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About: Dave

Name  :  David E. Young
 
E-mail  :  dave@brown-ohaver.com
 
Website  :  http://adjusteradvocate.com/
 
Profile  :  David E. Young, CPPA, SPPA Certified Professional Public Adjuster Senior Professional Public Adjuster Mr. Young is one of the very few individuals throughout the world who has passed both the Certified Professional Public Adjuster (CPPA) Examination and the Senior Professional Public Adjuster Examination (SPPA). He is a nationally recognized expert in the appraisal of insurance claims, having been retained by a national publisher to author writings to train attorneys in this provision of insurance law.
 

Posts by Dave:

Optional Insurance Coverage

Recently one of our clients discovered that he did not have insurance for something he thought his premiums paid for. What a disappointment! It would be wise for everyone to review their policies and look for the following optional coverage you might want to consider. Here are a few:

Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage. This is insurance coverage that pays to replace your home even if the loss exceeds the policy limit.

Inflation Guard Endorsement . Since the replacement cost or your home is increasing with inflation so will your policy limits. This coverage periodically increases to maintain your coverage.

Mold Coverage. Most insurers (with the exemption of State Farm which does not) offer a limited amount of mold insurance in the policy. You can usually increase this with a simple and inexpensive endorsement.

Earthquake insurance. Yes, with the exception of Arizona which deals with other issues, every State is subject to a potential earthquake as we have seen recently in Oklahoma. Earthquake insurance is normally issued as an endorsement and attached to your home insurance policy.

Flood insurance. Standard home insurance policies do not cover flood damage although we recently helped an insurance consumer who had purchased a flood insurance endorsement as part of her policy. The next best option, and it is an inferior one, is to get a policy through the National Flood insurance program (NFIP). Your agent can help you do this. The NFIP Claim process is so flawed that we do not take NFIP claims any longer but hopefully you might fare well with this very difficult government insurance on your own. After all, as bad as some things are, they are generally better than nothing.

Increased limits on Money and securities. This endorsement increases the coverage on money, bank notes, securities and deeds.

Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement. This endorsement is sometimes called a “personal article floater”. A personal article floater covers things of value you own that might exceed coverage policy limits, such as a Rolex watch or your stamp collection or your fur coat. We have such an endorsement for a painting we own. There is typically no deduction applied to this coverage.

Theft Coverage Protection Endorsement. As a result of this endorsement, your theft protection is broadened. Theft claims are one of the most difficult claims that Brown – O’Haver works. The contents of your motor vehicle or watercraft without proof of forcible entry would be covered but such coverage is not generally available to all policies.

You can insure most anything. Rumor has it that Mariah Carey insured her legs for 675 million dollars! Look at your policy closely to see what is insured. Get a good insurer and only pay for what you need. Look for the policies with similar coverage that costs the least amount of money. If you have any questions, call Brown – O’Haver and ask an adjuster for an opinion. We love to give opinions and welcome your calls.

Know Your Agent

It wasn’t all that long ago when we adjusted a claim for a Client whose house burned down, almost to the ground. As it turns out, the insured had NOT talked to his insurance agent for twenty-seven years and the same policy limit that existed twenty-seven years ago was the same policy limit in force at the time of his devastating fire.

The insured had his agent “assigned” by a title company when he bought his home. The agent had not ever called him at all.

While this is an extreme example of an agent-client relationship gone wrong, or at least never started right, think about it for a minute. Do you know who your insurance agent is? Most people do not.

Some insurance agents are like State Farm advertises: “like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”. You bowl with your State Farm agent, you go to Church with your State Farm agent. The State Farm agent is your friend and will do anything to help you, until you have a claim. Agents are often powerless when a claim raises its ugly head. We adjusted a claim for a Farmers’ insured whose agent went to bat for his client in a disputed claim and the Farmers agent called us after a while and told us that Farmers was letting him go. That is why you need Brown – O’Haver to adjust your claim. We are your advocate and represent YOUR interests and not the interests of the insurance company.

It is most important that you know your agent and understand where the agent is coming from. Many agents just want to hear the prospective client to say “yes” so the agent gets stuck in the mind-set of offering a cheaper policy instead of teaching the client how to purchase or buy the right policy. They operate under the rule that “No sale equals no commission”. An agent you know well will help you get the right coverage. The agent should not focus on price and neither should you. Insurance often consumes fifteen percent of our budget but insurance is our blind spot. We need insurance to cover us for a potential loss and the potential loss that must be insured is different for everyone. Knowing and trusting an agent, except when the agent doesn’t want you to hire an advocate when you have to present a claim. You see, when you file a claim agents are concerned with their “claims ratio” and many times the loyalty your agent has for you evaporates.

My agent knows me. I trust her and when my truck caught on fire, she quickly advised me she could not get involved in the claim process. If your agent knows you they will have helped you obtain the right coverage. The policies they sell are contracts. Your agent should have studied those policies so that he or she can answer any question you might pose.

Your agent should help you build a plan of protection that will fit your needs. Some people want insurance for “everything”, but they will likely go broke with that mentality. That is another reason to get to know your agent.

Whatever Happened to Customer Service?

I spent ten minutes today waiting for a claim representative to answer the phone so that we could discuss the adjustment of a Client’s claim. After ten minutes a voice came on the phone telling me that my call was important to them and they would answer in 18 minutes. As my mentor of years ago would say, “welcome to my world”.

But his world is not getting better, it is getting worse. Try calling State Farm, for instance. If you do you may find that you are required to go through a number of prompts, one of which tells you that they don’t have a claim number under the phone number you are calling from. Eventually you will get to a place where you are asked to dial in “your claim representative’s ten digit number”.

The customer service of insurance companies can be a nightmare but so can be the customer service of mortgage companies. We contact mortgage companies for clients every day to help our clients get money released from the mortgage company for rebuilds. When calling mortgage companies, you will want to have a passel of things that you can do while you are waiting for what seems like an eternity. Such projects will range from either doing work assignments or spending time on crossword puzzles, just to get through to a human at these hubris-filled companies.

Besides the aforementioned, there are other symptoms of poor customer service. They include, but are not limited to:

Language compromised representatives taking your call from a foreign country.

Covid – excuses (working from home).

Asking for the same information over and over.

Employees using scripts to answer your questions.

Interactive voice response systems.

Websites that direct you to useless FAQ’s.

Website that directs you to do your own service.

No call backs.

Some of the problems that cause poor customer experiences include insurance companies sending their reps on “storm duty” while their other claims languish and using technology to replace human beings in answering your phone call. Response times are awful.

We want our clients to know that we will respond when you call or email or text. Sometimes I personally don’t get back to my voicemail hourly, but I personally respond to texts and calls as often and as fast as I can, and so it is with other Brown – O’Haver employees. We train our employees to respect our clients and to treat them how they would wish to be treated. In a claim situation where we deal directly with carriers on behalf of our clients, we will take the hit in communicating with your insurer so you won’t have to.

No insurance claim is easy but at Brown – O’Haver, we want to make your claims experience as good as it can be. We know that while we do increase recoveries on insurance claims people actually hire us for the service. We are committed to showing you what excellent customer service is all about.