ADJUSTERS MAKE DISASTER RECOVERY EASIER – Nader Anthony Odeh
I am excited about what’s happening at Boss Public Adjusting. My staff and I have built truly the most unique service that is one of a kind in the country. After dealing with insurance companies over the last twenty years I have seen and learned a lot of things. When tragedy strikes mass confusion and stress overtake a person negatively affecting every part of our lives from family to work.
I’ve worked hard to protect people from the hidden traps on the road to recovery and have been able to make a carrier out of helping people recover. It is no secret people are disadvantaged by not understanding how their insurance works. We all can relate to a friend or family member who had fire, water or wind damage to their home only to compound the problems by deceitful insurance companies, adjusters, contractors and lawyers who prey on our ignorance and honesty to get over on us. Because of great television commercials produced by the insurance companies we all get the false sense of security when handling a claim, at least at first.
In my career, I’ve met people at the beginning of a claim walking and talking with all kinds of confidence that their insurer will treat them fairly. As time passes and the claim progresses I’m contacted by those same people who have become victims again, this time by the insurance companies they trusted; bogged down, defeated, and confused. Understanding what the phycology of an insurance company is should clear up the misconception of who’s who when faced with having to process an insurance claim. Be clear that your insurance company is a “for-profit” business interested in showing shareholders profits. It’s hard to be profitable when you have to pay out on claims. The sad truth is we all need insurance; the trick is getting paid fairly when having to use it. Skillfully done this is obtainable.
Know this; you can get help from insurance savoy contractors or public insurance adjusters. A good contractor or public insurance adjuster should spend the time to explain their ideas in detail transferring confidence to you that they are competently knowledgeable about the details of your claim. Someone who cares and is competent will be able to give you all your options and assist you to accomplish which recovery plan you choose. Be careful whom you hire, make sure who you decide to use is not only interested in their own gain, they should have a genuine concern for you and your family. Too often I find that property owners find themselves fighting with their insurer as well as the people they thought was there to help them. Nothing is better than doing your own background check with the government agencies holding their respective licenses as well as talking to clients that are local and have had a good experience with them. You can be sure if the person approaching you is not licensed he most likely will only add to your problems, one way or another. Inexperienced or unlicensed people can cause more harm with your insurer than help resulting in accusations of fraud or misrepresentations resulting in denials or even worse, prison.
Avoid phone calls to your insurer, do everything in writing. You should insist on a written log of communication with your insurer. Sometimes aggressive adjusters will misinform people to generate smaller claim payouts while making a name for themselves with their employer. You cannot ever prove something was said if you relayed on a phone call relationship. If you find yourself talking on the phone for any reason follow up with a letter or email memorializing the conversation. I would go as far as to always mention in your letters or emails that the purpose of a written log of communication is to document your claim process. This sometimes translates to, “don’t misinform, lie, or mislead me”. Even then some adjuster won’t get the hint and will communicate bad information that later can be used against the carrier to establish what is known as bad faith, unfair claims handling, or breach of contract. All of these are potential behavioral titles a lawyer may label your experiences with your insurer. Go as far as getting the claims managers’ email and carbon copy them in all your communications. You don’t want to ever assume the worst of an insurer but insurance claims are legal matters surrounding contract law and should be treated as such for maximum recovery of insurance benefits.
Know your contract duties, you should read the portion of your policy know as, “duties of the insured” that’s you! This is where I see things go terribly wrong. It’s never your insurer’s duty to find damage after a loss but all of us just call in the claim and hope for the best. Any insurance loss expert will tell you it’s always the duty of the policyholder to identify damages and then submit them to your insurer (in writing). Because property owners are unaware of their duties the insurer sends out their own company adjuster to do your job for you. So never become a sitting duck and know your duties, you’ll have better results this way. Remember that insurance is not too enrich you rather make you whole. The way I answer in a court proceeding when I am asked isn’t true your job is to recover the most amount of money possible for your client or your construction company, I always answer the following; My job is to protect the resale value of the home. Your insurance company should only pay for the damages, not dictate what’s wrong or how to fix it a problem. You should hire the best in the fields you have a need from contents matters, fabrics, temporary housing and structural issues you will never be fully compensated if you don’t understand your duties and rely on your insurer for help and guidance.
Keep in mind the people you decide to contract with becomes liable for the work that gets done despite whose repair suggestions are executed. In other words, if your contractor cuts corners to save money whether it was done on his own or directed by your insurer he will become liable no matter who influenced him even if the contractor doesn’t realize it. Be careful what you sign and with who. It’s common after losses your insurance company will bombard you and even make you think you have to use different service they suggest. I cant emphases enough that you find your own services; anyone they recommend will not be prone to exposing you to all your options, just ones that help them and your insurance company. Find your own help and make sure they are insurance savoy but not an insurance vendor. Most importantly make sure the companies are independent critical thinkers not easily pushed around.
Public insurance adjusters are needed to balance out the claims process. Because people are disadvantaged when it comes to filing a claim, a public adjuster’s carrier is to understand insurance policies and procedures. They are trained and educated just like the adjusters whom your insurer employees. Public insurance adjusters use their knowledge to make sure a full recovery is accomplished and does not try to control cost; rather identifies insurable issues and allots a fair market value to compensate the insured for their losses. A lot of people are unaware they can hire their own insurance adjuster. There is always a fee for this kind of service but always is worth the charge. A local public insurance adjuster should be willing to meet with you and explain the process and qualify your problem-free of charge, some claims are more difficult than others. If the public insurance adjuster feels the claim is simple he should provide you some good free advice with the hopes you will consider him for future losses or use him as a referral source to your friends and family members who find themselves having to deal with an insurance claim.
For now, I wish you good luck with the problems you face and may God continue to bless your recovery efforts.