For those who have a claim with Ian, I am sorry. We are all tired and “claim fatigue” is setting in. This is not a time to quit or throw up your hands. It is time to brew a pot of coffee and get to work.
If you made your flood or homeowners claim roughly three-plus weeks ago then you should be getting your adjuster’s report back soon. We have noticed the FEMA flood adjuster’s reports are taking four-plus weeks.
What you should know about your adjuster’s report:
- The adjuster’s report is the combination of your field adjuster’s visit and the desk adjuster’s review of your policy on coverages. It is a summary of what they deem as covered / not covered and the prices / values of what is covered.
- Most likely you have a Replacement Cost (RC) policy. Almost all the policies (99%) we sell to clients are RC.- the exception is the FEMA flood policy that is Actual Cash Value (ACV) on contents. RC is simply the insurance company agreeing to pay you what it cost to replace an item in today’s dollars. ACV is the insurance company agreeing to replace an item in depreciated dollars. You can see why we sell RCs policies. Having to buy used things to be made whole is not fun.
- In the adjuster’s report the most important thing is to see what they cover NOT how much they cover it for. If they say something is covered then the insurance company has a duty to replace it at RCs. In their adjuster’s report do NOT be shocked if their RC price is less than what you have gotten bids for. They use a very large database to pull pricing from. And quite often their prices are not regional and/or can not price for the lack of supply post a natural disaster. The important thing to focus on is if it is covered and not what amount they covered it for.
- If you disagree on something that is covered that is OK. Show proof to the insurance company by providing bid(s) from local vendors. If you have a large loss then hiring a local GC can be a smart move for your insurance. The adjusters and GC tend to speak a language that the insureds don’t speak. You can have your GC communicate the various bids and pricing for you. Remember it is not a negotiation. It is more important to back up your prices with real bids. If you make the adjusters life easier then they will thank you.
- If the adjuster has said something is not covered and you think it should be then the best thing to do is read your policy and show them on why it should be covered. It will take some time I know but if you have a large loss it is always good to know your policy. Remember most of these adjusters work for multiple insurance companies and they are not as knowledgeable as they should be on all the different policies. I am happy to help if you email me specifics and I will give you my opinion if I think it should be covered. I am about 2 weeks out on these right now and I will review what you send in the order I get them.
- I know we all just want our claim to be over especially when you get your adjusters report. But it is usually not. You will have to put in some additional work to get to the finish line. The more organized you the easier it will be. I suggest using Excel to keep track. Or ask the adjuster how he would like you to communicate with them.
- If you receive a check from the insurance company, it is ok to cash it. It does not mean you are accepting their settlement offer.
Please take your time in this process, and be calm especially if you think the adjuster’s numbers are off. I assure you the adjuster wants to close your claim as quickly as you do. I will email you in a week or so another email on what you should do if you are not making any progress with your adjuster after following my points above.