Our office receives calls weekly from policyholders who are upset, confused and frustrated with their fire insurance claims. While some people are fed up with the insurance claim process and are ready to hire a public adjuster, others take advantage of the tips and tactics we provide on how to settle their claims without hired professional help.
Many of the issues we hear about consistently pertain to recoverable depreciation with the personal property portion of a fire claim. More specifically, contents claims for smoke and fire damage are often mismanaged and the topic of recoverable depreciation can be the first sign of trouble for the policyholder.
Last week we received a call at our public adjuster office in Tampa. An electrical fire severely damaged the caller’s home about 7 months prior to her contacting us. She had attempted to handle the fire claim through the insurance claim process with little luck. The insurance company had only paid a small portion of the claim and the caller was now being required to submit an extraordinary amount of paperwork for the remaining part of the claim to be considered.
There were many issues that caused to claim to be at a standstill and recoverable depreciation was one of the issues. Upon first review, our public adjuster felt the insurance company applied a depreciation rate that was higher than needed. The caller also relinquished control of her personal property early on in the fire claim process, having allowed her insurance company to inventory and set prices for her belongings. This set her claim on a downward trajectory that is all too common. These two issues contributed to some of the issues she was experiencing up to that point.
Recoverable depreciation is a dollar amount or settlement portion that the insurance company withholds until the homeowner or business owner can prove he or she purchased or repaired damaged items associated with the insurance claim.
Insurance companies use a two-step payment process when paying a claim. They will issue partial payment based on many factors then tender the remaining balance at a later date. Those terms and conditions are typically negotiable.
As public insurance adjusters, we know how to navigate the complexities of the fire claim process. Experience and expertise is necessary to avoid missteps and mistakes that will lead to claim delays, denied claims and low or withheld settlement dollars. If you have a fire claim you should at least consult with a trusted public adjuster prior to submitting anything to or agreeing with your insurance company’s adjuster.
Here are tips for getting your recoverable depreciation and personal property claim paid as quickly as possible in the event of a near or total loss. These tips are applicable during the fire insurance claim process, or for water damage insurance claims, roof damage insurance claims and all other claim types.
Using an experienced public insurance adjuster can make a significance difference in valuing and proactively handling a fire insurance claim as well as avoiding preventable delays surrounding recoverable depreciation. A well-managed and substantiated claim means a quicker and larger settlement for the claimant.
Contact us with any questions you may have about recoverable depreciation in the fire insurance claim process or for any other insured claim type. We have public adjusters in Tampa, Houston and throughout many other states in cities ready to answer your questions. We’re available 24/7 by calling (800) 572-7914.
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