Top 5 Types of Claims and How to Handle Them as a Public Adjuster
What’s up, public adjusters!
In this week’s blog post, you will be cruising along the top five types of insurance claims and little tricks to help you handle them.
Because let me tell you, the secret to success as a public adjuster is to know how to best handle each claim type.
Here are a few key takeaways:
👉 The trickiest part about water damage claims is determining whether the damage is pre-existing.
👉 The key to success is educating the policyholders about the benefits of your services.
👉 A vandalism claim without a police report is like mashed potatoes without potatoes.
Ok, folks, now that you know what you will be getting into, let’s improve your claim workflow.
1. Water Damage Claims
Public adjusters mainly avoid water damage claims because of a popular misconception.
Water damage claims have a rumor following them that they require more work and have a lower value cap.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Yes, there is a $10000 cap, but that cap is reserved for mold.
The cap includes testing for mold (you need to conduct a test before the insurance company signs mold damage), cleaning, and a clearance test.
However, the mold limit does not include the flooring, repainting, or drywall your client might have to replace.
You will have to argue with the insurance company on these points.
Finally, there is another issue with water damage claims.
You often have to determine if the damage is pre-existing.
Therefore, the first step with water damage is to always interview the client, and ask when they first noticed the damage. Also, ask what they did about it.
If they say they first noticed the damage six months ago and didn’t do anything about it, you walk out of that one.
It is the client’s responsibility to mitigate the damage.
If they don’t do anything, that’s negligence, and if you try to get a claim like that paid, you are putting public adjusters in a bad spotlight.
Not to mention it borders fraud.
2. Educating the Homeowner is Key With Fire Damage Claims
The thing with fire damage claims is that property owners often think they will receive the policy limit anyway so they don’t need a public adjuster.
You might have noticed that if you ever went door-knocking after a fire event. People are convinced they will get the maximum value for their claim.
The thing is, policyholders often don’t get the policy limit.
Because the insurance company still sends their insurance adjuster to estimate the damage.
Also, insurance companies tend to forget about additional living expenses or give less than average a family might need during a repair.
So, the trick with fire damage claims is to educate the policyholders about the benefits of your services.
You should explain why they need your help and then do your best to get them the money they need from the insurance company.
3. Approach Hurricane Claims Differently as a Public Adjuster
In Florida, we are still dealing with numerous Hurricane Ian claims.
You have heard hurricane claims put on the same shelf as wind claims, but I would argue they are different.
I think it is vital to understand the difference between these two types of claims for public adjusters.
Firstly, a hurricane is often a state emergency, so you don’t have to worry about a date of loss.
Secondly, the issue with hurricane claims is getting the insurance to pay for a larger scope than they deem necessary.
With wind damage from a storm, you might have a few damaged roof tiles. But with hurricanes, you often have some flooding, and then the client has to repaint walls, replace the flooring, and often replace furniture.
Insurance companies tend to stay away from the interior and content, but the policyholders still have to pay for it.
4. Wind and Hail Claims
The only difference between hurricane claims and other wind or hail damage claims is the date of loss. With wind damage claims, you need to identify the date of loss.
It can often happen that a client notices roof damage and gives you a call, but they don’t know the exact date of loss.
Most people don’t go on their roofs daily, right?
What you do then, and you might have learned this from our public adjusting video course, you try to identify the date of loss.
Interview the client and ask them about recent storms. For example, they might say there was a heavier storm a few months ago.
So you check the weather data, and sure enough, you find a storm occurred around the time your client described.
All that’s left is to estimate whether the damage really happened due to the storm or the roof is old, and your client hasn’t maintained it well.
You might ask roofing experts to help you a bit, but once you are confident the claim has enough proof, you start working on it.
5. Finally, Vandalism Claims
When I started as a public adjuster, I mostly handled vandalism claims.
And, as with most other types, the process is almost the same.
However, there is one crucial catch.
A vandalism claim requires a police report.
Without a police report, you do not have a vandalism insurance claim.
So, if you are about to sign a vandalism claim with a client, make sure they filed a police report.
Why is This Post Important for Public Adjusters?
To be successful as a public adjuster, you should know the policy like the back of your hand and understand the little tricks to move it forward faster.
The faster you can move the claim process forward and get the client paid, the faster you get your profit and the more you can invest in your business.
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?