When it comes to insurance claims, not only are your actions important, but so are you words. What you say and don’t say also plays a critical role in the amount of compensation you receive, which is why it’s a good idea to contact our firm prior to any contact with the insurance company or starting any repairs. We have prepared a list of a few do’s and don’ts in order help you get the maximum compensation that you are entitled to for your loss. There are several things that insureds and property owners need to be aware of before, during, and after the claim process. We have outlined some tips and pointers to help ensure it’s a smooth process from start to finish.
Before you call in the claim…..
DO call Phoenix Public Adjusting to schedule an inspection and consultation PRIOR to calling your insurance carrier.
DO take photos of the damage and make notes of pertinent facts to help document the loss.
DO take temporary measures to prevent further damage. (Tarp damaged roofs or cover any openings, etc.)
DO keep all receipts and proof of expenses incurred as a result of the loss. (Hotel bills, groceries, gas, debit card statements etc.)
DON’T sign any work authorization contracts by any third party vendors or insurance company vendors except to board up the property.
DON’T call the claim in yourself. Let Phoenix Public Adjusting do all the work, this includes calling in the claim, filling out the paperwork, scheduling the insurance company inspections, providing them with an estimate, and negotiating the maximum compensation. We will be the intermediary and act as your representative throughout the entire process.
DON’T call your insurance agent for advice on placing a claim (YOUR INSURANCE AGENT IS NOT YOUR FRIEND!); anything you say will be passed on to the adjuster and possibly used against you. Most people think they need to call their insurance agent to call in the claim, this is not true, you can place a claim directly with the carrier. Your agent will usually try to discourage you from placing a claim for several reasons: he/she has the insurance company’s interest in mind; he/she is trying to keep the loss ratio on his book of business low because it’s usually tied to bonuses, vacations, and other incentives; and is the insurance company’s first line of defense in minimizing claims. Company agents represent the insurance company’s interest, not yours, because their obligation is to their employer; only independent insurance brokers are obligated to protect your interest!
DON’T do any clean up or repairs prior to inspection of the damages by your insurance carrier. We will need to document the damages and severity of the loss prior to any repairs being done. It is critical that the damage is left untouched until the your insurance company’s adjuster has had a chance to do their inspection and scope the loss.
DON’T throw anything away, even debris. The debris is evidence that helps to prove your loss or the severity of your loss and needs to be kept in case it needs to be shown to the insurance company and documented.
DON’T buy everything in cash, it’s harder to track and to prove purchases and expenses except with paper receipts, which are usually lost during the chaos; be sure use your credit card or debit card instead, everything gets documented. Youcan even use the statements to compute your mileage for evacuation expense reimbursement.
DON’T do a thing until you contact Phoenix Public Adjusting. In the exception of taking measures to prevent further damage to your property, leave everything as is until the insurance company inspects it. They will not pay you for damage they have not seen, so don’t jump the gun on repairs and cleanup because it has an adverse effect on the amount of compensation you receive!