Frequently Asked Questions / Take the Quiz!

This is just an area of interesting reading referring to facts and misconceptions related to this business by many consumers today. The items listed below are MAJOR ISSUES with minimal answers – I have put this information out there so you may ask specific questions at the time of your individual consultation. It is also there to give you, the Homeowner, some basic truths that are often relayed to a Homeowner in a bias manner. This is generally done to benefit the person adjusting a claim or a salesperson selling a product. Please keep in mind "most" contractors, Insurance Companies and adjusters out there are honest and reputable people. Also, keep in mind, there will always be those people out there that seem to infiltrate all companies and put forth a negative image of the company they represent.

The Insurance Company will do everything possible to NOT PAY a claim FALSE  Your policy is a contract – they want to pay ALL "documented" covered losses. The key to a fair settlement is understanding what you are entitled to.

Insurance Company's (often) play the "law of averages" that you will not know your specific coverage's and will accept a payment that you are really uncomfortable with, after all, you are not in the "Insurance Business."

TRUE/FALSE  Americans are true creatures of procrastination – we do not follow through – but -- there are simple things you can do to understand your settlement – it doesn't have to turn into an ugly confrontation if you understand what you are entitled to. Most Insurance Companies want to pay what they owe you – no more – no less.
The adjuster that comes out gets a bonus for paying as little as possible FALSE  Adjuster get paid in various ways – they have NO INCENTIVE – not to pay a claim
If I (the homeowner) am the first to turn in a claim in a major catastrophe event, my home will be one of the first to be inspected FALSE  You must first understand how the system works to understand the time frame.
The contractor/roofer is your friend and the adjuster/insurance co. is the enemy FALSE  The insurance policies are not maintenance contracts – the contractors/roofers are there to sell you a product or service – needing a service or product does not always relate to insurable damage. The trick is to know how and/or who you should use, to separate the two and be paid for what you are entitled to.
You should turn in a claim if you have "insurable damage" even if it is minor FALSE  It is always in your best interest to consider all factors before turning in a claim, knowing when can be challenging on your own.
Claims on Catastrophe Events DO NOT raise your premiums FALSE/TRUE  This is changing daily. With some Companies this is true – with others – it is not.
A low deductible is the best way to set your premium rate FALSE  Again, there are several factors to look at here.
Hiring a "Public Adjuster" is the best sure way to protect yourself FALSE  Public Adjusters have their place – several factors to consider here also. Remember, you pay a Public Adjuster out of your insurance proceeds – their fee is not part of what the insurance Company owes you.  You need to know – When, Why and IF – you – might/should turn one in.
When I cash the first check I am accepting the settlement as is FALSE  Nearly all insurance settlements can be revised when justified.  Understanding the process can be confusing. 
If the homeowner does the work themselves they will get paid less FALSE/TRUE  It depends on the type of loss and the carrier. This too can be confusing.
If I have a loss, and it is below the deductible, I can add it to a claim later FALSE  Claims are settled as a specific "date of loss" event but you may still have some payment available to you. Getting a (late) claim accepted may pose a problem.
If I disagree with the adjuster's assessment of my loss I can get 3 estimates and the Insurance Company has to pay me -- at least the lowest amount -- regardless of the difference in my estimates and the adjuster's estimate. FALSE  Settlement disagreements can be settled in many ways – you could have several options.
I am automatically entitled to a re-inspection. FALSE  You can "sometimes" get a re-inspection but it is never automatic with most Companies.
If I request a different adjuster – I am entitled to one. FALSE  Files are assigned to an adjuster for the long haul – as a general rule – there can be exceptions but getting a different adjuster isn't always a smart move – being educated on the process is a must.
I can demand the Mortgage Holder be taken off my check. FALSE  Not as a rule – as a matter of fact – it is rarely possible but there are ways to sometimes speed up the process or get around parts of it.
I have a Replacement Cost Policy – no depreciation can be taken and I will be paid my money -- at Replacement Cost -- whether I replace it or not FALSE  The key word here is "Replacement" -- different Companies do this many different ways.

The main thing is that you know how and if the items were properly depreciated – and -- if and how you can recover it. 

My agent sold me a "Full Coverage Policy" everything is covered FALSE  No policy covers everything but most cover more than the general public realizes – all policies have exclusions and endorsements that can or do apply to them.  Understanding these and what they are is the challenge.
If the cost of the "Repair to the Damage" is below my deductible – the deductible does not apply – the Insurance Company pays everything FALSE  The deductible almost always applies – some policies have exceptions to this
If I can get the damage repaired for less than the insurance Company paid me – I can keep the money left over TRUE/FALSE  With today's "Insurance Estimating Systems" there is rarely a time when this will be the case – you cannot profit from a loss but you can make good use of the money that is allowed you legally – also – again, you need to understand how the process works.
My roof is leaking -- if I take photos and I believe my roof needs to be replaced – and – a roofer/contractor agrees with me – I can go ahead and replace my roof -- and -- the insurance will pay for it if it is a fair price FALSE  This is almost never the case but there are exceptions – you have to know the rules
The destruction and damage was so wide spread with thousands of people involved I couldn't wait for the adjuster -- so I did temporary repairs, got all the wet carpet,  sheetrock and insulation out  -- I'll still get paid although the adjuster didn't see it and I didn't keep any of it TRUE/FALSE  There are obligation's that the homeowner is required to do -- but -- the key to getting paid properly -- is to know how much to do and how to document it.

The material I have on my house is no longer available so the Insurance Company must pay to replace "ALL" areas on my house with that material if I have damage to any of it.

TRUE/FALSE   Today, nearly all Insurance Policies, have specific language, referring to the above problem.  There are numerous possibilities here – and – knowing or understanding them can be a challenge.

If the color of the material has faded and the repair area will stand out – I don't have to accept a repair. A full replacement would be paid if this should happen.

TRUE/FALSE   Again, understanding the language of the policy can be very difficult.

I run a small business out of my garage – located at my home – I would still have "full" coverage in case of a "disaster or accident" at the address specified on my policy – even if the Insurance Company was not aware of it.

TRUE/FALSE   On most policies there is specific language dealing with this – but – you still may have some coverage available to you – again, this is a difficult area to understand.

I am adding onto my house and I have stored a lot of personal property in a "off premise" storage facility. I would have "full" coverage on these personal property items should anything happen at the storage facility that would cause damage to them.

FALSE You would have "some" coverage on "most" policies but it would be limited. There are many factors that come into play here – especially as to "replacement cost" payments.

The lot my home sits on is heavily wooded and I have several thousand dollars in landscaping – I have full coverage on all of these items too.

FALSE   Trees and landscaping are only covered for specific events – as a rule. There can be exceptions to this when other damage has occurred or a "specific" covered event has happened. Tree coverage is one of the most often misunderstood items in a policy.

   
 
 

When I call a Company out for a estimate it will always be free FALSE   Estimates are often free but there may be times you need to pay for them.
When the representative comes out he will always be experienced in the field of construction I am requesting a estimate for FALSE  Most companies sent "sales representatives" out – you need to know qualifications you are dealing with by asking the right questions that you have the answers to.
The actual people doing work on my house will always be employees of the Company I hire to do the work FALSE  This is a very touchy area – know your responsibilities and theirs.
When workers are at my home/property – and they are not an employee of the Company I have hired – a representative of the Company will always be there to supervise the construction FALSE   Not as a rule but you can have some control over this.
I can always expect regular inspections -- by my representative I purchased from – on site – while the work is being done at my home/property FALSE   Not as a rule but you can have some control over this.
I will be able to set the time line for the completion of the work being done FALSE   You can have a lot of control if it is set up properly but you can't set your limits to a unreasonable expectation – you need to be aware of what is reasonable.
I will always get an itemized list if the products and services to be done from the contractor FALSE   Contracts come in many forms – you need to know what is right for your needs.
I will always get all the warrantees explained to me on the items purchased FALSE   Warrantees are all over the board – you need to know how to understand what they are before you have products installed.
All permits, codes requirements, insurance and deed restrictions are the responsibility of the contractor to provide compliance to FALSE  This is an extremely complicated area with many variations – you need to understand the ones that will have the most effect on you.
If I call out a contractor and he sees problems that may interfere with the work I am having done being done properly – he is obligated to advise me of them FALSE   Sales Representatives are most often trained to sell a specific product – you need to know if there could be conflicting problems before you call for your estimates.
The Contractor I have come out will advise me of the product that is best suited for the needs I have at the best price for me FALSE   Sales Representatives are trained to "sell" for the most profit – you need to have a general idea of what is available before you call for an estimate.
If work is being done inside my home -- a representative of the Company I purchased the work through – will have a supervisor there -- to be responsible for my personal belongings. TRUE/FALSE    There will almost always be a limited amount of liability on the part of the contractor – that is actually a good thing in a strange way.
Should a theft occur, the Contractor is always responsible for replacing the item or items missing FALSE  Again, the contractor is going to have a limited amount of liability regarding this area.
I will be notified of any and all changes made on the material used -- or installation of the products purchased -- when it differs from what I purchased TRUE/FALSE   As a rule – this would be a True statement – but there are times when a contactor may choose to substitute one product for another – knowing how to avoid this is important.
If I agree to a change in material or installation -- I will incur no additional cost – even if it is an upgrade – unless it is in writing TRUE/FALSE   This is a very "gray" area but there are ways of making it "black and white" clear.
Should I not be satisfied with the work at completion - I don't have to pay for it and there is nothing the contractor can do. FALSE  You must understand your rights in order to avoid the above situation – once you get to a stand-off about payment regarding to completed work -- it may be too late for you to complain about it – much less not pay for it.

 

There are numerous more items such as the above that I could throw in here but these are some of the -- more often -- misunderstood.