Minnesota Insurance Claims: Top Reasons for Filing

Minnesota Insurance Claims Help

When it comes to home insurance claims, there are numerous reasons to file one, as there are a lot of things that can happen and you should be ready for them all.

As a homeowner, you need to have an idea on the most common reasons for filing a home insurance claim so you can be ready should the time come. Having this knowledge allows you to be prepared in cases there are problems that do come about.

Here are the top reasons many Minnesota homeowners file home insurance claims:

Hail and Wind Damage

Wind can cause serious damage, whether it’s a really strong wind that blows away your roof, or objects in your yard being thrown against your windows and shattering glass. Also causing direct and serious damage to properties is hail. Hail damage can strongly impact roofs, siding and other exterior features. Often, the damage is so extensive that it’s best for insurance to cover the damages.

Water Damage

When it comes to water damage, there are two distinct types, which depend on the water source. There is the water damage caused by natural disasters like very strong storms which can cause flooding, and then there are those damages caused by issues in the home. Whether it’s because of a natural disaster or a broken pipe, water damages can severely impact your home and need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Fire Damage

The most costly damage of all, in most cases, is fire damage. Fire can completely destroy your house and take with it everything that was inside. When a fire strikes your Minnesota home and it results in a total loss, you’ll have to start from scratch. In order to recover, you need to have adequate coverage against the damage that was caused. You’ll need to look into what kind of coverage is being offered in order to be safe.
Was your home damaged, and you’re having problems with the insurance company? When you need a Minnesota insurance claims professional on your side, call us today at 866-512-5677 or Request a Free Estimate.

photo credit: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region via photopin cc

Fire Insurance Claims: 5 Tips for Filing

Fire continues to be a continuing threat to properties, and insurance companies are trying to cut corners on fire insurance claims in order to save money. Since the threat continues to increase, homeowners need to be familiar with how to file a fire insurance claim. There are few experiences more devastating than losing all your belongings and home, so the last thing you need to deal with is your insurance company giving you a hard time about the claim. Here are tips to follow when dealing with fire insurance claims:

  1. Ask for an advance against your ultimate claim
    If dangerous conditions forced you to evacuate, meaning you were unable to grab essentials, don’t panic: call your insurance company and ask that someone bring a check to you, so you’re able to buy necessities. Take care of your needs, but don’t buy frivolous or the most expensive items. The amount you get in advance will be deducted from your final claim.
  2. Make a list of losses; don’t throw anything away
    Begin putting together your list of losses immediately so you can remember what was lost to fire. Don’t throw anything away, as the insurance adjuster will want to see these things to include them in the coverage.
  3. File your claim right away and ask the company for immediate action
    Most policies require homeowners to file their claims ASAP. Call your agent immediately to get the process started. If you don’t, you could find yourself on the bottom of the list and it could be quite some time before an adjuster reaches you. Since you are acting as quickly as possible, your insurance company will need to do the same. If you find they are taking too long to get in touch with you, let them know you will get in touch with the appropriate state officials, and this should prompt them to act.
  4. Secure your property
    Your insurance company will require you to take reasonable care of your property, so you need to do everything you can to secure it from further damage. If there is a total loss, then this is unnecessary, but it only one are of the home was damaged, you’ll need to be proactive in taking actions to prevent against further damage.
  5. Monitor living expenses
    Your policy includes a “loss of use” clause, meaning you will be reimbursed for living expenses while you’re displaced. However, be aware you’re only entitled to the difference between what you spent when you were displaced and what you spent while you lived at home. If you’re staying with loved ones during this time, then your hosts might be reimbursed for these costs, so ask them to itemize additional costs.

If you find you’re having issues with getting your claim, then it’s time to get in touch with a qualified public adjuster like Norcia Insurance Consultants. Call us now at (866) 512-5677.

Public Adjusters Will Negotiate the Best Settlement Possible for You

A public adjuster can help you get a fair settlement from an insurance company.  The public adjuster represents you, and his or her job is to help you settle your claim for the maximum amount that your insurance policy entitles you to receive.

The insurance adjuster from the insurance company is representing the insurance carrier, and his or her job is to settle your claim for as little as he or she can get away with.

When you meet with a public adjuster, he or she will first want to review your insurance policy and the circumstances surrounding your claim. By evaluating this information, he or she will know what you are entitled to claim and what kind of value to assign to your loss.

Insurance policies are written in specific legalese, and unless you know what a particular term means from a legal standpoint, you won’t know what your rights and obligations may be. A public adjuster has had training in insurance law and will be able to analyze your policy to determine the extent of your coverage and the maximum amount you would be entitled to claim.

Next he would visit your damaged property site to check the details of your loss. An experienced public adjuster will not only see the obvious, but he or she will have a good idea of what hidden damage may have occurred, and the consequential expenses that are likely to be encountered in the process of repair.

He or she will be able to estimate the total cost of restoring your loss to the pre-event condition, and how much of that cost is actually covered by your policy. If your loss is for your business, your public adjuster will be able to estimate the cost of replacing any business assets, loss of income and other business opportunities that you may be entitled to claim.

He or she will then put all of this information into a format that can be used to properly support your claim. And finally, your public adjuster will negotiate with the insurance carrier on your behalf to achieve the best settlement possible.

Public Insurance Adjusters Level the Playing Field

It has become more important than ever to engage your own public insurance adjuster to represent you in determining your actual loss and claim with an insurance carrier. Many insurance companies are employing practices that are designed to pay you the absolute minimum amount possible.

In an attempt to retain their money, an insurance company may offer you 50 percent or even as little as 15 percent of what you are really entitled to receive. If you are intimidated, or desperate enough to accept this low-ball offer, the company will be quick to pay you and get the claim settled. If you dispute their offer and try to negotiate a more equitable settlement, they may drag out the process as long as possible. They hope that you will tire of the process and finally give up. They are in no rush; you are the one that needs the settlement to restore your situation to the pre disaster status.

Some companies have offered their insurance adjusters financial incentives if they are able to settle a claim for less than your policy would entitle you to receive; the greater the saving, the greater the incentive for the insurance adjuster. Much of the success in getting claimants to accept the low-ball offer is due to a lack of knowledge of how insurance works. If we don’t know much about it, how can we successfully negotiate with someone who has been trained and does it every day? A simple error or omission on the claim form could cause a claim to be denied or seriously reduced.

By engaging your own public insurance adjuster to represent you, you can have the expertise you need on your side. Your expert will know what your claim is really worth and how to properly make that claim. Having your own insurance adjuster will put you in a better bargaining position. No one is likely to be on the same level as an insurance company with their billions of dollars, but having expertise on your side will reduce the risk of being intimidated, and increase the chances of a fair settlement.

Beware of Fake Insurance Adjusters

When tragedy strikes, there will unfortunately be someone nearby who wants to take advantage of the situation for unscrupulous purposes. It’s no different with insurance adjusters; while legit, ethical insurance adjusters want to help their clients, there are some out there who will pretend to be an adjuster just to line their own pockets without providing any help. That’s been the case as of late in Florida, Property Casualty 360° reported recently. The publication noted:

Post-catastrophe fraud has been commonplace for quite some time and is not specific to Florida. National events such as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the series of tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest last year have offered fertile grounds for opportunistic con artists. Although some of these gross actors have been brought to justice, ongoing efforts between regulatory entities, law officials, industry organizations, and P&C insurers will be necessary to quell similar crimes.

While the bulk of the story takes place in Florida and outside the Norcia Insurance Consultants service area, it does serve as a good reminder of to be cautious about with whom you do business. In times of catastrophe, you want to make sure that parties coming forward to help you are actually going to do just that. However, you need to know how to weed out the fakes from the real insurance adjusters. How do you do that? Here are a few tips of what to look for in an insurance adjuster.

  • Check to see if they’re licensed. This can be done with a simple Internet search or with a phone call to your state’s Department of Insurance. If there’s no record of them, you can probably be sure that they’re not legit.
  • Do an online search of them. If they’re a fake, you’re probably not the first person that they’ve bilked money from. And if they’ve done it before, someone has probably filed a complaint that can be located somewhere online.
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t believe exaggerated claims or go along with anything illegal or unethical. If this starts to happen, cut all ties with the adjuster and get in touch with someone else.