We were contacted by a homeowner who’s finished basement and laundry room were water damaged by water flowing from a sudden broken pipe between the basement ceiling and kitchen floor. The water damaged the “drop ceiling ” as it flowed onto the carpeted and vinyl tile flooring. They were let down by their insurance company.
Here Are 3 Ways Insurance Companies Let Down Homeowners
1. Slow Service
The homeowners called a local agent who was closed Saturday early afternoon. Thankfully the policy provided a direct phone number. The claims “clerk” asked a series of questions about the problem, assigned a claim number and promised timely contact from an adjuster who would provide additional information and assistance. They next received a call from the very busy field adjuster who expressed his claim load was so heavy that it would be several days before he could schedule an onsite inspection during which their ceilings, walls and floors would remain wet with their furniture and other personal belongings sitting and now absorbing the dirty water.
2. Poor Service
Assistance in securing Emergency Water and Mold Services which the policy requires was only provided when homeowners asked what they could do about the musty odor and standing water in their living space.
Finally a franchised emergency water extraction company was convinced to inspect and provide services after trying to put off visiting their waterlogged home for several days due to summer vacation schedules. When they finally arrived they couldn’t wait to leave. They ripped out a section of wet carpets and left several large and noisy fans and dehumidifiers and left the wet ceilings, vinyl tile flooring, wet walls and doors as well as insulation and other items not visible to the untrained, but obvious to anyone dealing with water claims. When asked about the odor the company offered several small packets of deodorize packets to distribute to the worst areas to improve conditions so they would not see the need to move out for short while.
3. Contradictory Information
When asked about the various that were ruined by the water they were advised to bag it and dispose it. Here again, the policy obligates the policyholder to separate damaged from undamaged personal property and prepare a detailed list of the items including a description, age, condition, full replacement cost, amount of depreciation, actual cash values and to SHOW THE COMPANY ADJUSTERS the items as often as may be required in determining the value.
That’s it for now and stay tuned for the next three items insurance companies and their staff provide that illustrate they DO NOT WORK FOR POLICYHOLDERS but rather the insurance companies.
Have examples or questions about personal experiences you encountered? Please share with us and I will try to respond in upcoming blogs.