The Southern California wildfires are causing the largest population evacuation in California’s history, and over $1 billion dollars so far in property damage. Once the TV cameras leave the damaged areas, the property owners and policyholders will have to get busy with the process of filing insurance claims. Most people don’t read their insurance policies. Even when they try to read them, they find them frustratingly complicated. Insurance policies list what you must do to file a claim, but they NEVER tell policyholders HOW to do it. The “devil” of the claim is in the details of the claims PROCESS, and the insurance companies hardly EVER explain the process. If they did, it would cost them millions more. Insurance companies do whatever they can to control the CLAIMS PROCESS. But, if you let me teach you the CLAIMS PROCESS, you’ll be able to take control of the process away from the insurance companies, and add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlements! Insurance companies will pay the least amount of money that the policyholder will accept to settle the claim. But, if you allow the insurance company to handle your claim for you, how will you ever know whether you got ALL you were entitled to collect? Remember, the adjuster works for the insurance company, not for you. HIS loyalty is to them…they’re paying his salary.
Let me share some of these strategies with you.
- For the hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes, there is coverage in the homeowners or renters insurance policy for living expenses while you were displaced. In that coverage, there is a whole list of eligible expenses that you don’t know about and it’s not listed in the policy. The insurance companies will likely not tell you this, but I’ll tell you. Visit this article to get additional information.
- How will you prepare your inventory of personal property? There is a right way and a wrong way. The wrong way is to allow the insurance adjuster to do your inventory for you. He has no incentive to get it right.
- The insurance company will depreciate your dwelling and personal property, even if you have replacement cost coverage. You must challenge their depreciation on EVERY ITEM. Make them PROVE their method of depreciation. This one strategy alone can put thousands of dollars in your pocket.
- Speaking of replacement cost coverage…even though you have replacement cost coverage in your homeowners policy, the insurance company is not going to pay you until you’ve actually made the replacement repairs or replacement purchases of your personal property. Once again, mastering this strategy can put thousands of dollars in your pocket…and if you don’t get this right, you stand to LOSE THOUSANDS!
- Are you under-insured? If you don’t FIGHT THIS PROCESS, the insurance company will determine how much your dwelling is worth, and if you have enough insurance. If THEY say you’re under-insured, they’ll hit you with a penalty. You have to fight and get the correct valuation on your property!