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 of the applicable coverages are applied to the loss. We ensure that property owners are comprehensively compensated for their damages and properly indemnified for their loss. The principle of indemnity is to restore an insured to their pre-loss condition. Most insurance companies never fully indemnify their policyholders in attempt to minimize their claim costs and ultimately please their shareholders. Our expertise not only includes insurance coverages, but the inspection, and estimating processes as well. This well-rounded claim knowledge usually results in a significantly larger settlement 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?
Yes, you the insured, can and have the right to submit the claim on your own without the help of Phoenix Public Adjusting, but will you have the same results? Absolutely not. Its has been proven time and time again that a public adjuster can help you receive 3-5 times more compensation for your loss than you working directly with your insurance company. If you think you will have the same results a public adjuster who is an expert at policy coverages, the claim process, the inspection process, the scope and estimate process, and proving your loss….you’re very mistaken. Don’t let your insurance company fool you into thinking that you don’t need the help of a public adjuster or that they are going to put your interests before theirs. This is exactly how your insurance company wants you to think and exactly what your insurance company wants you to do, because that way, they will always have the advantage of having an expert there to represent and protect their interest. You should be doing the same by hiring your own expert that will educate you, protect your interest, and get you the most for your loss; be sure to contact Phoenix Public Adjusting before you call your insurance company or a restoration company. The insurance company hires an expert to represent them and you should be doing the same. Call us before you call them!
Is my insurance company is 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, because that area would now considered a higher risk to insure and that will result in higher insurance rates for you and everyone in the affected area regardless of whether you place a claim or not. The other reason your insurance company will raise your rates is when they automatically increase your coverage annually or biannually depending on the type of policy that you have (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 is going to raise your rates regardless of whether you place a claim or not, regardless of how long you’ve been with them, or how loyal you are, and regardless of how good your relationship is with your insurance agent (Your insurance agent is not your friend, especially during a claim).
Will my insurance company cancel my policy for placing a claim?
Your insurance company can cancel your policy for several reasons that may include the following: Non-payment of policy premiums, misrepresentation and/or concealment of material facts, insurance fraud, failure to correct hazardous conditions (trees touching the roof, faulty wiring, empty pools, and/or building code violations, etc..), and reoccurring losses or repetitive claims for the same cause of loss (having three or more non-weather related claims in a 3 year period etc..). Your insurance company cannot cancel your policy for using the insurance for its intended purpose or as a result of you placing a claim for damage(s) to your property that is sudden and accidental and covered under your policy. It’s highly recommended that you hire Phoenix Public Adjusting to represent you before you submit your claim; you may say something that the insurance company will use against you to discredit your claim or reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
Do I need to clean/repair everything right away?
You shouldn’t do any cleaning or 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 mean thousands of dollars in compensation that you would have otherwise been entitled to, especially if you have it 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 is in business to make make money and maximize their profits; in order to accomplish that, they try to minimize the amount of claim payouts and attempt pay you as little as possible for your damages. An insurance company’s main goal is to pay you as little as they can and still have a satisfied customer; however many of those satisfied customers are usually not fully indemnified insureds. The insurance company will only clean, repair, and/or reimburse you for expenses only if you demand it. They will prey on your unfamiliarity of policy coverages and will require you to prove your damages (If you don’t know what is considered damage or what is covered, how are you going to ask for it?). The insurance company’s field adjuster is not going to educate you on your policy coverages or protect your interest; his/her job is to protect your insurance company’s interest while paying you the least amount of money they can get away with while making you think that they’re taking care of you. The best way to ensure you’re getting taken care of is to hire Phoenix Public Adjusting to represent you during the claim process. We will keep you informed, protect your interest, and make sure you 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 and/or repairing the damages; since they are not insurance coverage experts, they will only be concerned with getting paid to do the cleaning and are not aware of every coverage that applies to your loss and will not be able to adjust your claim or get you the maximum compensation. Once you have hired a public adjuster to get you the maximum compensation that you’re entitled to, then it would be a good idea to hire 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 has refused 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 Claim FAQ’s
Why is smoke, soot, and ash contamination considered damage?
Smoke, soot, and ash contamination is carcinogenic and is very harmful to your respiratory system, causing 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, and ash contamination is covered under your homeowner’s or property insurance policy (as long as you can prove it that is…because the burden of proof lies on you, not your insurance company or their adjuster). Make sure you hire a public adjuster that is experienced in smoke, soot, and ash claims, not just any adjuster will 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, and 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 many years. The contamination not only remains on the structure and in your attic insulation, but in your clothing, furniture, drapes, curtains, carpeting, and other fabrics and textiles. Everytime it rains, the smoke smell will be reactivated and that’s because it’s still 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?
If you have done some regular household cleaning, you still haven’t completely removed the 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. Don’t tell your insurance company you have cleaned your home because their definition of cleaning(usually through a restoration company)is not the same as yours, and your insurance company will use your words against you, so be careful what you say to them. Although cleaning your house before the insurance company inspects your home is detrimental to your claim, you probably have not cleaned it properly, so be sure you contact a public adjuster to properly assess the damage and cleaning that needs to be done prior to placing a claim and contacting your insurance carrier or doing any type of cleaning because your public adjuster will need to show the damage to your insurance company in order to prove your loss.