Do you have a California wildfire claim?

We can help on both personal property and structural claims. Below is a notice from the California DOI edited for SEO purposes. Let us know what your carrier is doing. If you need help with your insurance claim, call us today!

STATE OF CALIFORNIA                                                                                        Dave Jones, Insurance Commissioner

DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE

“NOTICE”

TO: All Property/Casualty Insurance Companies and Other Interested Parties SUBJECT: Personal Property Coverage for Wildfire Claims

DATE:     December 21, 2017

In an effort to assist survivors of the California wildfire claims. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is calling on all property insurance companies to follow the lead of other insurers. Of which, are providing up to 100% of Contents (Personal Property) coverage limits without requiring the insured to undertake the onerous task of completing a detailed inventory.

The Insurance Commissioner recognizes and appreciates that many property insurers have already agreed to the Voluntary Expedited Claims Handling Procedures. These included an initial advance payment for personal property of at least 25% of policy limits. This applies when there is a total loss of the primary residence in a wildfire disaster as well as reduced itemization of contents.

However, due to the large scale of these wildfire claims, many insureds are overwhelmed with the tasks of dealing with housing, family and construction issues and other major adverse changes in their daily lives. These fires, taken together, are the largest and most destructive fires in California history. The fires have destroyed whole neighborhoods and devastated communities. DOI has received numerous complaints from insureds about the monumental task of attempting to identify every item of personal property. For which, they may have amassed over years or decades in order to collect replacement cost.

DOI is aware that some insurers are going above and beyond the Voluntary Expedited Claims Handling Procedures and have made significant efforts to accommodate their insureds by offering 75%, 80% or in some cases 100% of Contents limits without an inventory. Some have even offered the ability to recover additional benefits if the insured subsequently completes a full inventory.

Insurance Commissioner Jones applauds these insurance companies for putting their customers first and requests that all other insurers follow suit by providing a similar accommodation. The Commissioner requests that insurers advise the Department by January 8, 2018 as to whether or not they will comply with this request.”

Skipton Claims Management can help.

For representation on your California wildfire claim, contact one of our licensed adjusters at justin@skiptoninc.com or check out our California office home page.

For self help on your California wildfire claims. Try the California Department of Insurance.

Denying Claims is Bad Business.

How claims adjusters should look at the claims process.

businessman with umbrella and thumb down rain

It is our opinion that sometimes denying claims is bad business. Is your claims adjuster trying to find coverage for your loss? Or, are they trying to find exclusions of coverage.

This subject is at the center of every relationship between an Insurance Carrier and their Insured. What duties does the insurance company truly owe their insured when reviewing or analyzing coverage? Is their purpose denying claims or finding coverage?

Analysis

One of my favorite texts that describes the relationship between an insured and their claims representatives is The Claims Environment. This book was written in 1993 by James Markham as a textbook for claims adjuster training. The AIC 33 course text states on page 13 paragraph 3:

“The primary duty of the claim representative is to deliver the promise to pay. Therefore, the claim representative’s chief task is to seek and find coverage, not to seek and find coverage controversies or to deny or dispute claims. Because of the personal relationship formed in an insurance transaction, the insurance company should not place its interests above the insured’s. The claims professional handling claims should honor the company’s obligations under the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings.”

Conclusion

We believe this is one of the most powerful descriptions of the relationship between an insured and their Insurance carrier. As an insurance consumer, you are at a disadvantage when negotiating an insurance claim. This is because, you, policyholder has no say in what is written in the policy and most-often do not understand much of the policy. More importantly, you are relying on the insurance company to stand by their promise of coverage in the event of a loss. There are several reasons why there is an implied covenant of good faith, but that is a topic for another post.

With the goal of good faith claims handling in mind, searching through the policy to find coverage should be the number one goal of a claims adjuster. Unfortunately, over the past several years, our experience has been the opposite. Lately, the claims adjusters we have encountered are moving farther away from looking for coverage. Instead have found new ways to deny coverage. Good Luck on your claims.

If you have a claims question, feel free to contact justin@skiptoninc.com or call us at 877.992.7577.

Check me out on Linkedin.

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