When Henry Quintanila's property went up in flames, he relied on his insurance company. Damage to three rental units left him without his usual income and repairs worth thousands of dollars.
"I had to get the plumber. I had to get the electrician. I had to get the permit from the city," he said. Quintanila wasn't happy with the less than $30,000 payout his insurance company offered, so he
contacted public insurance adjuster Anthony Odeh. "It's up to Henry to make sure he's getting the right amount of money," Odeh said.
Odeh said it's a common misconception that your insurance company is responsible for assessing your damage. "I think it was a good gesture on the insurance company's behalf, but at the end of the day, it's not the insurance company's responsibility to protect the resale value of the home," Odeh said. Unlike a company adjuster who works solely in the interest of the insurer, a public adjuster is employed by the property owner and fights solely for the property owner's rights.
"They do bring an expertise that a consumer may feel is necessary to get comfort in what their company is offering them in settlement of their claim," said Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon.
But Donelon warned that unlicensed adjusters can cost property owners more money, as proven after Hurricane Katrina.
"A good public adjuster will assess damage at no cost," said state Rep. Damon Baldone. "They'll meet with a client, look over policies (and) determine there's something there before they even get involved with a client." With a public adjuster's help, instead of getting $30,000 from his insurance company, Quintanila got more than $53,000, plus $1,500 in lost rent.
"Regular citizens, we don't know how insurance really works," Quintanila said. "And the way I feel like now, I feel like they just just give you this money and you have to be happy and satisfied with what they give you."
Link: Insurance Adjuster Resources
Copyright 2010 by WDSU.com
The typical fire policy contains hundreds of provisions and stipulations - various forms and riders that are constantly changing and many complex details about your requirements in case of loss. Most people do not know or understand these policy provisions - and most do not realize that the burden of proof is on them, the policyholder. Most insurance company representatives actually prefer to work with an experienced accredited public insurance adjuster rather than an inexperienced insured.
An accredited public insurance adjuster not only has your confidence, but also that of company adjusters who recognize that they are dealing with a professional. Take advantage of our FREE Community Service and have your policy reviewed. Schedule your policy review today!!!
Having your own personal claims adjuster will ensure the utmost good faith would be adhered to in your insurance investigation. He or she will contact the insurance company for you and schedule the investigation and our team will take on all communications throughout the life of your claim. Our goal is to move this claim through their system as quickly as possible.
Initially an investigation conducted by the insurance company adjuster, responsible to his employer, is designed to identify fraudulent claims, moral hazards, third parties with insurable interests and opportunities to minimize your settlement. Many of these concerns and questions have already been addressed during Metro’s initial scope that is scheduled within 48 hours of your meeting with our representative. Our team will secure all documentation, damage repair and replacement estimates and organize a properly prepared “Proof of Loss”. Every claim and insurance company is different and therefore difficult to estimate how long it will take to process your claim.
We ask for your patience throughout the process. You will be kept current of all aspects. Internally we are negotiating the best settlement for you and you will be copied on all written correspondence used to expedite your settlement.
When damage to property or a personal casualty event occurs due to crime like vandalism, theft or accidental damage occurs from negligence of old plumbing, bathtub overflow, leaking toilet or shower; First things first when filing your property claim. If a crime has been committed, call the police. Be as cooperative as possible with local authorities such as police, rescue, or the fire department. Be sure to get a police report and document all the names of the officials that you come into contact with.
Next step is to mitigate any future loss or damage. This may require temporary repairs from a plumber if you are not handy with leaky pipes. At this point, it is always best to keep calm when considering your next steps. Good documentation, damage estimates, determining actual cash value and photographs are the homeowner’s responsibility and mandatory when filing a property insurance claim.
Now would be a good time to call your public adjuster, prior to your first phone call to your insurance company, at least to understand your policy coverage’s.
When working with Metro, you will first meet with a professional representative that will spend quality time reviewing your policy with you using an experienced eye to identify coverage limitations, policy exclusions and legal language that your insurance company may use as leverage to deny your claim. Your Metro claim advocate will conduct an inspection of the damage using a checklist and detailing damage you may have missed without a trained eye for consequential damage caused by your direct peril. With this information, together we can determine if you have a claim worth investigating and you may choose to engage our services at this time.
Call 215-909-4928 for 24/7 Emergency Service!!!
I am a License and Bonded Public Adjuster in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. My mission is to walk you down the path to the American Dream of homeownership and much more...