At Performance Adjusting, we strive to obtain a fair settlement as efficiently as possible. It is a priority of ours to make the homeowner’s insurance claim process as stress-free as possible for all of our clients, as we understand property damage can become stressful and cause immense worry.
That’s probably why you’ve hired or are thinking of hiring a public adjuster, right? We’ll take the stress away and get you the most money for your property damage insurance claim. What more could you ask for?!
how does the homeowner’s insurance claim process work?
The claims process can be quite complex and varies greatly on the cause of the property damage, the extent of the damages, the types of coverage being claimed, and the insurance company providing coverage. Outlined below is a generic overview of the steps that are typically taken when we handle a property damage insurance claim and how the homeowner’s insurance claim process works.
1. Mitigation/Emergency Services
If your property needs emergency mitigation services, we respond 24/7 to protect the property from any further damages. This process is essential to most claims and must begin immediately. Later on, the mitigation work will be billed to your insurance company.
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What is mitigation?
Mitigation is when an experienced team is dispatched to your property to get whatever is causing damages under control and prevent any further damage from occurring. This is done by a professional restoration company and should never be done yourself.
2. Representation by A Public Adjuster
Once you have contracted a public adjuster to represent you against your insurance company during the claims process, we will contact your insurance provider to file a claim, if not already done so, and provide our letter of representation. After the claim has been filed, one of our administrative assistants will contact the assigned public adjuster to schedule an inspection of the property.
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3. Investigation/Damage Assessment/Estimation
While our office is in the process of filing your claim and setting up an inspection, we begin conducting an investigation and assessment of damage. The assigned public adjuster will review your insurance policy, examining coverages, policy limits, exclusions, endorsements, and any other specifications that may be part of it. In addition, one of our estimators will schedule a time to visit your property to further assess the damage and comprise an estimate.
How do estimators know how much damage I have?
We have 2 highly trained estimators on staff who will accurately estimate how much damage there is at your property by using tools like moisture meters, laser distance measurers, property damage estimating software, iPads, cameras, soot sponges, and more.
Once scheduled, your public adjuster will meet at the property with an adjuster representing your insurance company. There, they will review the claim and the public adjuster will present their cases for coverage. They may also discuss other coverages, such as damaged contents, rot/mold/fungi, loss of rental income, or loss of use.
After the inspection, the designated inside adjuster/claims handler will send our estimate to the insurance company’s adjuster. They will then contact the insurance company’s adjuster until they send their estimate to our office, which is to be interpreted as an initial offer.
Once we have an estimate your public adjuster will review it and negotiate any differences that may exist between the two estimates until we have achieved a fair settlement. We will incorporate the use of pictures, insurance regulations, proposals/recommendations from licensed tradesman and contractors, engineers, among sources to support our arguments for coverage.
6. Check Processing
Check processing may occur simultaneously to negotiation as the insurance company will release funding for the amount outlined in their estimates whether we are in agreement or not. This is often referred to as the “undisputed” amount. Upon our office receiving a payment, one our check processing specialists will reach out to schedule an appointment to review the estimate presented and what the funds are for, disburse the funds, and to discuss any other questions or concerns.
In the event there is a mortgage, loan, or line of credit against the damaged property, the insurance company is required by law to list them as a payee in the check. There, an endorsement would be necessary for deposit and they would need to be contacted to explain the procedure as it depends on many variables and changes from lender to lender.
7. Depreciation/code/paid when incurred
Usually, the final part of a property damage claim, to be completed after reconstruction, the insured may be entitled to, but not guaranteed, additional amounts for depreciation, code, or items paid when incurred. If certain amounts of money are spent and documented the withheld depreciation may be recovered or if specific work is needed to be completed for code and documentation can be provided to support that, the insurance company may issue payment for that work. The possibility of depreciation being recovered, or coverage being provided for code are both policy specific.
What is depreciation?
Learn more about depreciation.
What is code in insurance terms?
Code refers to building code coverage within a homeowner’s insurance policy. When you have property damage to your home, your insurance company is required to bring whatever they are replacing or repairing up to code if it is not already.
Learn more about other ways your insurance company tries to underpay you!
What does paid when incurred mean?
Similar to depreciation, these are things that will only be reimbursed to you once you can prove that you have actually paid for the items/services.
How do I hire a public adjuster?
If learning about how the homeowner’s insurance claim process works is daunting, it might be a good idea to hire a public adjuster so that you don’t have to worry about anything. Hiring a public adjuster is easy! If you live in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Florida, you’re in luck. Performance Adjusting is licensed to adjust claims in all of these states. We offer absolutely free consultations and they’re no strings attached so if you have even the smallest bit of property damage, we’d be happy to take a look in person or virtually.
*Please note that not every claim follows this direct procedure and depends heavily on what is being claimed, whether an investigation by the insurance company is necessary, or if the claim had been previously called in. These variables, among others, may also affect how quickly and efficiently a claim is settled*