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Tips for Disaster Survivors

For those of you who are new to this adventure, you're probably thinking about removing the debris. Here are some tips you should think about before starting the process.

TIP: FROM OUR EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE WITH FIRE LOSSES, ANY “DOCUMENTATION” OF YOUR HOUSE PREPARED BY AN AGENCY MAY NOT BE SUFFICIENT PROOF TO YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY ABOUT THE EXTENT OF YOUR DWELLING AND PERSONAL PROPERTY LOSS.

Before your debris is removed—AND if you want to preserve your ability to achieve a full and fair settlement of your loss—you must do some quick but CAREFUL “FORENSICS” to answer questions your insurance company will have regarding the size of your home and the quality of your house construction and your possessions.

For more go to:

DebrisRemoval.pdf

 

For those of you who are new to disaster recovery, we offer this suggestion regarding public adjusters.

A public adjuster, for a percentage fee up to 33% of your insurance claim, works for you, not the insurance company. A public adjuster is licenses and regulated by your state.

Although a public adjuster will offer to save you the frustration of completing the seemingly endless paperwork required by your adjuster, you still must be 100% involved in the process because only you know your loss. The public adjuster may offer to give you the “inside dope” of the insurance claims settlement process. With the Internet and advocacy groups available, all information you will need to settle your claim is available for free.

During our recent experiences in the 2007 California wildfires, we have seen insurers pay policy limits with minimal paperwork from you. Most fire survivors can handle all the paperwork themselves, particularly with the free disaster recovery resources on hand to help. Why give up a hefty portion of your claim for work and information you will probably do and find yourself?

If you are thinking above hiring a public adjuster, please consider the following [Click HERE for more]

Handout12-PublicAdjusterMayNOTbeYourBestChoice.pdf

For those of you who are just beginning your personal property inventory here are a few tips

  1. Start now:  The longer you wait, the more you will forget.
  2. If your adjuster gives you an inventory form with several columns of information to fill out about each item, review your policy to determine which are required and which aren’t.
  3. List everything (itemize as much as possible): You will end up with thousands of dollars of items that each cost less than $5. Yes, we mean everything.
  4. Never use the original cost of the item. Always use today’s replacement cost.
  5. For antiques or collectibles, ask an expert to give you a written estimate. Find a dealer who will be sympathetic to your cause and appraise the items from the photographs and your description
  6. Potted plants can be claimed as personal property.
  7. Use catalogues, the internet and gift registries to your advantage.
  8. If you are a member at a warehouse store, ask them for a copy of your purchase history.

For more tips, download: Handout04-PersonalProperty.pdf

Don’t forget about our sample inventory! PPInventory.xls

 

Inspirational Quotes

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold.  They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.

Barbara Bloom

Testimonials

Thanks a lot for the help you gave me.

2007 Angora Fire Survivor, Lake Tahoe CA