster and may require a license from the state. Insurance producers, or sales agents, may serve as a way for you to communicate details regarding your lost to us. While insurance producers are not able to make coverage determinations, they are able to collect loss details to transmit to us with your contact information so that we can begin the claims handling process.
What if my contractor says the settlement amount is low or finds additional damages
If your contractor feels that the repairs cannot be completed for the replacement cost value of your estimate you should contact your adjuster as quickly as possible to discuss. Your adjuster may ask for your contractor's contact information and a copy of your contractor's estimate. Depending upon the nature of the additional contractor costs, we may require an additional inspection with your contractor present.
Will my claims company send a contractor out to complete the repairs?
Depending on your location and the extent of the repairs required in your claim, your adjuster may have the ability to advise if certain contractors are available in your area. You are, however, never under any obligation to use any specific contractor recommended to you by an adjuster. You can choose whomever you would like to complete the repairs.
I line in a condo; do i need to notify the association of my damages?
Yes. In most cases, the Master Insurance Policy that covers the condominium community is the primary insurance for damages to the exterior or common property. Your personal condo insurance will apply to damages to property and possessions within your condo. Notify your condo association immediately in the event of damage so they can determine if a claim should be filed through the Master Insurance Policy. In addition, you may be asked to provide a copy of your Condo Association By laws and Condo Association Master Policy Declarations Sheet. This information should be available to you through your Condo Association and may be needed for the handling of your claim.
What is Recoverable Depreciation?
In certain claim settlements, a portion of the settlement is withheld depending on the language in your specific policy under the Loss Settlement section. This is done to ensure that the reported damages are in fact repaired or replaced. the portion of the settlement that is withheld is known as "Recoverable Depreciation" and is based on the reasonable amount that was actually paid for you to repair, rebuild, or replace the covered damages. Please note that not every claim will involve recoverable depreciation; your claims adjuster will let you know if this will apply to your settlement.
If you are entitled to recover the withheld depreciation, you will need to submit copies of your invoices and receipts to repair, rebuild or replace the covered damages, as well as proof of payment. Please forward this information to your adjuster once you have repaired or replaced your damaged property.
Please not that the requirements for recovering the withheld depreciation vary state by state and we urge you to review your specific policy and all its endorsements to make sure you follow the necessary steps to obtain the recoverable depreciation. If you have any questions or concerns you can always contact your adjuster.
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