Here is a recent example of why it is important to hire an experienced public adjuster to inspect your property, damages and policy. Our experience and resources which include opinions from other experienced adjusters can be important to you.
We received a call from a homeowner who was having problems convincing their insurance company to cover their severe water damaged home. An additional challenge they faced was understanding and being understood by the insurance adjuster as they were born in China and had been in the US for just a few years. They had no experience in settling insurance claims and did not know what to do.
The weather had been extremely cold for about two weeks with record low temperatures. When they went to take a shower one morning they had no water. They went down to their basement and discovered their nightmare; water several feet high with many of their belongings floating around the large room. The homeowner knew how to turn off the water to his home and did so to stop the water flow.
Not knowing what to do they contacted their insurance company and were able to communicate with the claims department that they needed their help. The claims representative told them they would assign an adjuster who would contact them shortly.
Meanwhile they contacted a plumber to restore water. After incurring over $2,000 worth of repairs which included their hot water heater which was ruined by the water.
When the insurance company adjuster inspected their property three days later he discovered the insured had a sump pump replaced as part of their plumbing repairs. The insured told him the pump had been working but had stopped leaving a faint burnt odor behind.
The adjuster cautioned the homeowner that the insurance policy he had purchased may not cover the damages to his home. The adjuster further cautioned the distraught insured that the policy required they take steps to remove and dry their basement and to take the necessary steps to protect his property from any further damage.
The insured called a water extraction contractor who after extracting the water which had been as high as three feet above the basement floor left dehumidifiers and air scrubbers to dry and clean the air and finally treated the entire room with a mold and mildew killer. Another $4,000.
Then days after their home was damaged they received a letter from the insurance company adjuster he had denied their claim stating their was no coverage for a failed sump pump.
It took another six months before they found and contacted Accu-Claim Public Adjusters. We visited and inspected the interior and exterior of their lovely home and reviewed their policy line by line. Finally we obtained copies of all invoices, the adjuster’s denial letter and took photos.
We researched similar claims through the Internet and tapped several adjusters from other insurance companies for their opinions. After we reviewed all the materials we had gathered we contacted the insurance company and demanded they reopen their claim file for our new clients.
They re-assigned their adjuster and we contacted him immediately. Although their adjuster had gathered all the information required to establish the validity of the insureds claim he had not looked for a way to legitimately cover the loss and in his rush for judgment denied the claim. It was our opinion using the same set of facts and circumstances the loss is covered.
As is the case more often than one might think, insurance policies are difficult to read let alone understand. They are ambiguous by design in order to allow their adjusters to misinterpret their meanings. Remember they wrote the policy without consulting with any policyholders! When we were able to logically rearrange the sequence of events leading up to their claim, it was obvious coverage should have been accepted.
Although we were able to turn things around in this case, it is often too late and covered losses go unsettled. This is why we advise all home and business owners when faced with having to report a property claim to contact Accu-Claim Public Adjusters, the experienced public adjuster in your neighborhood as soon as possible and always BEFORE their insurance company adjuster renders an offer or opinion. It is easier to guide the adjuster to the best conclusion for you, the public than it is to force a reversal.
Stay tuned for other stories among the thousands of clients we have represented. Many claims just like yours!
If you have a story to share or a second opinion about a claim you are involved in please fill out our contact section. Someone will contact you to discuss. Most insurance policies allow TWO YEARS to file suit or reopen a claim, but the later one delays in retaining our services the more difficult and challenging our efforts are usually required. It is always hard to unsay something once it is said.