Thursday, December 15, 2011

Is It Worth Hiring a Public Insurance Adjustor To Handle Your Property Damage Claim?

As an insurance broker for 25 years, I ALWAYS refer Ken Crown of the Greenspan Company Adjusters International to any client of mine who has a property damage claim over $250,000. Think of Ken as a hired-gun- he will go up against your insurance company’s claims adjuster and usually increase and settle your claim for far more than his 10% fee.

Although your company's claims adjustor is a professional and will treat you fairly, he or she is still the opponent. Your interests are better served by hiring your own professional. It’s like getting a high powered CPA to help fight the IRS- the IRS agent is outmatched.

Case-in-point: My family owns a cabin in Idaho that is part of a 21 member HOA. In 2000, 17 of the cabins burned down. We got burned again when our insurance company offered us only $150,000. We had the Greenspan Company on the job and they did an inventory of everything- down to how much toilet paper was lost. We settled for over $1,000,000!

As a broker, Allied is not involved in the day-to-day claims process. Instead, we act as an advisor to our clients and advocate for them when there is a problem. A Public Insurance Adjustor, on the other hand, is a claims specialist who is involved in every aspect of the process. Having a big fire claim is a traumatic experience. There is a lot of work to do to rebuild and to settle the claim. Ken does a great job shouldering most of the load for my clients. He also keeps me in the loop on about the progress of the settlement.

The bigger your claim, the more you stand to lose. One of my clients had his $1.5 million home burn down. I recommended he call Ken but he chose to handle the claim directly with his insurance company instead. As his advocate, Allied Brokers advised the client not to sign any releases without our first reviewing them. The settlement dragged on for two years until two insurance company executives contacted my client without telling us and pressured him into settling for $500,000 less than he should have gotten. The client explained that he was so tired of the whole thing that he just wanted to get it over with. He wouldn’t have caved if he had hired Ken.

On a happier note, another client of mine who lost his business to fire won a $2,000,000 settlement and was able to relocate and rebuild in a year. He told me the best decision he ever made was taking my advice to hire Ken and the Greenspan Company.

This article provided courtesy Chris Grammar, President, Allied Brokers. Contact Allied Brokers for all your insurance needs.

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