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Post COVID-19: Policyholders Continue to Face Settlement Nightmares

View of man at desk holding up "Help" sign made of carboard

As an essential business, public adjusting firms have shifted their operations to adapt to the changing post COVID-19 business environment but unfortunately, not all companies have followed this change successfully. For the insurance industry, the disruption is leaving policyholders with unanswered questions; leading to delayed, underpaid, or denied property damage claims.

Our recent experiences have shown us that policyholders are being put through an emotional rollercoaster by having to navigate through their damaged items with the insurance company virtually. This post COVID-19 “new normal” standard causes emotional anguish and introduces error as it is impossible to correctly inspect and account for damages just by looking at a photo or video of damaged property.

Anyone There? We have also learned that Insurance company adjusters are not expediting inspections or answering their calls and emails in a timely manner which is leading to chaos and frustration as claims continue to become delayed. In addition, lack of communication and empathy sets a stage for a very uncomfortable relationship and a lack of trust that the policyholder is being taken care of. With the human element missing, the end result is rushed out and artificially reduced claim payments. Just take a look at this snapshot of communication we recently witnessed between a client and insurance company:

“I am still baffled that if “the insurance company” seems to believe the house is in different condition than what has been well documented that a staff adjuster cannot just come out to see the home and see for themselves the sad state of damages that were incurred. “the insurance company” and their contractors have provided no information to support their claims that damages are not as documented, is this even allowed –that only the opinion of a remote adjuster trumps evidence now? Why did it take two weeks for the adjuster to tell us that she would not open the attached photos or Dropbox links to confirm the damages documented, is that standard practice?

I understand that as a company, “the insurance company”  may have many clients, and in my past dealings over 15 years, I have had nothing but positive things to say about my experience as a member, in fact recommending them whole-heartedly for the amazing service, but this has proven the exact opposite. There is no sense of urgency in advancing my claim and getting my home made repaired and made whole again. Coupled with an aggressive and demeaning claims adjuster, I am simply at a loss for words. Being told “take this to appraisal” before even getting a scope of work or estimate from “the insurance company” seems that this is being viewed as a “headache” for the adjuster rather than their role as a contracted insurer of helping me to get back into a repaired home, again all that I am asking to do, in a timely manner.

Between being forced to rush now out of the hotel and into a place I need to find during the time I should be sleeping in preparation for my next hospital shift I am also in the predicament of not being able to use the time I do have to line up contractors for the repair, as there is no agreed upon scope of work to perform. When the few that I have had come to the home and tell me it will be over $200,000 and “the insurance company” is trying to lowball me at half of that how can I possibly sign-up and potentially be out of pocket for half the repairs?

At this point a month in, I would have assumed that we would be further along and not redoing work and inspections multiple times just to agree to the obvious. I am deeply frustrated by this experience and particularly “the insurance company” delays, lowballing, and the simple tone of the conversation from their adjuster assigned.

Why is it that during the days, the adjuster took off and we had quick communication with her counterpart is seemed that more was accomplished and in a much more respectful and fluid dynamic more akin to what I expect from “the insurance company”, than in the entire month? At this point, I am at a loss, and just looking to get “the insurance company” to agree to the obvious and well-documented damage sand agree to a scope of work, so that a contractor can be lined up and I have a real idea of the amount of time we will be displaced.”

Insurance Adjusting- Done Right! United Public Adjusters & Appraisers Inc.’s vision is to provide policyholders with peace of mind after disasters. With this in mind, our first priority is ensuring that the policyholder, their fears and frustrations are alleviated. We do this specifically by implementing a process that is customer-centric and transparent. From the claim perspective, we make sure that NO MONEY is left on the table by applying our construction and real estate estimating experience, combined with expert policy language interpretation. We pay extra attention to completing detailed on-site inventories of personal property damages and building damage repair estimates. While this may lead to additional time when inspecting, we understand that the details matter. It is close to impossible to fully understand the scope of damages without seeing the physical damages. When large loss property disasters happen, we offer the value of expediting payments due to the insured by creating urgency with the insurance company. Our approach is very straight forward:  We offer a no-obligation, free policy and claim review.  NO PRESSURE. NO FALSE HOPE. NO RECOVERY, NO FEE! Contact us today for a Free Consultation.

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