Most of you will not have time to read a lengthy issue of
The Adjuster's Advantage because you are too busy assisting insureds who suffered losses from Hurricane Irene. In the crush of the moment, I just want to mention a few of the "little things" that might assist you.
1. Remember to get a written retainer signed by the responsible parties.
2. Remember that a hurricane does not suspend a mortgage or a foreclosure proceeding. The bank holding the mortgage may be the real party in interest and you will need to communicate with them regarding the building claim.
3. Difficult as it may be, get a copy of the policy. If not from your insured, then from the agent/broker.
4. Remember to read the policy and seek out any "hurricane deductible" provision. If you find it, read it carefully.
5. Remember that the insurance company cannot change the policy without informing the insured. If coverage has been restricted in the event of a hurricane, was the insured given notice of the reduction in coverage? No notice = no reduction.
6. Remember that the National Flood Insurance Program takes no prisoners! Watch the deadlines, the filing requirements, the forms.
7. Document your file with the weather information. Months from now, the insurer will likely challenge the insured's report of the wind speed at the loss location.
8. Get and retain local reports of storm and flooding conditions - newspaper, Patch, local news, internet - for the areas you service.
9. Take lots of photos! You can never have too many. Include the neighborhood, too. And tell your insureds to hang on to their old photos which may help to identify the pre-loss existence and condition of their real and personal property.
10. Be sure the "stormtrooper" from the insurance company is aware of local pricing. Replacement costs in NY/NJ are higher than in Arkansas and they will increase as demand increases!
Most importantly, please feel free to call me if you encounter any problems - telephone 973-538-4100; email:
We are here to help!