What is the claims process for disaster victims?

The five steps to getting your life back after your home and life have been destroyed

Why use a Public Insurance Adjuster?

1. Read everything carefully before signing anything. Your insurance company representatives will first give you emergency money, for immediate needs and shelter. The second round of payments is where you have to be careful. Do not sign anything that limits your rights to seek additional earnings.

2. Find a copy of your insurance policy. If it is destroyed or not accessible, you should be able to obtain a complete copy of the original insurance policy with all its endorsements from the agent who sold you the coverage.

3. Make sure your family is safe. Most insurance policies include language that allows you to find a residence similar to the one you already have. Find a hotel or rental house near your child’s work or school that is the right size, clean, and comfortable. Find a place similar in size and accommodations to your previous residence.

4. Get professional help. Insurance companies hire and train their adjusters to represent the interests of the insurance company and ultimately its investors. In many cases, these adjusters do a great job helping their policyholders. However, sometimes their adjusters focus too much on the bottom line for the insurance company instead of paying the policyholder their fair share under the terms of their insurance policy. If you have questions about what your insurance company is telling you, or simply don’t have the time and experience to fully assess and resolve your claim, contact a professional who will work for you and only represent your best interests.

5. If you do it alone, go slowly and take your time. The insurance company may pressure you to expedite the process; You may be eager to put this all behind you as quickly as possible to get back into your life, but you must resist that urge. In these types of cases, especially with homes that have a lot of improvements and renovations, or with families with many possessions, the rush is definitely wasteful. Take your time and carefully review each and every document before signing anything. If you disagree with the repair or replacement estimates provided by your insurance provider, strike back.

Why use a Public Insurance Adjuster?

In many cases, the Public Adjuster can get more money from the Insurance Company than you could on your own. Even after deducting the small percentage of the Public Adjuster’s fee (much less than using a lawyer), you will probably come out ahead.

For most families affected by a disaster, the biggest advantage of using a public insurance adjuster is that they can get back to living their lives while a professional takes care of all the details. Instead of spending 20 or more hours a week researching replacement and rebuild costs, reviewing and completing various forms, and negotiating with insurance company adjusters and restoration experts, the Public Adjuster can do all of that. This means that you can return to your familiar life. Normalcy and a return to a routine schedule will go a long way in helping you and your family adjust and move on.

For many, the time savings and emotional satisfaction of having a professional handle the minutiae and painful negotiations is far more important than the additional funds the adjuster may obtain for them. It’s more than just money.