The Benefits of Pre-Loss Property Insurance Claim Preparation and Disaster Planning
Some of our most savvy clients understand just how important it is to have an experienced Public Adjuster on their team even before a property loss occurs. Some of our clients have been extremely fortunate to never have sustained a property loss but have nonetheless educated themselves to prepare or have heard the horror stories of others who have endured the insurance claim process. At Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjusters, we’ve created a program just for this purpose called: Disaster First Recovery Services
Here’s how it works: Last week, I along with Public Adjuster Mike Stabile inspected a large oceanfront condominium building. But before inspecting the property, an analysis of their insurance policies was performed. First, it became very clear the client did not have certified & complete copies of their insurance policies, including their flood policy, liability policy, all-risk policy and wind policy. Of even greater concern was the fact that the insured had purchased Law & Ordinance Coverage but the policy did not specifically state the amount of converage. Big deal, right? In this case, the difference was $8,250,000, which is a pretty significant difference!
We also reviewed a recent Brokers Inspection Report which specifically stated: “the building was found to be in good maintenance and condition. The roof covering was in good condition. There is good private fire protection. The building envelope is good.” While the Broker Report can be helpful, it does leave room for interpretation as Merriam Webster defines “good” as: “of high quality, but not excellent quality.” Since this building has been meticulously maintained over the years due to a very competent property manager and Association Board, the difference between “good” versus “excellent” especially in the eyes of an insurance company or an adjuster representative who may one day have to inspect this property completely or partially destroyed can be an important distinction should a claim arise. How will the insurance adjuster know the pre-loss condition of the property? How will depreciation calculations be applied? Who will provide detailed pre-loss photographs? These are issues every property owner and Association Board should consider.
Based on our findings, the review meeting with our client was extremely productive. Aside from any appraisal reports or insurance valuation assessments completed by an insurance agent or broker, a pre-loss property assessment by a trained public adjuster who knows exactly what to look can help avoid any potential claim pitfalls or arguments regarding coverage and pre-existing conditions of a property that might arise when a claim is filed. Based on the everyday battles and past issues we have dealt with over the last 30 years in negotiating with property insurance companies, I feel safe in saying that the steps you take before the claim may be the most important factors in getting future claims quickly processed and fairly settled.
Remember, the issues above don’t just apply to disaster situations. They can apply to even the simplest of claims. If you haven’t taken advantage of our pre-loss inspection services why not give us a call to discuss or read more about it at fill in our schedule form at Disaster First Recovery Services.
If you have questions regarding any property insurance claim related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster insurance claim experts.