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About: Dave

Name  :  David E. Young
 
E-mail  :  dave@brown-ohaver.com
 
Website  :  www.adjusteradvocate.com
 
Profile  :  Thanks to WordPress Themes, changing the look and feel of your WordPress site is fairly straightforward. For instance, when a viewer clicks on a link to a post author, by default he or she is taken to a page listing the posts from that particular author in chronological order, from newest posts at the top to oldest at the bottom. There are many display choices, including whether to display the complete post or post excerpts, and what additional information to display (title, category, publish date, last modified time, etc.). Each theme makes different choices, and you might want to change them.
 

Posts by Dave:

How does the Russian/Ukraine Battle Impact the Insurance Industry?

Perhaps because I have been around so long, I am privy to information that is shared behind the scenes with “high net worth” insurance company executives. It has been interesting watching what they anticipate will impact the insurance industry. For two years, the concern was whether or not those with a particular endorsement in their policies would be able to collect on Contingent Business Interruption Claims caused by “Acts of Governmental Authorities” in shutting down service businesses due to the pandemic. More recently, however, information sharing and concerns have been revolving around the Russian/Ukraine Ware. 

What is the big concern now? Cyber-attacks. Generally, war-related losses are excluded from payment by insurance policies. After 9/11 and the question, “will the war exclusion be applied here?” it was determined that the world needed terrorism insurance. However, there is a question now as to whether or not terrorism insurance cover cyberattacks. Just like in everything else, “The large print giveth and the small print taketh away”. The interpretation of clauses in policies as determined by courts, if necessary, will prevail. 

Much of the commentary on this topic suggests that clauses had been interpreted as a legalistic trick for insurers to avoid paying claims. However, these clauses in the policies represent an important development that should remove one of the major impediments to the growth of cyber insurance. They provide insights into the balance of responsibility between the public and private sectors in generating resilience and norms of state conduct. Existing exclusions for war are inadequate to capture nation-state activity in cyberspace, coupled with potential litigation over insurance claims which might be made under property insurance policies that might be ambiguous on this topic. 

As a former Navy Intelligence Officer, I cannot see Putin losing. So, what can be done? Lao Tzu, writing in The Art of War, says that a golden bridge to escape should be provided for your retreating opponent.

Until such a thing can be made to happen, one thing that Putin can do to bring us to our knees is unleashed terror attacks. Will the damage from such attacks be covered? To answer this question in my favor, I just yesterday purchased cyberattack insurance.  I added it as an endorsement to my homeowner’s insurance policy.  It was only $ 200.00, and I would recommend this purchase to anyone with a computer. 

Untold Stories of a PA: Non-salvage vs Repair

Depending on the type of insurance claim you have you may not have any personal property that was affected by the loss. Fire and water claims are losses that typically have damaged personal property. The extent of the damages determines if items can be cleaned/repaired or non-salvaged, meaning you are paid to replace that item.

For example, a fire occurs in the kitchen and is contained in that room, but smoke traveled throughout the home. Usually, items in the kitchen would be considered non-salvage. Items in bedrooms would be considered cleanable, except for consumable items such as hygiene, beauty, cleaning, and office supplies. Typically contents like clothing, bedding, furniture, and décor can usually be cleaned.

Consumable items cannot be cleaned because they are now contaminated and have gone through a chemical reaction by either the heat or smoke. Restoration companies, the ones who are most likely to clean and restore the personal property, do not include consumables with their scope of work. It can also be cheaper to replace consumables than it would be to clean.

In our line of adjusting, we often experience insurance companies who suggest cleaning for items rather than replacement because it is cheaper to clean larger items than to replace them. We have also experienced an adjuster providing a list of items that they believed could be cleaned or repaired when we knew they could not. This is because the items were either consumable or were damaged beyond repair.

The list consisted of canvas prints, wrapping paper, tire inner tube, and tools that were in a burnt tool chest to name a few. Because the fire occurred in this room all the items should be considered non-salvage. Canvas prints are pores that allow smoke to penetrate through the material. Wrapping paper is paper and paper cannot be cleaned. The tire inner tube is now compromised and will not have the same function as before. As the tools were in a tool chest that was burnt, they also cannot be cleaned or repaired.

It is eye-opening and head-turning to know insurance companies can dig their heels in especially in situations like this. If it weren’t for the homeowner hiring us the insurance company would have never received a non-salvage list at length or with great detail our team was able to prepare. It is sad to think that without our help the homeowner might have received payment for cleaning all of their belongings instead of payment to replace their belongings.

What is an independent adjuster?

Did you know there are three types of adjusters? 

  • Company Adjuster
  • Independent Adjuster
  • Public Adjuster

A company adjuster works directly for the insurance company, is paid by the insurance company, and represents their interest.

An independent adjuster is hired by the insurance company, is paid by them, and represents their interest.

A public adjuster is hired by the homeowner, represents homeowners’ interest, and is paid by the homeowner.

Independent adjusters do not work for anyone insurance company, instead, they are contracted by an insurance carrier to handle claims for a specific time period or loss. The independent adjuster is essentially the middleman that does the inspections and writes the reports for the insurance company to review and base payment on. They are hired and paid by the insurance company but are not employed by them on a permanent basis. This adjuster can also be referred to as the field adjuster. They update the insurance company or desk adjuster on the details of the claim. The desk adjuster is ultimately the one who makes decisions on the claim and gives the final approval.

If you have ever had a claim and received an update from the adjuster you met with letting you know the carrier is reviewing the claim, this means the company desk adjuster. It is common for this adjuster to never step foot on your property. You may also have little to no contact with this person and only interact with the independent adjuster.

At any point during your claim, you can hire a public adjuster to represent you. Your adjuster will be at every inspection, follow up with both the independent and company adjusters, review and gather necessary documents/information needed to resolve and settle your claim. Give Brown O’Haver a call to review your claim for free.

What a Public Adjuster is Not

A public adjuster is not an independent adjuster, a private adjuster, a contractor, or a restoration company.

There are many tasks a public adjuster can do and there are many tasks they cannot do. A public adjuster is an insurance adjuster who does not work for any insurance company. They work for the insured, the homeowner, to assist in the preparation, presentation, and settlement of the claim. The insured hires them by signing a contract agreeing to pay them a fee or commission based on a percentage of the settlement, or other methods of compensation.

Public adjusters are sometimes mistakenly called Independent Adjusters. This could be because neither public nor independent adjusters work as an employee of the insurance company. Both adjusters also work on numerous claims and communicate with several insurance companies however, they are not the same. Independent adjusters work on behalf of the insurance company and represent the interest of the insurance company they are handling a claim for and not the insured. A public adjuster works on behalf of the insured not the insurance company and works on behalf of the insured.

Another name public adjusters are mistaken for is a private adjuster. It seems that people think of public adjusters as having a role similar to secret agents working for the FBI or private investigators. In a way, public adjusters are like private investigators. Both look closely into their subject/claim and follow leads that others may have missed. Public adjusters dig deep into claims and can recognize any missing pieces because reviewing and understanding claims and policies is their specialty.

Public adjusters review estimates, write estimates and understand construction. Nonetheless, they are not contractors. Insurance company adjusters are also not contractors. They do not repair homes, write trade estimates, nor have a license, training, or experience that a contractor should have. Often homeowners contact public adjusters wanting to know when work will begin on their home or have specific questions about the repairs. While public adjusters understand the construction process, a licensed contractor is the best contact for those specific types of questions. Additionally, a public adjuster cannot be a contractor and vice versa. If a contractor tells you that they can adjust your claim for you that is not true just like a public adjuster cannot construct your home.

It is also common for homeowners to call their public adjuster wanting to know when contents from their home will be removed and clean. This is actually a job that a restoration company does. Restoration companies concentrate on restoring homes and personal belongings. Insureds can hire a restoration company to be their contractor and repair their home. They can also only hire them to restore their personal belongings that were damaged. Restoration companies are the ones who pack up the home and clean those items at their facility. They can clean and restore furniture, clothing, décor, and electronics.

As you can see there are several portions of a claim and multiple entities can be involved. Public adjusters perform all the same tasks a company or independent adjuster and all three are different. Company and independent adjusters are also not contractors nor restoration companies. If you are having issues with your insurance claim, call a public adjuster to review everything to make sure you are paid properly and treated fairly through the process. Public adjusters have your back and best interest in mind. They do not get paid a penny if they cannot get you paid a dime.

Additional, Additional, Additional

Have you ever felt overwhelmed and thought, “How am I going to pay for all of this?” If you have an open homeowner’s insurance claim you could actually get money back on certain expenses. These expenses are called Additional Living Expenses.

Additional Living Expenses are the increased living expenses incurred by you and your family to maintain your normal standard of living while your home is not livable.

These expenses can include rood, rent, mileage, storage, and pet care to name a few.

FOOD

If you and your family are displaced from your home and staying in a hotel that does not have a full kitchen like your house, you are owed for the meal expenses until you are able to have a full kitchen again.

RENT

If you have a mortgage and your home is unhabitable due to the damages, you are owed an amount to rent a home that is comparable to yours. Rental furniture and appliances are also covered under Additional Living Expenses.

MILEAGE

During the time you are displaced from your home, you are owed for any additional miles you and your family are traveling. Let’s say it is normally 10 miles to get to work but now that you are staying at a different location you are now driving 15 miles, your insurance company owes for the additional 5 miles.

STORAGE

If you need to rent a storage unit to store your belongings until the repairs are complete, you are owed for that.

PET CARE

If you must board your pets during the time your home is unhabitable, you guessed it, you are owed for that too.

Additional Living Expenses is its own coverage in the policy that helps protect you, your family, and your checkbook. Be sure to check with your public adjuster to know if you’re covered.