How to Handle Freeze Damage Insurance Claims; A Guide for Public Adjusters
As a public adjuster, you play a crucial role in helping policyholders navigate the often complex and confusing process of filing an insurance claim.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the key steps you should take when handling freeze damage claims.
By following these guidelines, you can help your clients receive the financial support they need to recover from freeze-related losses.
Here are the main points you will read in this post:
👉 Freeze damage claims are essentially water damage claims, and as such, they require a thorough understanding of water damage mitigation and restoration.
👉 The freeze damage claim process can be complicated, involving multiple parties and documentation requirements.
👉 Public adjusters can help policyholders navigate the claims process, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and advocate for their client’s interests.
👉 To successfully handle freeze damage claims, public adjusters need to have a deep knowledge of insurance policies and the claims process, as well as, strong communication and negotiation skills.
This guide will be especially helpful if you are a licensed public adjuster in Texas, where ice storms and freezes happen almost every winter.
But even if you are working in Florida, you will want to read this because freeze claims are essentially water damage claims!
Understanding Freeze Damage Claims
To effectively handle freeze damage claims, it’s vital to clearly understand freeze damage and how it differs from other types of insurance claims.
Freeze damage occurs when water freezes and expands, causing pipes, fixtures, and other water-containing systems to burst or crack.
This can lead to significant water damage, including flooding, mold growth, and structural damage.
In a way, freeze damage claims are essentially water damage claims, and as such, they require a thorough understanding of water damage mitigation and restoration.
You might hear Vince talking about water damage claims often, and that’s because he used to work many water claims when he was starting as a public adjuster.
To identify freeze damage, it’s important to look for signs such as bulging or cracked pipes, wet insulation, or water stains on ceilings or walls.
It is also essential to review insurance policies carefully to understand the specific coverage limits, exclusions, and deductibles that may apply.
Freeze damage is typically covered under standard water damage coverage in insurance policies. Unless there are exclusions, so carefully check the policy and contact the desk adjuster about endorsements.
How Public Adjusters Should Navigate the Freeze Damage Claims Process
To be successful, public adjusters must navigate this process effectively, document losses thoroughly, file the claim promptly, and coordinate with all parties involved.
One of the first steps in the claims process is to inspect the property and document losses thoroughly.
This includes taking photographs or videos of the damage, creating a detailed inventory of damaged items, and collecting repair estimates from contractors.
It’s also important to keep detailed records of all communications with insurance adjusters and other parties involved in the claims process.
After documenting losses, you must file the claim on time.
Insurance policies typically have specific deadlines for filing claims, and missing these deadlines, can result in denied claims or reduced compensation.
Public adjusters must work closely with policyholders to ensure they submit the necessary documentation on time and complete the required forms accurately.
How Public Adjusters Can Help
Public adjusters can play a critical role in helping policyholders navigate the freeze damage claims process, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and advocate for their client’s interests.
To be successful in handling freeze damage claims, public adjusters need to have a deep knowledge of insurance policies and the claims process, as well as strong communication and negotiation skills.
One of the ways public adjusters can help is by educating policyholders about their rights and coverage options.
Many policyholders may not be familiar with the claims process or their insurance policy language, and public adjusters can help them understand what they’re entitled to under their policies.
Public adjusters can also review insurance policies and identify coverage gaps or exclusions that may affect their clients’ claims, ensuring their clients receive fair and adequate compensation for their losses.
Another way public adjusters can help is by conducting a comprehensive damage assessment and documentation.
This includes identifying all damages and losses, documenting them thoroughly, and creating a detailed inventory of damaged items. Public adjusters should also work closely with restoration contractors to ensure all repairs are completed correctly and on time.
Finally, public adjusters can negotiate with insurance adjusters to secure fair compensation for their clients.
This involves advocating for their client’s interests throughout the claims process and working to ensure that all damages are fully covered under their policies.
By effectively negotiating with insurance adjusters, public adjusters can help their clients receive the financial support they need to recover from freeze-related losses.
Finally, Educate Your Clients About Mitigation
While we are talking about educating the policyholder, you should also take your time to explain to them the importance of mitigation.
Mitigation is listed under duties after a loss. So you will have a difficult time settling a claim if you cannot show any mitigating efforts.
On the other hand, you will have a very good chance of success if you can show photos or videos of your client mitigating the damages.
This is the first thing with any water damage claim. Without mitigation, the damage will quickly spread and increase the cost of repairs.
As a public adjuster representing the insured, you have to prove they mitigated the damages.
And what is the best first step in mitigating water damage? Turn the water off!
Policyholders should first shut off their water, start drying it out, do whatever they can, and then call a public adjuster.
It’s time to take full control of your claims. Of your business. Of your life.
A community can help you get there faster. It can offer support during these tough times. Inspiration. Guidance.
Together, we can get you to where you want to be.
What are you waiting for?