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Tips for Disaster Survivors

Whether you are 15 days or 15 months into your disaster recovery, documenting ALL of the costs of your insured loss is essential to receive a fair and full insurance settlement.

It is never too late nor is it ever too soon to GET YOUR NUMBERS!

Insurance company numbers are their numbers, NOT yours.  For your best settlement, you need to get your numbers, starting with your house, since all other numbers are percentages based on your house!NUMBERS TO GET:

  • HOUSE (mobile, modular or mansion)o    TOTAL REPLACEMENT COST to “turn key” condition
    • Qualify for “BUILDING EXTENSION” percentage
    •   Document BUILDING CODE requirements
    •  Collect any DEPRECIATION or HOLD BACK
  • OTHER STRUCTURES
    • Every structure on the property damaged or destroyed
  • PERSONAL PROPERTY
    • ALL items damaged or destroyed
    • SALES TAX
    • DELIVERY and SETUP
    • MOVE BACK expenses
    • Collect any DEPRECIATION or HOLD BACK
  • ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSES (ALE)
    • LOSS OF USE or LOSS OF RENTS
    • RENTAL furniture
    • Collect RECEIPTS for reimbursement
    • Collect RECEIPTS for TAX record documentation
    • MILEAGE expenses

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.

Read more at:
DebrisRemoval.pdf

When Negotiating a final settlement with your insurance company, the following tips will be helpful.·        

  • Preparation:
    Know ALL your numbers and issues. [Track your numbers by using the following spreadsheet]
    ConfidentialLossWorksheet.xls
  •  Patience
    Time works in your favor.
  • Listen
    Their words are important but may not mean what they say.
  • Understand
    You are in control. Your reasonable replacement number is your goal!
  • Simplify (KISS method—Keep it simple and short.)
    Convey your message in as few words as possible.

For more, go to:
Handout11-NegotiatingTips.pdf

Inspirational Quotes

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill

Testimonials

We lost our home in the 2007 Witch Creek Fire in Poway CA. As was the case with most (if not all) of my neighbors, we were drastically under insured through no fault of our own. I don’t believe that anyone is prepared for such a catastrophic emotional and financial loss. The task of completely rebuilding your life is monumental. Fortunately, the city of Poway co-operated with CARe and allowed them to hold bi-weekly insurance meetings in the City Chambers. After attending 2 of the group meetings we then scheduled several one-on-one meetings with CARe and were able to start to piece together the puzzle that is a catastrophic insurance claim. The resources which CARe was able to put us in touch with were incredible, and after they showed us the basics of handling an insurance claim we felt that we had knowledge to work through the once daunting task of negotiating with our insurance company. We could not have made it through the process without the information, help and encouragement that we received from CARe

Witch Creek Fire Survivor, 2007