08 Nov Advice for Packaging Insurance Claims
Advice for Packaging Insurance Claims (From an Attorney)
The primary function of a public adjuster or attorney handling an insurance claim is to present the carrier with a clear and complete package of the insureds covered damages. Understanding how to utilize Xactimate and being able to support the full scope of remediation are highly useful, but not the only, components of this job. If you are representing policyholders, here are two tips for effectively packaging your claims:
Present all Categories of Damage
Packaging an insurance claim requires an understanding of all coverages afforded by the policy and presenting all damages that fall within them. Often overlooked categories of damage that frequently should be presented include: Debris Removal; Claim Expense; Business Income and Extra Expense; Loss of Use; and Personal Property. Accounting for as many categories as possible is particularly critical when the carrier wont agree to the full scope of the structural remediation – including O&L and O&P. Recovering under these often overlooked categories is a great way to reduce the amount the insured will have to come out of pocket for this potential shortfall.
Being talented at spotting covered damage doesn’t necessarily mean that your opinion will carry weight with the carrier. Oftentimes, particularly on difficult claims, the adjuster will only consider the opinion of an expert with a robust reputation in the industry. Supporting your damage estimate with a report from a third-party expert, engineer or otherwise, can make all the difference in getting an adjuster to re-evaluate his or her claim position. Developing a roster of reliable and affordable experts is critical if you are going to be serving as a public adjuster. Remember, many policies contain additional coverage for investigative costs, so always be sure to include your expert fees in the claim package.
For those attending and interested in learning more about packaging your claims, I will be presenting a full class on this topic at the IMG Expo in New Orleans. I hope you stop by and I look forward to seeing you there.