Dottrio proudly announces the addition of Public Adjusting services in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Should you or someone you know experience a property damage loss in MD, DC, PA, or VA we can assist you in obtaining the maximum settlement available under the terms of your insurance policy. Dottrio is a locally owned and operated business with an extensive network of pre-screened Contractors, Contents Restoration Companies, and Temporary Housing Vendors. We truly are the one call you need to make when you suffer a property damage loss at your home or business. Our extensive experience allows us to quickly evaluate your claim and determine the appropriate course of action. Whether your loss is caused by Fire, Water, Wind, Hail, or some other peril we are here to help.
Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at: 1-844-dottrio (1-844-368-8746) for immediate assistance.
Our A+ rating from the BBB speaks to our commitment to treat each clients loss as if it were our own.
To learn more about Dottrio please visit our profiles at:
Contact us now for expert assistance on your property loss.
At Dottrio our extensive experience makes us the top choice for Maryland residents and businesses who find themselves with storm damage as a result of the strong winds and large hail we have encountered in the area recently. All potential clients will receive an address specific storm report for their particular property. The storm report serves as the first piece of evidence needed for a successful insurance claim. Should we be able to determine that recent hail or wind was capable of producing damage at your address we will assist you in recovering the maximum amount allowed under the terms of your insurance policy. We can even refer you to licensed and qualified Contractors with A+ ratings from the BBB to perform any necessary repairs. In order to request your address specific storm report please utilize our contact form and type "storm report" in the section marked "how can we help you?". Contact Us
2015 Maryland Hail Storm impact locations include:
If you live in one of the above areas contact us asap for your address specific storm report. The best part about working with Dottrio is you can still hire your own Contractor once we help you recover the maximum amount allowed under the terms of your insurance policy. If you prefer we will also provide you with pre-screened Contractors with A+ ratings from the BBB.
Working on fire claims as a Public Adjuster opens ones eyes to just how many dangers exist in our homes. Typically house fires are caught and extinguished before they result in extensive structural damages to a home. That doesn't mean these smaller fires aren't life changing experiences. In many cases the responding fire department will cause extensive damage to your home in an effort to prevent the spread of the fire and to preserve life. This damage in many cases will push what at first glance appears to be a small fire into a six figure loss. Your insurance company will in most cases immediately send out Mitigation & Restoration Contractors along with Housing and Contents specialists to "assist" them with your loss. The key point here is that this group of companies is brought in to assist your insurer with the loss. The insurers team of companies work for them on an ongoing basis and get lots of work from your insurer. These companies would like to keep that constant stream of work coming their way. The best way for them to guarantee that they will remain on the insurers preferred vendor list is to perform their tasks with the insurers best interests in mind. As a property owner it is important for you to remember that what is in the insurers best interest is not usually the same as what is in your best interest. Your homeowners policy most likely allows for you to be restored to a "pre-loss" condition which means the band-aid fixes suggested by your insurer and their preferred vendors are less than what you are entitled to. The insurer is confident that they will generally pay less than they owe on the vast majority of claims. The insurance policy is a "Contract of Adhesion" and it is written by your insurers team of lawyers to protect their best interests. In other words the insurer writes the terms of the policy (contract) and you have to agree to their terms in order to receive coverage from the insurer. Most homeowners have no idea that the the burden of proving a loss is their responsibility. This is exactly the way insurers like it. If you don't know that you are supposed to prove the amount of your loss you are very unlikely to be successful in obtaining what you are owed under the terms of your policy. In addition to the policy working against you the insurer stacks the deck by bringing in all of the previously mentioned "experts" who will tell you they are working for you when in fact that is not at all what they are doing. If these vendors attempted to represent your best interests their relationship with your insurer would quickly evaporate. Most homeowners have no idea how to level the playing field. Most homeowners have no idea what a Public Adjuster is or that they should hire their own Contractor and not use the insurers Contractor until it is too late. It is also important that when choosing a Contractor you hire someone who has experience with insurance claims and is capable of working well with your Public Adjuster. Common Google searches in fire losses often come days, weeks, or months after the insurer has begun to show its true colors. Terms such as: Insurer denied my claim, Insurer underpaying fire claim, insurance claim help/assistance, and should I hire a Public Adjuster?, are usually entered into the search box after issues arise. If you are thinking about filing an insurance claim the best thing you can do is have it handled from beginning to end by an expert. Call a Public Adjuster before you call your insurance company. Don't sign anything with the providers suggested by your insurer. Always keep in mind that while the insurance adjuster may be a nice person they have duties and performance expectations placed upon them by your insurer that conflict with your best interests.
In Maryland, unlike in many states, a licensed Public Adjuster can also be a licensed General Contractor. Dottrio is the first and only company in Maryland to hold both licenses. The advantage you receive as a Dottrio client with a Maryland fire loss is obvious. At Dottrio you get insurance policy and damage restoration expertise with a single phone call. Contact us today at 1-844-368-8746, firstname.lastname@example.org or click here: CONTACT US
We look forward to serving you.
A Dottrio client was recently impacted by a house fire in Prince Georges County, Maryland. The story had a happy ending due to a hero dog named Aries. Below is the post from the Washington Humane Society blog detailing the heroism of Aries. Please visit the Washington Humane Society website to donate funds in the name of Aries the Hero dog or consider adopting a pet yourself. They may just save your life.
Aries the Hero Pup
Denise and Shervonne couldn’t have predicted the importance of their visit to the Washington Humane Society. They certainly didn’t think that it would save their lives.
In May 2014, Denise and her daughter Shervonne stopped by our New York Avenue Adoption Center to meet a few dogs. A three-month-old lab mix had recently arrived, surrendered by a previous owner who could no longer care for her. Slightly nervous, but very friendly, the small pup soon stole the hearts of the two women, and found herself on her way home for good. Aries, as she was soon named, quickly became a loving and loved member of her new family.
Then on July 7, around 2:00 am, the unexpected happened. Denise was awoken by ear-splitting barking. Aries was barking as loud as she could! On alert, Denise feared there might be an intruder in the house. She looked up, and noticed that the ceiling vent was on fire!
Despite their panic, the family quickly gathered together and ran outside, just as all the lights and the power went out in the house. Aries’ keen detection and ability to alert her family gave them just enough time to escape the fire safely. Somehow her senses told her that something was wrong, and that she needed to alert her family. She was able to do this all before the smoke alarms ever went off. Blog - damage
Today, the family is in a temporary apartment, waiting for their house repairs to be complete. They are hoping to be back at home before the end of the year. Thanks to Aries, the family all made it out safely and Denise tells us that, “She is our hero, and brings us so much joy.”
While the family made it out OK, many of their belongings did not, including Aries’ new collection of toys. As a token of our appreciation, WHS is hosting a toy and treat drive for Aries and her friends still waiting for their forever homes. Stop by to visit our animals and drop off your gifts at our New York Avenue Adoption Center, located at 1201 New York Avenue, NE.
With your help, we will present Aries with a bountiful thank you gift for her heroism!
To donate visit the link below and click "donate" on the right side of the page.
■ An estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.
■ Clothes dryer fire incidence in residential buildings was higher in the fall and winter months, peaking in January at 11 percent.
■ Failure to clean (34 percent) was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.
■ Dust, fiber, and lint (28 percent) and clothing not on a person (27 percent) were, by far, the leading items first ignited in clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.
■ Fifty-four percent of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings were confined to the object of origin.
Property damage inspections by Dottrio's Maryland Public Adjusters frequently result in one common source of potential house fires; clogged dryer vents. As shown in the photos to the left lint and other debris can and will become trapped in dryer vents through normal use. The resulting air flow deficiency can quickly lead to overheating and ultimately to a fire. These fires can result in significant property damage, injuries, and even the loss of life. If you need more reason to inspect your dryer vent system consider the following: A dryer with lint and other debris in the vent system will take longer to dry clothes as moisture is unable to escape through the vent system. This blockage in the vent system will lead to increased utility bills and much longer drying cycles. These longer run cycles will result in a decreased life expectancy of your clothes dryer. Expensive utility bills, repairs, and appliance replacements are usually not high on the want list of most consumers. At Dottrio our first concern during a property damage inspection is your safety and avoiding further damage while identifying all problem areas in your home or business. Consultations and damage inspections are available to you and may just save a life. If you would like to have your home inspected for damage that would be covered under the terms of your insurance policy please contact us today at 1-844-368-8746.
Please feel free to download the report below to learn more about dryer vent fires and how to avoid them.
Damaging thunderstorms have produced large hail and strong winds this year leading to significant damage to roofs and siding on homes and businesses throughout Maryland. Most of this property damage will not be readily apparent to the untrained eye with the exception of tree falls. Dottrio - Maryland's Public Adjuster is now accepting claims in the following areas: LaPlata for a hailstorm that occurred on May 21, 2014 which brought 1.50" hail. Other areas with extensive hail damage include: Brookeville, MD (1.75" Hail - golf ball size); Woodbine, MD (1.75" Hail - golf ball size) Clarksville, MD (1.75" Hail - golf ball size); Highland, MD (1.75" Hail - golf ball size), Shady Side, MD (1.50" Hail - ping pong ball size), Solomons, MD (1.75" Hail - golf ball size), Glenelg, MD (1.25" Hail - half dollar size), and California, MD (1.25" Hail - half dollar size) for a hail storm that occurred on May 22, 2014. June 16, 2014 brought 1.25" hail to Myersville and Middletown. July 2, 2014 brought large hail to the areas of: Bel Air North 1.50", Forest Hill 1.25", Fallston 1.25", and Bel Air 1.25". July 3, 2014 brought large hail to Mt. Airy 1.75", and Green Valley/Monrovia 1.50". July 9, 2014 brought large 1.50" hail to New Windsor, MD. When your home is damaged it is important to choose the very best to assist you in the insurance recovery process. We assist you in the documentation of your damages by making sure that your insurance company pays you what they owe. Our credentials and extensive experience in the insurance restoration process provide property owners with the best possible chance at a successful insurance claim. Some insurance companies allow only six months to file a claim so it is important that you have your home inspected as soon as possible. Even if you don't see damage it may be there. Call us for your inspection before you call your insurance company. If you do not have sufficient damage you will not benefit from filing a claim so let an expert inspect your home before you make any decisions. The insurance claims process can be challenging to the point of being overwhelming for most property owners so a licensed Public Adjuster is your best bet in these situations. As the only Public Adjuster firm also licensed as a General Contractor we offer expertise no one else can match. We are confident in saying that we are the best credentialed firm specializing in storm damage in the State of Maryland. We look forward to serving you. Contact us immediately to schedule via the web at: http://www.dottrio.com/contact-us or call 1-844-368-8746 or email us at email@example.com We look forward to serving you.
We specialize in hail storm damage to roof and siding in Maryland.
If you are a Maryland resident or business owner chances are you have seen a significant amount of severe weather this year. A strong wind storm hammered the entire Mid-Atlantic region on March 12, 2014. On May 22, 2014 severe hail impacted the Howard County towns of Clarksville, Highland, Dayton, Glenelg, Fulton, Scaggsville, and North Laurel. This storm also impacted the Montgomery County towns of Brookeville, Damascus, and the Frederick County town of Green Valley. June 10, 2014 brought flash flooding to the Prince Georges County towns of Berwyn Heights and College Park leaving some property owners stunned with water exceeding five foot in depth in basements. June 16, 2014 saw large hail fall in the Myersville and Middletown communities in Frederick County, MD. June 18, 2014 brought strong winds to Prince Georges and Anne Arundel Counties causing trees to fall damaging numerous cars, homes, and businesses. So far July 3, 2014 has brought large golf ball sized hail to the Mount Airy area of Carroll County, MD with more storms expected tonight as well as on the Fourth of July. These events all lead to dangerous conditions and vast amounts of property damage. Hail damage and wind damage is often not evident to the untrained eye. Water damage is often concealed inside walls and under floors. The vast majority of homeowners and business owners are not aware of the damage to their property and will eventually pay for property repairs out of their own pockets. Insurance will cover most of these repairs but only if claims are filed in a timely manner and with sufficient proof of loss. You may not be aware but most policies will only cover your damage if you file a claim within a specified period of time. You are also likely unaware of the fact that you as the policyholder are responsible for proving your loss. The best way to determine if you have damage is to have your home inspected by a professional who specializes in insurance claims. An expert Public Adjuster will quickly be able to identify your damages, assess your coverage, and ensure a timely claim filing. If you think you may have been impacted by one of the weather events described above or have suffered property damage from some other covered peril such as: fire, water, burglary, or vandalism contact us today to schedule your inspection and consultation. You may be eligible to receive thousands of dollars owed to you by your insurance carrier.
We look forward to serving you.
If you are in or near one of the areas listed below you likely have damage to your roof, siding, and exterior trim. Fill out the contact form today to schedule a hail damage inspection.
Maryland Hail Reports 5/22/2014
1.00 HIGHLAND HOWARD MD QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED NEAR HIGHLAND. (LWX)
1.00 BRINKLOW MONTGOMERY MD QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED NEAR BROOKEVILLE. (LWX)
1.00 DAYTON HOWARD MD QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED NEAR DAYTON. (LWX)
1.00 GLENWOOD HOWARD MD QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED NEAR ROXBURY MILLS. (LWX)
1.00 DAMASCUS MONTGOMERY MD QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED IN FRIENDSHIP. (LWX)
1.00 MONROVIA FREDERICK MD QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED NEAR GREEN VALLEY. (LWX)
1.00 CHEWSVILLE WASHINGTON MD PENNY TO QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED IN MOUNT AETNA. (LWX)
1.00 HAGERSTOWN WASHINGTON MD (LWX)
1.25 HIGHLAND HOWARD MD QUARTER TO HALF DOLLAR SIZE HAIL REPORTED NEAR HIGHLAND. (LWX)
1.25 GLENELG HOWARD MD HALF DOLLAR SIZE HAIL REPORTED NEAR ROXBURY MILLS. (LWX)
1.75 SOLOMONS CALVERT MD GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL REPORTED AT SOLOMANS ISLAND. (LWX)
1.75 HIGHLAND HOWARD MD GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL REPORTED NEAR HIGHLAND. (LWX)
1.75 HIGHLAND HOWARD MD GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL. (LWX)
1.75 HIGHLAND HOWARD MD GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL REPORTED NEAR HIGHLAND. (LWX)
1.75 GLENELG HOWARD MD (LWX)
1.75 GLENELG MONTGOMERY MD GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL REPORTED IN BROOKEVILLE. (LWX)
Severe weather throughout the region today will lead to a great deal of storm damage to homes and businesses throughout Maryland. Most of this property damage will not be readily apparent to the untrained eye. Dottrio - Maryland's Public Adjuster is now accepting claims in the Brookeville, MD (1.75" Hail - golf ball size); Woodbine, MD (1.75" Hail - golf ball size) Clarksville, MD (1.75" Hail - golf ball size); Highland, MD (1.75" Hail - golf ball size), Shady Side, MD (1.50" Hail - ping pong ball size), Solomons, MD (1.75" Hail - golf ball size), Glenelg, MD (1.25" Hail - half dollar size), and California, MD (1.25" Hail - half dollar size) areas for hail storm damage occurring on May 22, 2014. When your home is damaged it is important to choose the very best to assist you in the insurance recovery process. We assist you in the documentation of your damages by making sure that your insurance company pays you what they owe. Our credentials and extensive experience in the insurance restoration process provide property owners with the best possible chance at a successful insurance claim. Some insurance companies allow only six months to file a claim so it is important that you have your home inspected as soon as possible. Even if you don't see damage it may be there. Call us for your inspection before you call your insurance company. If you do not have sufficient damage you will not benefit from filing a claim so let an expert inspect your home before you make any decisions. The insurance claims process can be challenging to the point of being overwhelming for most property owners so a licensed public adjuster and general contractor is your best bet in these situations. We are confident in saying that we are the best credentialed firm specializing in storm damage in the State of Maryland. We look forward to serving you. Contact us immediately to schedule via the web at: http://www.dottrio.com/contact-us or call 1-844-368-8746 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to serving you.
We specialize in hail storm damage to roof and siding in Maryland.
Insurance companies have always marketed themselves by portraying their companies as honest, 'charitable' organizations ready to help you in case of any peril. Although they are helpful in protecting assets, they are still businesses. That means their main goal is making profit and staying in business. The only way they can do this is ensuring that the pay outs are far much lower than the overall premiums being paid.
One of the tricks insurance companies use to do that is introducing loopholes to help them avoid compensating some of their clients when claims are filed. Fortunately for them, most people do not pay attention to the 'fine print' before signing insurance papers. They therefore willingly commit themselves to insurance contracts without a comprehensive understanding of the terms and prospective 'loopholes'.
So, what happens when you file for a claim and you are shocked to find out that you cannot be compensated because of a particular loophole? That's exactly where public adjusters come in. They challenge the insurance companies on the loopholes to negotiate for a fair compensation. Some of the common loopholes they deal with include:
Some people lose their property through double tragedies. For instance, your house may be hit by a hurricane and still get swept up by floods. In such a case, some insurance companies can only compensate you if both tragedies are covered regardless of the sequence in which the tragedies occurred. Therefore, if you were covered for hurricanes but not floods, your claim will probably be turned down. Public adjusters however, can negotiate your claim to help you avoid falling victim to such a loophole.
Many insurance companies will not compensate you if you file a claim for a condition that existed prior to being insured. For example, a cancer patient may not benefit from his health insurance if the insurance company discovered that he had already been diagnosed prior to applying for the insurance cover. Many times insurance company adjusters mistakenly associate new damage to a pre-existing condition, when they are actually unrelated. In other words, a homeowner might have their claim wrongly denied under a pre-existing condition. Public adjusters are very helpful especially in cases where the victims were not knowledgeable on the existing condition, and how damage is evaluated.
The best way to avoid falling victim to such loopholes is comprehensively reading the policies on the respective insurance covers. Do not sign anything without comprehending the terms and conditions. In addition, if you think you are thinking of filing an insurance claim, contact a public adjuster.
By Robert Calisti
Why Use a Public Adjuster? In these trying times it is important for Real Estate Professionals and homeowners to not miss out on any opportunity to sell their homes. There are many challenges in selling a home and one with damage will only be sold at discounted price. There are times where this works and times where it is financially impossible to lower the price. Regardless why not get full market value when you sell your home.
· Sell at full Price. As a Realtor, when a client is looking to sell a home and you notice damage that is not from normal wear and tear, but from a sudden and accidental incident, the home owners' insurance policy may cover the repair or replacement of the damage item or system. The roof, walls, ceiling, flooring may all be covered. If you see evidence of smoke or water damage it would be a good time to contact a Certified Public Adjuster and have them offer a free property inspection. The complementary inspection may uncover a means to submit a property insurance claim to get the money to make the necessary repairs to facilitate a quick sell at full price.
· An Additional Free Service. As a matter of fact it would be a good practice to offer free Public Insurance Adjuster property inspections on all of your sellers' homes that you wish to list since you may not be trained to look for damage that may be recoverable in a property settlement claim. This will set you above your competition when fighting for a listing. The payoff is not just the listing and sale of a home, but then you may help uncover a potential claim that your seller is paid for receiving money they were not expecting. That money may cover repairs or just go into the sellers' pocket. Either way, the Real Estate Broker is the hero and will be given many referrals by going above and beyond the contracted duties and working with a Public Adjuster. Many homes may have repairs required before they qualify for Conventional, FHA or VA mortgage programs. By having a complementary home inspection by a public adjuster as soon as you list the home the claims process can start immediately and help the home to be sold and the deal close sooner.
· No Cash Outlay. Like Realtors many Public Insurance Adjusters work on a contingency fee. This means unless there is a claim that they initiate and manage through settlement, there is no fee. For the home seller this is a great benefit, because there is no cash outlay. They will only get money. Any funds they get as a settlement will paid to the home owner. Therefore they can choose the contractor to do the work or do it themselves. This win-win situation is only a benefit to the homeowner and the Real Estate Professional.
· Real Estate Investors. Realtors who work with Investors and Rehabbers will note that there are many potential claims that they overlook as they are just looking to rehab, rent out and or sell their properties for an investment. Many Insurance cover damages such as tenant vandalism that investors do not know are normally covered. In addition to performing the free property inspection. The Public Adjuster will review the insurance policy for investors, homeowners, landlords and small business owners to advise them of their coverage, terms, conditions and duties in event of property damage. This is also a complementary service.
If a seller chooses to contract a Public Adjuster (PA) and there is damage that is recoverable, the PA will guide them through the maze of proving the claim and get them the largest property damage settlement from the insurance company. The PA will help them navigate their duties and requirements the policy holder has and when they can do the work to sell the home as soon as possible. All to get money they were not expecting without the referral from their trusted Realtor.
By Louis Jeffries
When damage, such as mold infestation or flooding, occurs in a home, the owner must call their insurance company to report the claim. Then the insurance company will create a claim, and an adjuster representing the company will go to the home to investigate the loss and, if deemed necessary, offer a settlement.
Keep in mind that a company adjuster or 'Staff adjuster' works directly for your insurance company. The company insurance adjuster does everything they can to try and pay out as little as possible for your claim, preserving the company's bottom line.
Even an 'Independent adjuster' is that in name only. Independent adjusters are contractors who work for and are paid for by any number of insurance companies. The bottom line is that they represent their employers, and in the end, they have only the insurance company's interests at stake.
When you suffer a property loss, you don't want to have an adjuster who only works for the insurance company. You need an adjuster who works for you. As a policyholder, you should have equal representation. Bringing in a public adjuster early in the process to handle the matter can provide you a better opportunity at a fair settlement for their losses.
A public adjuster works directly for you, the policy owner. Many homeowners hire a public adjuster to document, expedite a claim, and engage the insurance company directly on behalf of the policy owner. Through a public insurance adjuster, the insured can often recover a higher settlement than they would otherwise have been awarded, allowing for a faster and more complete restoration of the damage.
Public insurance adjuster services include:
* Evaluating existing insurance policies to determine what claim coverage is applicable.
* Researching and reporting the overall damage.
* Determining the values of covered losses.
* Negotiating settlements with the insurance company on behalf of the insured.
* Recommending future improvements on the insured's policy.
* Re-opening claims and renegotiating damages if discrepancies are discovered after the claim is settled.
Public adjusters can usually recover more than a homeowner than they would normally be able to secure on their own. The fees for our service are percentage of your recovery - and we only collect if we are able to get your insurance company to pay you for your damages.
It just makes sense to use a public adjuster. You won't need to handle the claim, and because the recoveries are generally more than you would recover yourself, having an adjuster on your side can more than pay for itself.
By Harold Kevin
If your home or business has been significantly damaged, you may need to quickly make an insurance claim. However, it isn't always best to just file with your insurance company. You may be better off contacting a public insurance adjuster rather than a company adjuster. There is a substantial difference between these professionals when it comes to the claims process.
A company adjuster represents the insurance carrier and handles claims on its behalf. As an employee of the insurance company, this type of adjuster must follow the guidelines provided by the employer. In some cases, company adjusters have very little experience or training in adjusting claims. A large number of these agents simply defend the insurance companies and delay or deny settlements.
Public adjusters work exclusively for the insurance policy holders. If you hire one, he or she will essentially be employed by you, and their responsibility will be to you rather than the insurance provider. They can document any relevant information regarding damage, assist with filing and expediting claims and offer support for dealing with insurance carriers.
One of the main differences between an insurance company adjuster and a public one is the settlement amount each representative can deliver. Your insurance provider will attempt to pay the minimum amount due to you based on the company adjuster's evaluation of the damage. Unless you can provide proof that you are owed a larger settlement, you may not receive enough to cover all repairs.
By employing a public adjuster, you may increase your chances of getting an acceptable payout. These adjusters typically have ample experience in the field, including evaluation skills and knowledge on expediting appraisals. An agent will represent you and negotiate with the insurance company for you. He or she will collect as much information as necessary in order to present a thorough claim.
Another major distinction between public and company adjusters is the time they take to complete the claims process. Preparing a claim can be complicated and time consuming, particularly if you can't decide if an offer is fair. Company adjusters don't mind delaying the process, but a public adjuster will carefully navigate your claim in the shortest amount of time possible.
Many people choose public adjusters simply based on ethics. There is a conflict of interest with insurance company adjusters that is often a red flag for clients. Company agents are paid more for eliminating or reducing claims. They are also provided bonuses if their claims remain below a specific percentage. Homeowners and business holders may seek a more fair alternative by hiring public adjusters.
A public adjuster ultimately has the claimant's best interest at heart, which can make a considerable difference when it comes to settlements. Whether you have commercial or residential property damage, your representative should quickly and fairly recoup all your losses. If you lack the time or knowledge it takes to complete a claims process, you may benefit by hiring a public adjuster.
By Robert Calisti
First, a reputable public adjuster will come to your home and evaluate your policy and coverage at no charge. They will educate you on the type of policy you have, what amounts you are covered for, and provide a (no claim) opinion and assistance. In other words, let's say you call your Insurance company because you think you have damage. Let's assume it is something that is not covered. Simply by calling them you are assigned a claim number which means you now have a claims history even though you were not covered for that event. Calling for an independent appraiser to come out and look and tell you it's not covered will not affect your claims history. They will also advise you when not to file a claim, which protects the homeowner from unnecessary denials.
Second, it's important to use a public adjuster because when you file a claim, the Insurance company sends out a highly trained adjuster who works for the Insurance company. A good adjuster is a highly trained expert who will negotiate on your (the homeowners) behalf. Simply put, a public adjuster will level the playing field in your favor.
Third, a Public Adjuster will take on the task of dealing with the Insurance company. They will take care of all the paperwork, phone calls and letters back and forth. They will also meet with the Insurance company adjuster, prepare the estimates rather than you having to get estimates. Which allows you the homeowner to continue with your life, and eliminate the emotions of handling a claim. They will also meet with contractors on all appointments as well as bring in engineers and industry experts as needed.
Fourth, a Public Adjuster knows what to do next. As you can see from the previous paragraphs there is a lot to do when filing a claim. That was just the tip of the iceberg. A good public adjuster will always stay one step ahead for you rather than waiting and reacting.
Lastly and most importantly, a public adjuster will maximize your settlement. They will identify materials correctly. They will use professional policy language and present the claim properly which in turn will get the homeowner more money. They will find and present all of the claim which again means full payment for your loss. A good public adjuster can really be your one call solution when you suffer a loss.
By: Jeffrey Wagner
1. It's His Job. A contractor that specializes in hail damage repairs is an expert in hail damage. It is always a good idea to enlist the services of an expert whenever possible. When you are sick, you enlist the services of a doctor. When your car breaks down, you see a mechanic. Similarly, when your house has sustained damage, you should use a contractor that specializes in that type of damage. Fortunately, when it comes to hail damage, there are usually plenty of contractors that specialize in such restorations.
2. Take a Load Off. Most homeowners have plenty to be concerned about as it is. Family, kids, careers, home maintenance, the list goes on. When you have a chance to let someone else take care of one of your many responsibilities, this opportunity should be explored. An expert contractor will walk you through the hail claim process, meet with your homeowners insurance adjuster and work to get you approved. Imagine how much time and frustration that allowing your contractor to perform these duties will save you.
3. He knows What You Don't. Hail claims are tricky. Insurance companies are notorious for stiffing homeowners or mandating unfair claims decisions, especially when it comes to hail damage. Even when damage is obvious, issues of matching and proper construction practices almost always come into play.
If you hire a hail damage contractor, he will likely have seen all of the insurance company "tricks of the trade" before. Your contractor will be one of very few people that will be able to intelligently discuss the scope of the potentially approved project with your claims adjuster. This often proves to be invaluable in your final claims decision.
4. Two Against One. As the homeowner, you pay for insurance. Obviously, the insurance policy on your home is yours. This gives you the right to make a claim if you have sustained damages. Your insurance company will discuss your claim and your policy with you virtually at your whim. This is the service for which you pay your premiums.
Still, if you are not an expert in hail damage, you can discuss and argue your claim until your mouth falls off- it won't make much of a difference if you simply do not know all of the "ins and outs" of hail damage and hail claims. Fortunately, your hail contractor will. If you are going up against what seems like a biased claims situation, your persistence teamed with your contractor's expertise will do wonders in helping you obtain a fair claims decision.
5. It's All About The Work. Many hail claims contractors perform invaluable services when it comes to working with your homeowners insurance company and helping you obtain a fair claim settlement. Many contractors that specialize in hail damage repairs will actually guarantee that they will perform full replacement within the insurance scope of approval. There are even programs offered by some expert contractors whereby your homeowner insurance deductible will be covered (this is NOT legal in Maryland).
Still, even if your hail damage project is 100% cost-free to you, if the work is of poor quality, "free" loses its meaning. The good news is that most contractors that specialize in hail damage repairs will have performed several hundreds, possibly thousands of similar repairs. They likely have performed countless roof replacements or siding replacements, etc. Because of this, the work is likely of top quality. Plus, since many hail damage contractors will work within a given area (the area where damage was sustained) over a certain period of time (until most of the damage has been repaired), it only behooves the contractor to do a good job since this will likely earn the contractor more business in your community while he is working there.
By Joseph Dylan
Though Maryland is not a state that many people associate with severe weather, Maryland, also known as the Free State, does receive its fair share of damaging storms every year.
Severe snowstorms can cause damage to roofs and guttering of a home, as well as other damage. When a substantial amount of snow rests on a roofing and guttering system, the weight alone can sometimes cause slight roof cave-ins or water leaks. The gutters can come apart from the fascia board and even completely detach and fall from the home.
Also, when the snow/ice starts to thaw and then re-freezes, this can cause what is commonly known as ice-damming. Damage from ice-damming usually involves water leaking from entry points near the edge of the roof, where the gutters are installed.
Ice and water shield is a membrane that most quality roofing contractors now use when installing a roof. This membrane is designed to prevent ice damming, but in extremely severe snow and ice storms, ice and water shield will not always prevent leaking.
If you are a homeowner who has experienced roofing damage or a roof leak or ice-damming from a severe snow or ice storm, you may be covered for the damages under your homeowners insurance company and you want to make sure that you use a qualified insurance restoration contractor, both to help you with the claims process, but also to perform the repairs properly.
Another type of roofing damage that occurs in Maryland is from hail and windstorms. When people think of large hailstorms, they may think about Texas or Oklahoma and other regions and states in the Midwest. And though these regions typically will suffer more damage from very severe hailstorms, Maryland and other mid-Atlantic states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia also sustain hail damage from severe storms every year.
Hailstorms can occur as early in the year as February and as late as November, but most hailstorms in general and hailstorms in Maryland occur between the months of April and August with the bulk of the storms usually occurring in May, June and July. When hail strikes a home, it can damage its roof, siding, gutters, trim, screens, awnings, and very severe hailstorms can even break windows and damage doors.
Most reported hail in Maryland is between 1 and 2 inches in diameter. These storms typically will not cause window damage, but they are often severe enough to damage asphalt roofing shingles. They also often cause damage to other roofing systems like cedar roofing as well as siding such as aluminum (dents) or vinyl (holes).
Common claims for hail damage in Maryland will involve roof damage, siding damage, gutter damage or some combination of the three. When it comes to hailstorms and hail claims, issues of matching may arise. This is why it is usually a good idea to use an experienced storm damage contractor.
There are many contractors that specialize in roof damage claims and in performing complete as well as partial roof replacements. Plus, many of these contractors are very familiar with the roof damage claims process and they will be able to assist you from the time before you even submit a claim until the project is completed.
If you are a homeowner that has recently sustained hail or wind damage to your roofing, siding or gutters, you should call a contractor that specializes in hail damage repairs for a free inspection. During this inspection, the contractor will give you his opinion about your situation and explain how the process works.
By Joseph Dylan
There are times when it may seem that your homeowners insurance company is not handling your claim properly. You may think that your claims adjuster is investigating your claim in a biased manner. It may appear that your insurance company made their decision about your claim before your home was ever even inspected. Well, the sad truth is that you might be right.
Insurance companies are businesses. They are in business to make money and increase profits. Paying claims does not help with increasing profits. If paying claims threatens an insurance company's business viability, they may start handling claims with bias.
Some homeowners have had terrible experiences with their legitimate homeowners claim. They are treated rudely from the very beginning of the claims process, as soon as they submit their claim. They may be made to feel as if they are somehow doing something wrong. The tone of the insurance claims receptionist can be far from polite, to say the least.
And then the adjuster calls you and asks you several questions, giving little or no response to your answers. His questions may seem to be leading or insinuating. He may try to verbally bully you and you may feel as if you are being interrogated.
Next, the adjuster inspects for the damages. But, first, an appointment for the inspection must be set. Sometimes, the adjuster will go out of his way to "fake you out" about the time frame of the inspection. He may tell you one time while planning to be there earlier. Or he may try to schedule an appointment with you for the same day that he first contacts you, claiming that he can't do it any other time or stressing how "busy" he is.
This is all an effort to inspect for the damages while no one is present, or catching you, the homeowner, off guard. The inspection itself may seem like little more than a dog and pony show with the adjuster obviously simply going through the motions and performing a less than thorough inspection.
During the inspection, the adjuster, who once was so inquisitive about your claim over the phone, suddenly doesn't have any questions for you. He wants to know as little as possible about your damage situation and if he asks you questions, it may only be in an attempt to steer the focus from what actually matters bout your claim.
Questions like, "Why didn't you report this claim sooner?" or "What is this OTHER damage from?" are among some of the common questions you might hear from an adjuster during a biased inspection. The only two things that truly matter about your homeowner claim is (1) if you have damage and (2) if that damaged is covered. Damage unrelated to your claim that you did not submit a claim for and the exact nature of your submitting of the claim are merely distractions.
Another strategy that insurance companies use is dragging the claims process out. They may voluntarily send several different inspectors before rendering a decision. This way, they can claim that they thoroughly inspected it and they can try to sell you on the idea that their decision is final. They try to ware you down over time with hopes that you will get so frustrated that you will simply give up.
Their final decision will either be a complete denial or something similar and though the insurance company may never have overtly broken the law, it would seem that the final decision regarding your claim was an inevitability, a foregone conclusion. And when this is the case, it is not fair, not right and, if nothing else, unethical.
As the homeowner, you are left with un-repaired damage and with what may seem like limited options at your disposal. In actuality, however, you can take your claim to the highest levels of the court systems. You can submit for re-inspections to your insurance company and make sure that you tell them that you do not pan on going away until you are satisfied that your claim has been handled and decided properly and fairly.
If your insurance company refuses to honor any more re-inspection requests, you can take your claim to appraisal. There may be a small upfront fee for this, but appraisal is a state mandated process where an agreement must be reached and is basically final.
Writing a letter to your insurance company can be powerful as well. You may not think that they will take your letter seriously, but a letter is a physical, verifiable piece of evidence. Send it certified and state your case concisely. Make sure you focus your letter on what transpired in your claim (a documentation of how things occurred), and the damage that your house has suffered.
Don't reference your neighbor's claims or other unrelated items. Also, don't concentrate much on the fact that you think you were treated rudely. Again, make your argument about the damage. The damage and whatever storm or other sudden event that caused it is what our claim decision should be based on.
Because of potential negative homeowner claims situations, it is recommended that you use an experienced insurance restoration contractor. You may want to contact such a contractor before you submit your claim. This way, you can get educated about your situation and your damage and what it will take to repair the damage.
Plus, your restoration specialist can meet with your claims adjuster and provide an appropriate estimate for the repairs. Having a knowledgeable contractor on your side can make a huge difference in your final claim outcome. An insurance company may try to dupe you but probably not you and a qualified contractor that is familiar with the claims process.
By: Joseph Dylan
When a widespread storm damages a large region of residential areas, you, as the homeowner will have the choice of which contractor you will hire to perform the repairs. You can select a local contractor that simply performs the type of work you will be making a claim for or you can hire an out-of towner that specializes not only in the work you need to have done, but also in the insurance claims process.
Fortunately, there is also a third option as well. Chances are, you can find a contractor that specializes in insurance restoration without hiring someone based hundreds of miles away. The best contractor for your homeowner claim project may not be right around the corner, but they might be closer than you think.
We recommend that you call a qualified contractor before you submit an insurance claim, unless your claim involves an emergency type of situation. Hiring someone that is familiar with the type of work that you need is simply not enough. If the contractor is not familiar with how insurance companies operate, your contractor will be worthless to you during the claims process.
Sure, he may know how to perform the repairs properly and he may be reliable and fully qualified. But, if you never receive enough money form your insurance company to perform proper repairs, your contractor simply will not be able to perform the repairs within the insurance scope of approval.
Insurance restoration contractors are contractors that specialize in repairing storm and other damage caused to homes. Some examples of these types of contractors are hail and wind damage contractors, fire restoration contractors, water damage and cleaning contractors, emergency repair and board-up contractors, the list goes on.
If you can, you should hire a contractor that specializes in performing YOUR insurance claim repairs. Contractors that specialize in insurance work are not only familiar with the repairs that will be performed, but also the insurance process, helping you maximize your insurance claim and explaining to you the most likely insurance approval outcomes.
The problem is that many people think that they have to enlist the services of a national storm chasing outfit in order to get that level of expertise. But, insurance repair contracting is a growing niche industry. So, chances are you can find a contractor within a reasonable distance from where your house is located.
Remember that out of town and out of state contractors are not bad or evil. National storm chasing companies are not necessarily a bad way to go. But, some people feel more comfortable knowing that their contractor won't be halfway across the country within 6 months of completing their project.
Fortunately, there is a growing number of localized contractors that may travel a bit more than the typical local contractor, yet still operate within a given radius of where they are based. These contractors may travel within their entire state or perhaps across 2 or 3 states, but only certain portions of each. These contractors are localized enough in that, as long as they are in business, they will be close enough to easily honor warranty services should any arise.
Again, these localized insurance restoration contractors may never be as local as your neighbors brother-in-law, but they will be able to help you immensely with the claims process and are still at least somewhat local to you. So, you can get the best of both worlds: help with your claim/project with a localized contractor.
By Joseph Dylan
Insurance adjusters and home improvement contractors are notorious for butting heads with each other. This makes sense when you consider that contractors have the homeowner's (and their own) interests at stake while the insurance adjusters are representing the insurance company.
Still, the majority of professionals that meet each other in the field will find a way to get along. As long as neither party is overly aggressive or off putting, even if they don't see completely eye to eye, they can at least understand that each is simply doing his job.
But this is where the other reason for a dispute comes from. Sometimes, the insurance adjuster does not wish to do his job correctly. There are times when an insurance adjuster may seem to go out of his way not to pay on a claim. He'll refuse to act reasonably toward the contractor. In the worst case scenarios, an adjuster may even refuse to acknowledge storm damage as storm damage- completely stonewalling the claim and the repairs.
This is when even a usually mild mannered home improvement contractor may find it hard to keep his cool. It would be hard for anyone to turn his head the other way in the face of insurance behavior that is not only obviously unethical, but that also may have an affect on your bottom line.
The best thing for a contractor to do in this situation is simply defer to the homeowner. After all, it is the homeowner that is truly getting the raw deal. The homeowner is the person who pays for the insurance policy, so the fact for the homeowner is that he isn't getting what he is paying for.
This is the last thing that a crooked adjuster wants to happen. They'd rather deal with the contractor because the contractor really has no final say in the matter. Most insurance adjusters will work happily with contractors out of common courtesy, both to the contractor and to the insured homeowner. They see the home improvement contractor as an extension of the homeowner, as they should.
Other times, an adjuster may pretend to work with the contractor and then try to bully or play games with the contractor using the fact that the adjuster is not obligated to settle with the contractor as his trump card. In this way, he placates the homeowner while acting unethically toward the homeowner's contractor.
Certainly the contractor can argue his case, explain his estimate and try to get the adjuster to acknowledge damage. But, if the adjuster refuses to act reasonably, the best thing for a contractor to do is simply defer to the person who has the most power in the situation- the policy holder.
There was one instance when an insurance company was obviously trying to put a cork into a storm claim situation. There was a claim submitted in a community where dozens of similar claims had already been submitted and paid for (It was an obvious storm damage situation.). The insurance company had already paid on several of these claims and apparently didn't wish to pay for them any further. Suddenly, the insurance company decided to treat a particular homeowner's claim with extreme bias.
They sent a re-inspector after the initial adjuster inspected it. The re-inspector, along with other insurance field adjusters met with three members of the home improvement contracting firm. During the inspection, the re-inspector acted aggressively and even insinuated that the contractors had committed insurance fraud and caused the storm damage sustained to the property.
As soon as these accusations were made, a member of the home improvement firm simply called the homeowner and explained to her, in front of everybody, what was transpiring. Needless to say the re-inspector was not happy about this. He actually started to scream at the contractor that he would "sue him personally."
The main reason why the re-inspector was so upset was because he knew he had acted inappropriately and unethically and was being called out for it. He was acting in a way that he would never act toward the actual policy holder. And yet, toward her contractor, he acted like a complete ignoramus.
As it turned out out, the insurance company approved the claim and apologized profusely (though never officially or in writing) to the contractor on several occasions to the contractor at several future meetings.
Insurance adjusters and contractors may not always see eye to eye with each other when it comes to homeowner claims. But, as long as the adjusters do not act unethically or perform biased inspections, there are few other reasons for them to be at each other's throat. And, when an adjuster does act unprofessionally, the best thing for a contractor to do is point to the person in charge.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5064249
Unfortunately, there are times when a homeowner will submit a claim for legitimate and covered damages and their insurance company will deny the claim unjustifiably. When this happens, the homeowner must be persistent to ensure that they receive a fair claim settlement.
Most consumers assume that their first decision about their claim is final. But, it is only final if you accept it. If your homeowners insurance company denies your claim or only allows for a disproportionately small settlement, you do not have to accept this outcome.
The first thing you should do is submit for a re-inspection. During a re-inspection, your insurance company will take another look at your property damage situation. A re-inspection will often be performed by a different person than that who performed the original inspection. Hopefully, the re-inspector will render a more fair decision.
But, even if your insurance company refuses to handle your claim appropriately after a re-inspection, you can proceed further by taking your claim to the next level. This next level is often called "appraisal" or "arbitration." The procedure may be slightly different depending on the state from which the claim originates, but the goal is to reach a final and fair outcome.
The appraisal procedure often will involve several third party officials, one to represent each side and another to be the "umpire." The decision rendered from this procedure is generally considered final, but there still may be other avenues worth your exploration such as hiring a lawyer.
One important thing to remember is that your insurance company spends more money the longer your claim drags on. If they know that they owe you more than they initially allowed for, they are likely to be much more fair the second time around. After all, if they know that they are on the hook for the claim, they don't want to spend a lot of money trying to be unfair and then also pay for the claim. That would be like paying for a claim twice.
Still, if the insurance company believes that their claim decision is fair and consistent with policy, they may be willing to spend as much money as necessary to defend this decision. So, the most important question to ask yourself is, "Should my claim be covered?" If it should be covered and yet it is not being covered or not being covered enough, you should proceed. If not, don't.
Of course, these types of questions should be answered before you ever file for a claim. Because of this, you may want to consult with an experienced insurance restoration contractor before doing so. A contractor that specializes in your damage recovery will likely be able to make better sense out of your situation and help you throughout the entire claims process.
It truly is upsetting when you think about it. After all, people, for some reason, trust their insurance companies. They think that their agents are actually looking out for them. They believe that their insurance providers are always fair and honest. This is not always the case. In fact, unfortunately, in many instances, it is just the opposite.
Insurance companies distribute literature, create videos, post blogs to their websites, and use other forms of propaganda, all with a similar theme- "be leery of shady contractors that knock on your door." They often paint the contractor in a bad light. They insinuate that most contractors that actively pursue and perform insurance repairs are evil, deceitful, or are somehow committing a crime. They like to use words like "scams," "shady," and "fly-by-night."
The reality is that most insurance restoration contractors are honest, hardworking people. Chasing storm repairs is far from easy and the rewards only come to those who outwork their competition. Committing fraud or implementing shady practices is not worth it for insurance contractors and those who take part in them are few and far between.
The reward for contractors that specialize in insurance repairs comes from the jobs themselves. They can make a profit from the insurance approval. Plus, since most contractors that perform insurance repairs tend to work within the same geographical area for an extended period of time, it only behooves them to perform the work properly and timely. This way, they will get more business from friends and neighbors.
Also, many of these contractors tend to perform the same type of repairs over and over again. For example, a contractor that specializes in hail damage repairs may consistently perform cedar roofing replacement or aluminum siding replacement. Certainly, contractors that perform the same type of job over a long period of time will be better at it than one that only performs that type of job every so often.
In fact, most insurance restoration contractors operate like well oiled machines, with a proven system of assisting homeowners with the claims process and performing top-grade installations.
Knowing this, it is sad how insurance companies and those inside the insurance industry try to paint the contractors as less than trustworthy. Are there shady contractors out there? Of course there are. There are dishonest companies within every industry, including the insurance industry. Can anyone say AIG?
Insurance companies do not want contractors to generate business through homeowners insurance claims because this is money out of their pocket. But, the fact remains that people pay for and carry insurance in order to be protected and covered in the event of a loss. All these contractors do is assist homeowners with this process. Insurance contractors are a homeowner's best advocate- not insurance companies.
Remember, your insurance company, with rare exception, has an obligation to its owners and stockholders to increase profits. Unfortunately, this obligation often gets in the way of their obligation to you as the consumer. So, in a way, all an insurance contractor does is allow for the consumer to receive what is rightfully theirs under the provider's obligation as the insurer. If an insurance company does not want to honor this obligation, they should not be in the business of insurance.
So, the next time you stumble upon information or propaganda from the insurance industry that slanders insurance restoration contractors or casts them in a negative light, remember that their motive is not to protect you from shady contractors. It is to protect their bottom line.
Insurance is the idea that through mass participation there is an ability to spread risk among a large number of policyholders, most whom will never file a claim. It is fair to expect that this model should lead to a system that pays valid claims at fair market value in a timely manner. In reality this is not what usually takes place. Far too often policyholders are left facing considerable stress navigating an extremely challenging claims environment. A business model that originally began as a safe method of protecting one's self against risk has become anything but a "protection" to many policyholders. All too often I hear a common theme of unfairness in my daily interactions with policyholders. It normally goes something like this: "I have been with this insurance company for 30+ years and have never filed a claim, now when I need them they don't want to pay". It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that 30 years worth of premiums add up to a rather large financial investment. Why would an insurer decide not to pay fair market value on a valid claim? The answer is quite simple and requires just a single word. Profit! The moment a long time policyholder files that first insurance claim marks the beginning of a significant change in that long term relationship. While you were once a greatly appreciated contributor to corporate profits you may now be viewed in an adversarial manner. In your mind you have been a great customer quietly paying ever increasing premiums without complaining and without filing a claim. For years you have fixed small items on your property every time they have been damaged without filing a claim for fear your rates would increase. This did not stop your insurer from raising your rates each year even though you had not filed a claim. What's different now you ask? Easy, you have joined the ranks of claim filing policyholders and the gloves have come off. Your insurer in many cases may choose to do battle with you rather than pay you what they rightfully owe you. This behavior is obvious with some very well known insurers (think TV ads with catchy slogans and you will know who I am talking about).
The moment your insurer brings in "outside experts" such as engineers to evaluate a simple claim it should be blatantly obvious that your best interests are of no concern. Engineers may serve a valid purpose on some large claims such as Earthquake claims where the structural integrity of a building must be determined. On a simple claim these "outside experts" are anything but outsiders. These "outside experts" are brought in to serve a single purpose on simple claims. They are there to assist the insurance company in paying as little as possible on your claim. This is done by the use of written reports that sound convincing to policyholders (and even in Court) but have little if anything to do with the terms of your insurance policy. Engineers are not insurance industry professionals and do not need to know anything about an insurance policy to write a damage report. Engineers reports will contain terms such as "functional damage" to explain why your roof for example is still "serviceable" after a windstorm. The term "functional damage" does not exist in your homeowners insurance policy. Homeowners insurance policies cover you against "sudden and accidental physical damage". "Functional damage" as used by engineers speaks to whether the damaged item has a shortened life expectancy, this is not what you are insured against. "Sudden & Accidental Physical Damage" as it appears in your homeowners policy means simply: the item has changed in appearance since the loss, this is what you are insured against. A classic example of this practice at work is in hail damage claims. Hail damage to an automobile is repaired without question because it meets the definition of "sudden and accidental physical damage". Clearly minor hail dings to the hood of an automobile do not qualify as "functional damage", yet the auto adjuster writes the check without blinking. The same hail storm strikes the roof of your home and the property adjuster brings along an engineer to review your claim and the result is somehow different. The roof has sustained no "functional damage" according to the engineer and your claim is denied. The engineers report may further state that "functional damage" is defined as: a breaking of the matting of your asphalt shingle which reduces the life expectancy of your roof. The dark spots on your roof where hail has knocked granules loose exposing the asphalt underlayment should be covered under "sudden & accidental physical damage" yet the insurance company treats it differently than the auto claim. The engineer likely does not know the policy terms and conditions or worse yet may not care. You see his income is dependent upon his ability to continue to get work from insurers. The engineer is most valuable to insurers when he helps them deny or minimize claims which in turn increases profits. If the engineer starts reading your insurance policy and figures out what it defines as damage they may not feel so good about working for the insurer anymore. In most cases you won't see the engineers report because you did not know to ask for it. You can't refute evidence that you don't know exists. Insurers in most cases won't share with you what you don't ask for. That is why hiring a Public Adjuster to handle your insurance claim can be such a good idea. As your advocate the Public Adjuster levels the playing field by knowing what your insurance policy covers and making sure your insurer doesn't wiggle out of paying what they owe. Many large insurers will tell you on their website(s) that you don't need a Public Adjuster because they will send out an insurance adjuster who will promptly pay you for covered losses. Unfortunately all too often these prompt payments when and if they do occur are a fraction of the fair market value of your damages. More often than not homeowners blindly take what they are given and go away quietly. This is exactly what the insurance companies count on. Due to the complicated nature of the insurance claims process and the strong profit motivation of insurers it is always a good idea to utilize the services of an expert. Call us today to schedule your damage inspection. Even if your claim has been denied we may be able to reopen the claim and assist you in obtaining what you are rightfully owed. Dottrio is Maryland's Public Adjuster, call us now at 1-844-368-8746 or email: email@example.com
For more on insurers and claims handling please see the link and attachments below:
The typical homeowners insurance policy will provide coverage for numerous perils but is it enough coverage for your needs? The answer to this question is almost always a resounding NO. The new year is a great time to review insurance coverage and make changes as necessary. Insurance policies can be confusing so you may benefit from the assistance of a licensed professional such as a Public Adjuster or Insurance Agent as you review your coverage. Most Public Adjusters and Insurance Agents will review your coverage at no cost to you. Be advised that Insurance Agents may view this as an opportunity to "enhance" your coverage which will increase your cost and as a result increase their commission. You should carefully consider your options before making major changes to your homeowners insurance. Buy the most insurance you can reasonably afford and buy it from an insurance carrier that pays claims. Many of the insurance companies you see advertising on television have horrible track records for promptly and fairly resolving claims. Buying insurance from a carrier that will pay you what they owe you on claims in a fair and prompt manner is worth a few extra dollars. Most people don't know they have a bad insurer until they file a claim. Once a loss occurs it is too late to do anything about a bad insurer. A bad insurer does everything it can to avoid paying a claim or will offer settlements far below fair market value for your loss. Unfortunately many well known insurers fall into this category.
The first part of your review process should consist of determining whether you have a good insurer or not. This question is best answered through lots of research and it certainly helps to talk to a professional who handles insurance claims on a daily basis such as a Public Adjuster. Your agent is not the best person to discuss the claims payment practices of the insurance company they represent. The conflict of interest is obvious, the agent is paid for representing the insurer and will do nothing to bite the hand that feeds them. Agents often lack any real world experience in the claims process and in many cases have never filed a claim of their own. Your agent may be a nice person but they are not your best source of unbiased information. Public Adjusters on the other hand represent policy holders every day and as such are the best source of accurate and reliable information about the claims handling practices of insurers.
The second part of your review process should consist of determining if you have adequate coverage for your needs. What is the amount of your insurance deductible? Do you have different deductibles for different perils? Does your policy cover material matching? Does your policy cover code upgrades? Are expensive items such as jewelry, firearms, silverware, and collectibles accounted for in your policy? Did you know that most homeowners policies provide very little coverage for firearms, jewelry, and other collectibles? Did you know that your homeowners policy will not cover flood damage? Do you operate a business from your home and if so is the business covered on the policy? Have you remodeled recently? Have you recently added playground equipment, a trampoline, or an in ground swimming pool? Do you own high end audio and/or video equipment? Once you have answered these questions review your policy for coverage and exclusions. Your results will almost certainly surprise you. In most cases you will find that you are under insured in numerous areas. You may be disturbed to find that you have a wind/hail/tropical cyclone deductible that is a percentage of your total coverage amount. In other words a 3% deductible on a $300,000 home would mean you pay $9000 out of pocket before the insurance company pays a penny. This type of deductible is becoming common place especially for senior citizens. This type of deductible should be avoided at all costs. You should determine the claim filing deadlines for various claim types and determine if they meet your needs. For example you may have only 6 months to file a wind or hail claim. This could be a problem because damage from wind and hail may not be readily apparent to the untrained eye. You should also use this time to review the purchases of items that were made with credit cards. Many credit cards will provide coverage for theft and damage to items purchased with the card for a period of time after the purchase.
Lastly you should become familiar with your responsibilities under your insurance policy. Did you know that when a loss occurs it is your responsibility to prove the loss to your insurer? In the event of a property crime loss do you know how to obtain a copy of a police report from your local police department? Are you familiar with the insurance claims filing process? What can you do to protect yourself? A room by room photographic inventory of your valuables is an excellent way to be prepared should the worst occur. This inventory should be stored on a remote password protected computer server. A copy of this inventory should be kept on your person on a thumb drive or memory card that is also password protected or in a safe deposit box in a paper or electronic format. The importance of securing your valuables cannot be overstated. If you are not currently storing firearms, jewelry, and other valuables in a safe you should begin doing so immediately. If your home does not currently have a centrally monitored alarm system you should address this shortcoming immediately. An alarm system with wireless connectivity or wireless back up is usually more difficult for a criminal to defeat than a system that uses a phone or cable line as its only means of communication. Each external point of entry into your home should be secured with deadbolt locks. Safes, alarm systems, and dead bolt locks will often qualify you for substantial discounts on homeowners insurance. More importantly these things should give you the peace of mind that you have done something to protect yourself, your family, and your valuables. If you would like to discuss your policy, coverage, or your insurer please use the contact us link and we will be happy to assist you. For more information about bad insurers see: Ten Worst Insurance Companies
Have a safe and Happy New Year!
Reach us on the web at: www.dottrio.com or by phone at: 1-844-368-8746
The winter months bring us indoors a great deal more often. The increase in indoor activities leads to an increase in the incidence of fire especially house fires. At Dottrio, LLC experience has taught us that insurers will usually offer an initial settlement in a fire claim that is less than half what it costs to restore the damaged property. That being said settlement offers in insurance claims in general are usually a great deal less than fair market value. Policyholders faced with a traumatic situation are often not in the best frame of mind to make decisions and carefully review information provided by insurers. Fires are particularly devastating and leave policyholders vulnerable and confused. Nothing is more important after a fire than taking care of loved ones and rebuilding your property. The last thing you need after suffering a fire at your home or business is a low ball insurance settlement offer that forces you into financial ruin. Don't accept being short changed, options are available to you. A recent Maryland fire claim settled by Dottrio, LLC through the Appraisal process was an example of this experience. The original offer from a major insurance carrier was around $62,000 to restore the cape cod style home. This home suffered fire and smoke damage to the basement and both above ground levels. The insurance carriers preferred contractor estimated restoration costs at around $92,000. This estimate was rejected by the insurance carrier and was not disclosed to the policyholder at anytime during the claim settlement process. The policyholder hired a large Public Adjustment firm who ran into a brick wall when trying to negotiate a fair settlement for the policyholder. The home remained unoccupied for over a year while the insurance company refused to budge. At the suggestion of the Public Adjuster firm the policyholder invoked the Appraisal clause in their insurance policy. The Public Adjuster firm and policyholder then hired Dottrio, LLC to serve as the Appraiser for the insured. Within two weeks Dottrio, LLC met with the insurers Appraiser on-site and went to work on addressing the value of the claim. This Appraisal resulted in a settlement of around $124,000 with the Appraisal Award being signed and the claim resolved within three weeks of Dottrio, LLC receiving the assignment. These results are typical of insurance claim Appraisals completed by Dottrio, LLC.
Appraisals when handled by experts in the process can be resolved quickly and in our experience have always resulted in significant increases in the settlement for the policyholder. The increases in settlement are almost always due to a significant undervaluing of the claim by the insurer. At Dottrio, LLC we pride ourselves on helping you get what you are entitled to under the terms of your insurance policy. Fortunately this homeowner had a Public Adjuster who recognized that no one is more active in the Appraisal process in the State of Maryland than Dottrio, LLC. As the only Public Adjuster firm in Maryland with a General Contractors license and Appraiser/Umpire certifications there is no one more qualified to assist you in the Appraisal process. If you have struggled with obtaining a fair settlement offer from your insurer give us a call and let us assist you. Dottrio, LLC can serve you in the Appraisal process even if you are already contracted with another Public Adjuster or General Contractor. Your Appraiser must be competent and impartial so you will not be able to use your existing Public Adjuster or General Contractor as they will not be considered impartial. Very few firms in Maryland offer insurance claims Appraisal services and the majority that do will do so only for insurance companies. Dottrio, LLC uniquely brings this service and expertise to the policyholder providing a level playing field. If you suffer a loss under the terms of your insurance policy we will shoulder the load of navigating the challenging insurance claims process for you.
WINTER FIRE STATISTICS
905 people die in winter home fires each year.
$2,091,000,000 in property loss occurs from winter home fires.
67 percent of winter fires occur in one- and two-family homes.
Cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires.
5 to 8 p.m. is the most common time for winter home fires.
Source: National Fire Incident Reporting System 2009-2011
Once you have filed a claim your insurance company is going to send out an adjuster to inspect your damages and write an estimate of repair cost. Your insurance company wants to pay as little as possible to repair your home or business. Most insurers answer to shareholders and profitability often overrides the sense of responsibility to policyholders. Many insurance company managers and some employees hold stakes in the companies they work for. Many may be motivated to protect that investment at your expense by not properly assessing your insurance claim. If these individuals underpay claims often enough along with peers who do the same they can increase the profitability of the company thereby increasing their own financial reward. Executives at publicly held insurance companies almost always hold significant stakes in the companies they work for. This results in the executives often creating internal performance standards that protect their investment above protecting your property.
If your property is damaged in a catastrophe (usually a severe weather event), your adjuster will most likely be an independent adjuster. How does this impact you? Independent adjuster's pay is usually directly tied to your claim. The adjuster has a financial interest in finding the most money for you that he/she can justify with photos and other documentation for your insurance company. Most independent adjusters working on a catastrophe will be dealing with a large case load of claims and may unintentionally miss items that should be covered on your claim if you are not assisted by a Public Adjuster. This is usually simply the result of being overworked rather than an act of willful disregard for your rights under your insurance policy. If your claim is something other than a catastrophe event you will most likely have a staff adjuster assigned to your claim. Staff adjusters are more likely to put the interests of the insurance company above those of the policyholder for the reasons described above.
If the adjuster assesses your claim improperly or you do not agree with the adjuster on what is damaged, you should contact a Public Adjuster. Most Public Adjusters will provide an initial consultation at no charge although it may be limited to a telephone or email conversation. Most claims requiring anything above minor repairs will benefit from the expertise of a Public Adjuster. Public Adjusters work on a contingency basis meaning you only pay if money is obtained from your insurance company. The Public Adjuster fee is usually based on the size and complexity of the claim and is typically a percentage of the insurance claim settlement amount. Professional public adjusters will be very familiar with the current landscape in your local market. The Public Adjuster you select should be actively working other claims in your area and be familiar with many of the insurance company representatives working in your area. It is always preferable to hire your public adjuster before filing your claim but you should still expect results no matter what point in the process you bring them in. A skilled Public Adjuster will evaluate your existing insurance claim and may even direct you into a process called "Appraisal" if the issues in your insurance claim revolve around the dollar amount of the claim. The insurance claims process can be a challenging and difficult endeavor for the inexperienced. Your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance carrier and this contract is best interpreted by an expert. At Dottrio, LLC we represent you (the policyholder) and make the insurance claims process one less thing you have to worry about. Unlike most other Public Adjuster firms we are also a licensed General Contractor with significant knowledge and experience in evaluating repair costs. We are very active in the insurance claims appraisal process serving as an appraiser or umpire when appropriate for a claim.
To learn more about how Dottrio, LLC can help you with your insurance claim call us at: 1-844-368-8746, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or use the "Contact Us" form on our website.
Dottrio, LLC experts in insurance claims resulting from: Fire, Wind, Hail, Hurricane, Tornado, Water Damage, Vandalism, Burglary, Earthquake and other perils.
Few decisions you will make as a property owner are more important than the ones you make when involved in a property insurance claim. Very few property owners are experienced in the insurance claims process. This inexperience is a major liability when dealing with an insurance claim. Many involved in the insurance claims process may not have your best interests at heart. One of the most important indicators of this is the willingness of someone seeking out your business who suggests bending or breaking the laws of your state or local jurisdiction. Your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurer and the terms of the agreement apply to both you and the insurer. One of the contract terms of most insurance policies is the deductible which is the portion of repairs you are responsible for paying out of pocket. This amount is identified in your policy and may vary depending on the type of loss suffered. An effort by you or any other party to reduce or offset your deductible is considered insurance fraud in most states and is also a leading cause of high premiums for policyholders. If your insurance company estimates your repairs at $10,000 and you have a $1,000 deductible the insurance company will issue payments totaling $9,000. This leaves you responsible with paying the remaining $1,000 deductible out of pocket. Many "insurance restoration contractors" will agree to perform the repairs outlined in your insurance estimate for the dollar amount shown. This situation becomes fraudulent when the Contractor agrees to perform the repairs for $9,000 but invoices the insurance company for repairs totaling $10,000. The insurance company has now suffered a $1,000 fraudulent loss. A contractor wishing to do the repairs for $9,000 should invoice for $9,000 at which point the insurance company will issue $8,000 in payments leaving the policyholder responsible for the $1,000 deductible as contracted for in the insurance policy.
Many of you in Maryland are likely being inundated with fliers and mailers from Contractors who tell you that you can get a new roof and/or siding with no out of pocket expense courtesy of your insurance company. The simple fact is that you cannot do this without being party to a felony criminal act. If you are approached by a Contractor offering to waive/rebate all or part of your deductible on an insurance claim they are not someone you want to do business with. The individual offering to do this is committing insurance fraud and should be reported to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, The Maryland Insurance Administration, and The Maryland Home Improvement Commission immediately. The crime is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of 3 times the amount of the total insurance claim. This type of fraudulent action on the part of Contractors and property owners results in higher insurance premiums for those that abide by the law.
You should be very careful about any Contractor claiming to be a licensed insurance adjuster in the State of Maryland. Maryland does not license Insurance Adjusters. Claiming to be a licensed Insurance Adjuster is considered Insurance Fraud under Maryland Law as of 2009. The only type of Insurance Adjuster licensed in the State of Maryland is a Public Adjuster which is an Insurance Adjuster that works for the Policy holder.
Senate Bill 736 was signed by the Governor on May 2, 2013 and is enacted effective October 1, 2013 as Code of Maryland Insurance Article § 27-407.2. It repeals and replaces §§ 27-408(a) and (b). The bill makes it a “fraudulent insurance act for a person to pay or otherwise compensate, directly or indirectly, or offer or promise to pay or compensate, an insured for all or part of an insurance deductible provided under the policy as an inducement to enter into a contract to furnish goods or services.” The new section also specifically references contractors who are performing repairs to a private residence caused by weather, when the services will be paid for from the proceeds of the policy.
The Maryland Home Improvement Commission can be reached at: 1-410-230-6309 via email at: email@example.com (Subject: Contractor Insurance Fraud) or on the web at:http://www.dllr.state.md.us/forms/mhiccomplaint.doc
The Maryland Insurance Administration can be reached at: 1-800-846-4069 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject: Insurance Fraud Division)
The National Insurance crime Bureau can be reached at: 1-800-835-6422 or on the web at: https://www.nicb.org/speak_up/speak-up
In the interest of full disclosure Dottrio, LLC is licensed as a Public Adjuster firm and General Contractor by the State of Maryland. Public Adjusters do not perform repairs and deductible payments are generally not part of a Public Adjuster agreement. If you have questions about a property insurance claim we will be happy to discuss your claim with you. Call us at 1-844-368-8746 or email us at: email@example.com