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Why is a contractor's estimate settle a claim fully?

Insurance companies are not required to negotiate with contractors... it is just that simple. Building contractors do not have experience in interpreting insurance policies and how they apply to a loss. They are not knowledgeable in calculating depreciation, coinsurance, "actual cash value" and "replacement cost value" provisions of the policy, and other elements of your loss. Further, a contractor is competitive with his bid, attempting to provide his lowest bid and often minimal new materials in order to be hired for the job, thereby probably reducing your maximum and legitimate financial recovery, perhaps significantly.

 

Hidden heat, smoke damage, and water damage could cause you problems, long after you finalize your loss. These items and many more, are usually overlooked because many contractors who are unfamiliar with the methods of preparing a detailed estimate in a precise computerized format which the insurance company recognizes and most often requires. In addition, a contractor can't handle your contents inventories, or prepare your additional living expense or business interruption claims.

 

Professional Public Insurance Adjusters engage the services of skilled, knowledgeable, experienced engineers, builders, inventory evaluators, sometimes even architects and/or loss experts to prepare highly detailed estimates of all aspects of your losses. The building estimate needs to be in a computerized form and content familiar to insurance company experts, and is done in conjunction with examinations by both the company's representatives and your Public Insurance Adjuster's experts. Every item of reconstruction is accounted for and detailed. The estimate specifically details all aspects of damage repairs necessary to pay the full amount necessary to allow you to restore the building to its original condition or evaluate it as to its current value. And then you need to consider your replacement options... rebuild your home or business building where the loss occurred or elsewhere, replace it with another structure in another location or State, etc.

Should I wait for an offer from my insurance company

Yes and No. You know that you will recover some money for your losses without the need to hire anyone: a Public Insurance Adjuster, attorney or general contractor to get that money. You may logically choose to get the major payments that you can achieve first; and then retain a Public Insurance Adjuster to recover what you either couldn't get, or didn't know was due or even existent for your full recovery.

 

However, you also must realize that the insurance company's representative makes a dollar evaluation of your loss when they first inspect it. This is called a "reserve" and is an absolute requirement in most states by that State's Insurance Department. The adjuster bases the "reserve" solely upon his initial inspection, your first-hand knowledge (communicated to them) of your losses, and additional information you may possibly remember to tell him, either then or later. He is hired and paid by the insurance company; so his interest is how to best protect his employer. Unless some agreements are made initially regarding the scope of loss, and what is to be done next (such as temporary repairs, temporary business or living quarters, your replacement options, extra expense options, additional living expenses or "fair rental value", cleaners, etc.), serious problems could arise that may jeopardize the final settlement payment.

 

To avoid misunderstandings, long delays, and reduced settlement payments, it may be wise to hire a professional Public Insurance Adjuster to deal with these possible problems before they occur, requiring a lot of time, effort, and often a lot of money. They will also help eliminate the possibility of "forgotten items" that may have been overlooked by you. A Public Insurance Adjuster may be hired immediately to protect your interests in property claims, much like you would probably immediately hire an attorney after being involved in other types of claims, such as an automobile or personal injury accident

 

But definitely, the choice is your's and your's alone. Please seriously consider what you personally feel will be in your best interests.

Why do I need help in filing an insurance claim?

The typical insurance policy contains many provisions which require knowledge of their prior interpretation, duties that policyholders must fulfill in the event of a loss, and time frames... all of which require a complete knowledge of many different and varying policies, their very complex detailed, and technical language about complicated procedures and requirements that you must adhere to, in the event of a loss. Many people do not know or understand these policy (contract) provisions; and so do not realize that the burden of proof is on them, the policyholders. In fact, most insurance company representatives actually prefer to work with a professional Public Insurance Adjuster rather than an inexperienced, and often emotional, policyholder.

Why can't my insurance agent or broker handle my cla

Well, in the first place, they only represent the insurance company that employs them to sell and administer that company's policy, for them... not for you. An agent or broker is hired and trained to sell the insurance programs and policies that their employer has available for this geographical area. They are not trained or licensed to represent you, in adjusting major property claims and losses, and never may represent your interests in a property claim. You can't expect your insurance company's agent, who is not paid, licensed, or trained to adjust losses, and who does not ever represent your insurance interests, to be your advocate, to try and "adjust" a serioius property claim... especially for your benefit... against his employer's financial interest. They simply are not allowed to provide that kind of assistance (for the benefit of policyholders) by their employer. Public adjusters are the only experts prepared, licensed, and educated to render the highly specialized service to policyholders, of property insurance adjusting.