Every month (or every year), you pay a lot of money to insure your home or business as required by law. So, by that logic, you are going to get the most out of your home insurance claim when you file, right? Not always.
Here are 5 ways your insurance company tries to underpay you when you have a property damage insurance claim.
1. Rhode Island Matching Law (RI Regulation 73)
Many states in the country are considered matching states, Rhode Island included. Insurance matching regulations mean that if something on your home must be repaired/replaced when you have property damage, like a shingle on your roof or vinyl siding, it must match. If it does not match, insurance matching regulations state that the insurance company is obligated to bring it to a reasonable appearance even if that means replacing an entire slope of a roof. There is also a line of sight insurance law that is important to know when filing a homeowners insurance claim for roof damage. If you have a roof where you can see multiple slopes at once, the line of sight insurance law states that the insurance company must replace all slopes in the line of sight.
Most insureds do not know about this regulation so insurance companies will use that to their advantage and not pay out the way that they should when you file a homeowners insurance claim for roof damage. Having a public adjuster on your side will prevent your insurance company from taking advantage of what you do not know.
2. Building Code Coverage (If Policy Contains Building Code Coverage)
When you have an insurance claim and something needs to be replaced or repaired, Rhode Island homeowners insurance laws state that your insurance company is required to bring whatever they are replacing or repairing up to code if it is not already. Most insureds do not know this, so the insurance company may overlook this unless it is mentioned by someone like a public adjuster who fights to get you every dime you need to pay for the damages at your home or business.
Let’s say that you have a very old roof that needs to be repaired during a roof leak damage insurance claim in RI. Your roof has space decking, aka plank sheathing, underneath the shingles. Planks are spaced about 1 1/2” apart and shingles (typically wood) are placed on top in layers. This is an old decking solution and is most often seen on homes built prior to 1970. In the state of Rhode Island, this is not up to code. Since your insurance company is required to bring it up to code, they must pay for the installation of plywood sheeting underneath the shingles.
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3. Damage to Contents
When your contents (personal belongings at your property) are damaged, they can either be replaced or cleaned. Your insurance company will want to choose the least expensive option in order to avoid paying you a lot of money.
At Performance Adjusting, we have a skilled contents adjuster on staff who will determine the value of your damaged contents and decide on the best option to replace or clean your personal belongings.
Your insurance company, on the other hand, might not pick the option in your best interest. For example, if there is a sewage damage loss at your property, the water that touches your contents is considered category 3, or black water. Because of the harmful bacteria and contaminates that this water contains, the majority of contents that it comes in contact with must be replaced, never cleaned.
For example, If the black water touches something that is made of fabric/leather, the contaminates inside the water can cause serious illness or even death, so that specific content cannot be used again and must be replaced by your insurance company.
4. Negotiable Depreciation
When you have an insurance claim, a part of the claim will have to do with depreciation. Depreciation is the decrease in the value of an insurance claim based on the age, wear and tear of the items that were damaged during the loss.
What many people do not know is that depreciation is negotiable. Insurance companies have and will try to over depreciate items which further keeps upfront money in their pockets, forcing insureds out of pocket more than necessary. Public adjusters will fight to make sure the overall settlement reflects the correct amount of depreciation so you get the most out of your home insurance claim.
5. Temporary Relocation (Assisted Living Expenses)
If your home is deemed unlivable after a property damage loss, by Rhode Island homeowners insurance laws, your insurance company is required to give you a place to live while your property is under construction, and up until a reasonable time frame construction can be completed.
What people may not know is that they need to give you a place that is like, kind and quality. This means that if you live in a 2-bedroom house that is 1400 square feet, they need to give you temporary housing that is a 2-bedroom with around 1400 square feet. Most insurance companies choose to put their clients into a cheaper option like a hotel or a small Airbnb.
Performance Adjusting will make sure you get into a proper unit that meets the like kind and quality requirements that you are entitled to.
How Do Make Sure I Am Properly Paid for My Insurance Claim in RI?
Now that you know the 5 ways your insurance company tries to underpay you, you probably want to make sure this does not happen to you. The best way to ensure that you are properly paid for your insurance claim in RI is to call a public adjuster.
Performance Adjusting is the best public adjusting company in Rhode Island because we have a staff of people who are knowledgeable, experienced, and will fight to get you the money you need to restore your home or business back to pre-loss conditions all while you sit back and relax.
Call us at 401-724-9111 or click here for a free, no-strings-attached consultation for your Rhode Island property damage insurance claim and to combat the 5 ways your insurance company tries to underpay you!
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