The Claims Group

Advice - Top 5 tips

1. Take an active role in your claim:

Whether it is a commercial loss or a residential loss, do not rely on the insurance company to tell you what or how much they owe you. You know more about your property than anyone, therefore you should be involved in determining the amount of your claim.

 

2. Have your own team:

While this is your claim, it is likely that your insurance company will hire its own adjuster(s) and consultants to determine the amount of your loss. Taking an active role in your claim means your damages will be supported by records and the opinions of your trusted advisors, contractors and consultants, not the insurance company’s experts.

 

3. Request payment of all undisputed amounts:

There are undisputed damages in every claim that should be recognized immediately after a loss occurs. The insurance company owes you those amounts early on. This is important because it takes time to adjust and settle insurance claims and you should not feel extra pressure in a claim by the failure of an insurance company to pay you all undisputed amounts as soon as possible after a loss. Those funds should be removed from the negotiation table immediately.

4. Ask the “hard” questions early:

Find out early if your claim process will be smooth or if there will be substantial differences of opinion in what is owed under your policy. Ask the adjuster if the insurance company will withhold “depreciation” from your claim. Ask if you must purchase the same personal property items that you owned before the loss in order to be indemnified. Ask your adjuster if the claim will be adjusted based on your contractor’s experience and repair estimate or their consultant’s estimate of repair. These three questions alone will give you a good indication of how your insurance company will handle your claim.

 

5. Conduct your own due diligence:

This is most likely the first time you have ever been through this process. Know and understand all of the players and all of your options before moving too far forward. Depending on the type and size of your loss, there may be between five and ten people you have never met before all engaged to determine the amount of your damages. Finding out for yourself who works for whom will be of great value to you during the adjustment of your claim.

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