What to do (and not do) in the event of a claim…

When it comes to insurance claims, your words and actions are important; they play a critical role in the amount of compensation you can receive. That is why it’s a good idea to contact Phoenix Public Adjusting prior to beginning any repairs or speaking to your insurance company. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you get the maximum compensation you deserve. These tips and pointers outline what insureds/property owners covered by a policy, need to know before, during, and after the claim process. Empower yourself with knowledge and 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 contacting your insurance carrier.

DO take photos of the damage and make notes of pertinent facts to help document any losses.

DO take temporary measures to prevent further damage. (e.g., Tarp damaged roofs or cover any openings, etc.)

DO keep all receipts and proof of expenses incurred as a result of the loss. (e.g., Hotel bills, groceries, gas, debit card statements etc.)

DON’T sign any work authorization contracts with any third party vendors or insurance company vendors except to secure the property.

DON’T clean up or make repairs prior to your insurance carrier’s inspection of the damages. We will need to document the damages and severity of any losses prior to making any repairs. It is critical to leave damage untouched until your insurance company’s adjuster inspects the scope of your losses.

DON’T throw anything away—even debris. It is evidence that helps prove your losses or the severity of your losses. Keep it just in case the insurance company needs to see it or it needs to be documented.

DON’T buy everything in cash. Paper receipts are the only way to track and prove cash purchases and expenses, and receipts are usually lost during the chaos. Instead, use your credit card or debit card instead so everything is documented. You can even use the statements to compute your mileage for evacuation expense reimbursement.

DON’T call your insurance agent for advice on placing a claim. Anything you say will be passed on to the adjuster and possibly used against you. Most people think they need to contact their insurance agents to call in a claim. This is not true. You can place a claim directly with the carrier. Agents will usually try to discourage people from placing claims for several reasons: they have the insurance company’s interest in mind; they want the loss ratio on their books of business low because it’s usually tied to bonuses, vacations, and other incentives; and it is the insurance company’s first line of defense in minimizing claims. YOUR INSURANCE AGENT IS NOT YOUR FRIEND! 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 interests!

DON’T do anything without contacting Phoenix Public Adjusting first. With the exception of taking measures to prevent further damage, leave everything “as is” until the insurance company inspects your property. They will not pay for damage they have not seen; therefore, making repairs or cleaning up can have an adverse effect on the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive! Let Phoenix Public Adjusting do all the work. We handle every aspect of the claims process: calling in the claim, filling out the paperwork, scheduling the insurance company inspections, providing them with an estimate, and negotiating the maximum compensation. We can act as an intermediary and your representative throughout the entire process.

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