Why should I use Phoenix Public Adjusting to represent me on my claim?
Our public insurance adjusters are insurance coverage and claim experts. Our knowledge of insurance coverages is critical in the claim process to ensure that all applicable coverages are applied to a loss. We make certain that property owners are compensated for their damages and properly indemnified for their losses. The principle of indemnity is to restore insureds to their pre-loss conditions. Most insurance companies never fully indemnify their policyholders to minimize their claim costs and please their shareholders. Our expertise not only includes insurance coverages, but the inspection and estimating processes as well. This well-rounded claims knowledge usually results in significantly larger settlements for our clients. Studies have shown that using a public adjuster usually results in a settlement that is 3-5 times larger than submitting the claim on your own and dealing directly with the insurance company. Insurance companies hire experts to handle your claim; shouldn’t you be doing the same?
Can I submit this claim on my own without the help of Phoenix Public Adjusting?
You have the right to submit your claim without the help of Phoenix Public Adjusting, but will you achieve the same results? A public adjuster can help you obtain more compensation for your loss than when you work directly with your insurance company. A public adjuster is an expert with extensive knowledge of policy coverages, the claim process, the inspection process, the scope and estimate process, and proving losses. Don’t let insurance companies convince you that you don’t need a public adjuster or that they are going to put your interests before theirs. They want you to believe they’re on your side so they can use their experts and protect their bottom lines. You can also have an expert that will educate you, protect your interests and get the most for your loss. Contact Phoenix Public Adjusting before you call your insurance company or a restoration company. Insurance companies hire an expert to represent them and you should do the same. Call us before you call them!
Is my insurance company going to raise my rates for placing a claim?
When many insureds are affected by a large catastrophic event like a wildfire, insurance companies will raise their rates in that area. When insurance companies consider a location a higher risk to insure, that results in higher insurance rates for everyone in the affected area regardless of whether you place a claim or not. Another reason insurance companies raise rates is for automatic increases for annual or biannual coverage depending on your policy (this is commonly known as the “inflation-guard” feature). This increase in coverage is usually around 2-5% of the dwelling coverage and is designed to protect you from being under-insured. Your insurance company will raise rates regardless of whether you place a claim or not and despite your relationship with the company or its agents.
Will my insurance company cancel my policy for placing a claim?
Your insurance company can cancel your policy for several reasons: non-payment of policy premiums, misrepresentation or concealment of material facts or insurance fraud. It may also cancel your policy for failing to correct hazardous conditions (trees touching the roof, faulty wiring, empty pools, or building code violations, etc.) and reoccurring losses or repetitive claims for the same cause of loss (such as having three or more non-weather related claims in a 3-year period). Your insurance company cannot cancel your policy for using the insurance for its intended purpose or as a result of placing a claim for property damages covered under your policy.
Do I need to clean or repair everything right away?
You shouldn’t clean up or make any repairs—except for protecting your property from further damage—before you’ve contacted Phoenix Public Adjusting and before the insurance company has had a chance to inspect the property. Don’t throw anything away, including debris. If you clean it beforehand, you’re literally cleaning away evidence that could amount to even more losses of thousands of dollars you would have otherwise been entitled to, especially if you have the property professionally cleaned by a restoration company. Leave everything untouched and resist the urge to clean until the damage is assessed by our expert adjusters and your insurance company’s representatives.
Can I depend on my insurance company to take care of me?
Don’t let those clever and funny TV commercials fool you into thinking that your insurance company actually cares about you and is looking out for your interests. Your insurance company’s business is to make money and maximize their profits. To accomplish its true objective, it tries to minimize the amount of claim payouts and pays you as little as possible for your damages. An insurance company may have satisfied customers, but many of them are not fully indemnified insureds. It will only clean, repair or reimburse you for expenses you demand. It will take advantage of your unfamiliarity of policy coverages and require you to prove your damages. The insurance company’s field adjuster is not going to educate you on policy coverages or protect your interests; his or her job is to protect the insurance company’s interest. Let Phoenix Public Adjusting represent you during the claim process. We will keep you informed and protect your interests so you can get the maximum compensation that you’re entitled to for your loss.
Can a restoration company handle my claim?
A restoration company cannot adjust your claim; only a licensed public adjuster can adjust your claim. The restoration company’s scope of expertise is professional cleaning, not insurance coverages. Only a public adjuster has the expertise to determine what coverages pertain to your loss and apply them accordingly. The restoration company is only concerned with one thing: cleaning or repairing the damages. Since they are not insurance coverage experts, they will only be concerned with getting paid to clean. Once you hire a public adjuster to obtain the maximum compensation you’re entitled to, then you can use a restoration company—only after you’ve received your compensation check, not before. You don’t want to get stuck with a $10,000 cleaning bill that the insurance company refuses to pay, so wait to get your check prior to commencing any cleaning or repairs or signing any work order contracts with a restoration company.
Smoke and Ash FAQ’s
Why is smoke, soot, and ash contamination considered damage?
Smoke, soot, or ash contamination is carcinogenic and is very harmful to your respiratory system. It can cause bronchitis and asthma-like symptoms as well as coughing and allergies, especially for infants, toddlers, elderly, and people with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Smoke, soot, or ash contamination is covered under your homeowner’s or property insurance policy, but you have the burden of proving such contamination exists. Hire a public adjuster experienced in smoke, soot, and ash claims because just any adjuster won’t do (Phoenix Public Adjusting specializes in this type of claim).
Does rain wash away all the smoke, soot, and ash contamination from a house fire or wildfire?
Rain will not wash away smoke, soot, or ash residue; to properly clean the structure it must be pressure washed with a special chemical spray. Left untouched, the contamination will remain on your property for years. The contamination remains on the structure, in your attic insulation, and also in your clothing, furniture, drapes, curtains, carpeting, and other fabrics and textiles. The contamination is there regardless of the amount of rain that falls on your property.
If I’ve already cleaned my house, do I still need to place a claim for smoke and ash contamination?
Regular house cleaning does not completely remove contamination. Unless you’ve had a professional cleaning company clean your home (inside and out), personal property, and clothing, you haven’t properly cleaned your home. Your insurance company’s definition of cleaning is not the same as yours, and it will use your “cleaning” as grounds to pay less compensation for damages. Although cleaning your house before the insurance company inspects your home is detrimental to your claim, you probably have not cleaned it properly. Contact a public adjuster to assess the damage and appropriate cleaning protocols prior to placing a claim with your insurance carrier. A firm like Phoenix Public Adjusting can help you illustrate damages to your insurance company in order to prove your loss.