The damage left by the various winter storms, due to floods, landslides, excessive amounts of snow and even tornadoes, push many families to deal with insurance companies to try to rebuild their properties. In fact, in the past few months alone, damages amounting to over $1 billion have been reported.
The number of insurance claims has skyrocketed in California over the past two months and if you are one of those whose property has been damaged, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities.
Vince Perri, who negotiates with insurers for his clients, told us that at the start, there is one rule: “never accept the first offer of insurance. Never”.
And it is that, as Perri explained, in his experience, what insurance offers is rarely enough.
“We already know insurance is going to send in a quote that’s not good enough,” said Perri, who is the founder of Elite Resolutions.
This is why, he insists, each owner must do their homework and not let themselves be guided solely by what the insurer’s claims adjuster calculates. In this sense, he added, you should always ask for several quotes, before accepting what the insurance offers you.
“If you can do like an interview with 2,3,4 entrepreneurs, that’s the next best thing,” Perri said.
Of course, to ensure you receive coverage and get paid on time, you need to do your part.
“Take the pictures, mitigate, protect the house, you need to call the insurance right away,” Perri said, adding that “you also need to do the minimum repairs to protect the house.”
As Perri explained, if the homeowner doesn’t put up tents, boards, or whatever else is needed to protect the home, and further damage is caused after the incident, insurance may refuse to cover it. pay.
By the way, in California, the law specifies the time period an insurer has to respond to you.
“From the day you file the claim with insurance, insurance has 45 days to investigate. If it’s more than 45 days, you can go to the California Department of Insurance,” did he declare.
In addition, if you contact the insurer, either by leaving a telephone message, or by traditional mail or by email, it has an additional 14 days to respond to you.
Alternatively, you can go to the Insurance Commissioner’s website, insurance.Ca.Gov, and file a complaint.
And if you choose to hire a claims adjuster to accompany you, first think about making sure they have a valid license in California, for this you can go to the State Department of Insurance website and put in the “check a license” search box. Keep in mind that they charge you 10-20% of what they get from your insurance, but according to Perri, the cost of having an adjuster represent you is well worth it.
“Fifteen years of doing this, almost always, 95% of the claims we make, we can get more money. And not a little, 50 to 800 percent more,” Perri said.
The important thing, the expert repeated, is that you are well informed about repair costs, before agreeing to an agreement with insurance, and if you need help with that, get it. Otherwise, just make a plan, and call your insurer at least once a week, to follow up on your case, remember, they must give you an answer no later than 45 days after submitting your claim.
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