September, 2012

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Advocate Public Adjustment Becoming Homeowner’s Best Advocate

Advocate Public Adjustment Becoming Homeowners Best Advocate

Public Adjuster Becoming Homeowners Best Advocate by Rita Charleston – Courier Times Correspondent

You’ve paid you insurance premiums regularly and on time. Therefore, when something goes wrong in your home and you must put in a claim; your insurance company will be right on top of the matter and ready to take care of you, right?

Probably, but not necessarily, say the men and women, known as public adjusters, who are fast becoming a homeowner’s best advocate. They claim they can often help property owners obtain a higher settlement than they might otherwise get from their insurance carriers.

Often, says Richard C. Adams of Public Adjusters Associates in Bensalem, homeowners may find their insurance companies to be perfectly reasonable and fair in settling a claim. However, since this is not always the case, a homeowner would be wise to contact a public adjuster.

Joe Hogan, of Action Adjustment Services in Croydon, says in some cases homeowners are not even aware of what they are covered for nor to what extent. “The insurance policy is written in a very vague way.” Hogan says. “In fact, if you read your policy you will find that every few pages contradict the ones before. So often you are trusting that you will be correctly informed by your insurance company, but that is not always so. It is not that they’re out to intentionally deceive you, but insurance companies are out to make a profit, and the more they minimize a claim, the more their profit.

So a homeowner has to know how to protect his / her own interest when property damage occurs to their home.” Insurance agents have what they call a loss ratio, Adams explains. “For example, an agent may write $100,000 worth of premiums in one year, and that $100,000 worth of premiums may create $50,000 in losses. The insurance company is happy with that and may give a bonus to the agent writing the policies. However, the following year, the same agent may write the same amount of premiums, but somebody’s house burns down, producing $200,000 worth of losses. The insurance company is then unhappy and will not give a bonus, but may not let that agent write insurance for the company anymore.”

Therefore, Adams says, the insurance agent has a direct interest in any claim and any claim payment. People have to remember that.

“I don’t want to paint a completely negative picture,” he says, “and I honestly feel most companies and company people are out there to do something for the homeowner. But that doesn’t always mean a claim will be settled to the homeowner’s satisfaction.”

According to Adams, when insurance adjusters come on the scene after a loss – be a fire, theft, vandalism or an act of God – their primary function is to reduce the company’s total exposure to a claim in order to save the company money. Public adjusters, however, have the opposite goal.

For a fee (usually based on a percentage of the settlement), the public adjuster will prepare a detailed estimate of your damage, meet with the insurance company’s adjuster and try to negotiate a settlement. “Approximately 98 to 99 percent of the claims we handle are resolved to the homeowner’s satisfaction,” Hogan claims. “Sometimes, our opinion and the opinion of the insurance company varies so much that a case has to go through arbitration, meaning the insurance company has to assign an independent appraiser to the case. We do the same so that both insurance appraisers can objectively examine the property. Then, if they still can’t agree on the cost of the damage, the insurance claim is submitted to an umpire who rules in a manner similar to binding arbitration. The bottom line is that we look to help people recover and put their property back into a position where it can be repaired.”

Adams says his company will go out to investigate and confer with a homeowner on virtually any kind of loss, from accidental water discharges to wind storm losses to theft claims and so on.

All in all, the experts agree, education is the best insurance policy any homeowner can have. Read every “exclusion” clause in your policy and understand that an insurance adjuster may not always be your best friend.

Advocate Public Adjustment is your true advocate in Property Damage Insurance Claims. We are your public adjuster and we are very competitive with our fees. Call Us Today before signing with any other public adjustment firm. You will be glad that you did…

 

Advocate Public Adjustment Serving South Eastern Pennsylvania as Your Public Adjuster

Berks County Public Adjuster, Chester County Public Adjuster, Delaware County Public Adjuster, Lehigh County Public Adjuster, Montgomery County Public Adjuster, Northampton County Public Adjuster

Call Today No Obligation FREE Policy Evaluation 215.364.4546

 

 

Rick Kinney

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Understand Your Policy…repetitive seepage is not covered

Water damage that has been occurring over weeks, months or years is specifically excluded in all newer insurance policies. However you still may have an older policy type which would cover repetitive seepage.

Advocate Public Adjustment is Your Advocate in Property Damage Insurance Claims. Call us first  215.364.4546 before calling your insurance company.

                             

by BILL McGINTY / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Updated Tuesday, September 18 at 12:01 AM

Marjohn Elyaderani’s back kitchen wall and part of the floor is rotted from water damage.

“I mean you can just stick your hand in there and peel out the wood, because it’s rotted and molded” said Marjohn, who bought the home new just 10 years ago. Fixing it is a big and noisy job. “Yeah, it’s a little aggravating.  They’re taking the house apart, upstairs and downstairs, so it’s not just this area,” he said.

Marjohn said she’s had water damage repaired in that same area once before. Luckily, Marjohn’s home warranty is still in effect this time around, or so she thought.

Pulte built the townhome and her Pulte warranty provider told her “water intrusion protection is only good for the first two years,” and because she fixed water damage in the area before with a non-Pulte approved repairman, the home warranty claim was denied.

At that point, Marjohn did what most of us would do—she filed a homeowner insurance claim with her homeowners’ insurance and surely they would cover it—right?

“I just expected a little support for either the insurance company or Pulte.  I mean I didn’t do anything,” said a frustrated Marjohn.

Marjohn’s insurance company, Cincinnati Insurance, sent out an engineer to inspect, and he wrote that the trim and the doors were “improperly installed,” so Cincinnati Insurance also denied the claim, saying the problem of seeping water went on for “weeks, months” or years and for that reason, was excluded.

“It’s frustrating, and it’s going to be expensive,” Marjohn said.

The New Channel 36 I-Team contacted North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, asking him, what are your options when everybody denies the claim?

“Sometimes, a lot of times, a person will hit a brick wall, and when that happens, you have to know your rights. First, it’s important to know that you have the right to appeal an insurance claim denial, so absolutely do that,” Goodwin said.  “Secondly, read your policy carefully so that you know exactly what’s covered before you make any claim. If you still run into a brick wall, then contact my office and we’ll get to the bottom of the problem.”

Based on advice from the Insurance Commissioner, Marjohn appealed her claim denial and she says Cincinnati Insurance is taking a second look at her case.

Cincinnati Insurance told News Channel 36 that it’s up to the policy holder to know what’s in your policy and that the company “covers all claims covered by the policy.”

In this case, we’ve learned it’s sometimes more important to know what’s not covered in your policy.  If you have questions, ask your provider—doing so when you make a claim is too late.

If you have questions regarding insurance policy coverage issues as to what is or what isn’t covered based on the policy type you have purchased then call Advocate Public Adjustment, LLC. We are your public adjuster that is here to look after your interest. We are your advocate. Just because you have property damage doesn’t mean that you may be covered under the policy of insurance you have. Never call the insurance company first. They do not want to pay you and they have experts / professionals looking after their interest shouldn’t you!

Advocate Public Adjustment is your true advocate in Property Damage Insurance Claims. We are your public adjuster and we are very competitive with our fees. Call Us Today before signing with any other public adjustment firm. You will be glad that you did…

 

Bucks County Public Adjuster, Berks County Public Adjuster, Chester County Public Adjuster, Delaware County Public Adjuster, Lehigh County Public Adjuster, Montgomery County Public Adjuster, Northampton County Public Adjuster

Call Today No Obligation FREE Policy Evaluation 215.364.4546

 

 

 

Rick Kinney

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Severe Storm Approaching the Philadelphia Area

Severe Storm Approaching the Philadelphia Area tomorrow that may produce wind damage, hail, and major amounts of rain.

A storm system, still young over the Deep South Sunday, will head towards the East Coast. It will bring a good deal of rain and high winds to nearly a dozen states over the next few days. Philadelphia, PA could be looking at a couple of inches of precipitation by Wednesday and sustain wind damage and hail damage.

Rainfall deficits across the region differ significantly. Including Sunday, Philadelphia’s rainfall since January 1st is about ten inches below normal. It’s a result of typical summer rainfall that can be selective, especially in thunderstorms. Parts of Pennsylvania have been hit a few times since July 1st with flooding rains, Philadelphia escape with quick moving storms.

A widespread rainfall may change the deficits a bit this upcoming work week. A storm system is gathering energy and moisture over the Ark-La-Tex region into Monday and will head up the Appalachian Range, picking up an abundance of tropical moisture along with it.

For Philadelphia and surrounding region, clouds increase Monday with mild temperatures. Showers should arrive late Monday night, making for a wet commute Tuesday morning. During the day Tuesday, it’s feast or famine, as determined by the computer models. Showers could be on and off throughout the day, or come to an end and become isolated until nightfall. The latter result may feature a break or two of sun. Strong southerly winds bring in higher levels of humidity.

A squall line of thunderstorms is forecast to approach the city in the evening, with the timing to be determined. As of Sunday night, the forecast models have the timing between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. Tuesday night. This squall line will bring heavy rain and gusty, possibly damaging winds to Long Island. Seeing this possibility, The Storm Prediction Center has placed most of South Eastern Pennsylvania under a slight risk for severe weather wit a Torcom of 4.

As always, the storms may approach the city, hit the southerly winds and stable marine air, and die out.

Showers lingering into early Wednesday, but so far, Thursday and Friday look great with seasonable temperatures.

If you sustain property damage in the following counties Bucks County Public Adjuster, Berks County Public Adjuster, Chester County Public Adjuster, Delaware County Public Adjuster, Philadelphia County Public Adjuster, Lehigh County Public Adjuster, and Northampton County Public Adjuster  then call Advocate Public Adjustment for a free policy review and insurance claim consultation.

 

 

Rick Kinney

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