Hurricane Season Adjuster To-Do List

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At Provencher & Company, we trust our adjusters are as prepared for the storm season as the insured is advised to be. However, we often get so wrapped up in our daily claim work that we neglect to prepare ourselves personally for a storm deployment.

As such, we have compiled a quick “to-do” list for our adjusters to ensure each of you are ready to go when you get the call to deploy:

1. Prepare your home in advance. Do you live in a “potential threat zone”? Don’t be caught in Florida working a storm and have your home unprepared back in Texas with a CAT 3 headed that way.

2. Prepare your vehicle. Tires good for travel? Routine maintenance done?

3. Using a RV during deployment? Prepare it for the trip too. Routine maintenance, stock supplies, etc.

4. Prepare your computer. It happens every year….. at least one computer crashes in the field and the adjuster panics. Don’t be the person that loses all your work. Make sure you are up-to-date on anti-virus software and have an external hard drive.

5. W5 Claim Management. Learn it, use it, love it! Provencher & Company has a comprehensive claims management system that we have worked hard over many years to develop into all that we want & need. Use it – its to your benefit. Don’t worry about losing your photos or estimates. Once you create them, save them to the claim file and there is no fear of the documents being lost.

6. Estimating Software. The middle of a CAT is not the time to learn a new estimating software. If you are contemplating make a change, please do so NOW! Learn the software prior to having to handle 200 claims in a 2 week period! Provencher & Company requires Xactimate during a CAT.

7. Photo Required. We need a photo for every field or desk adjuster on file. These might be used to produce a CAT ID if you work for us in the field. There are also occasions where our clients want to learn more about a file reviewer. We will be sending out a reminder notice in a few days to those still missing photos. Please supply an unprotected Jpeg file so we can resize it to fit if needed. Send any new photo (or if you want to replace your old photo) to info@provencherclaims.com.

8. Updated Personnel File. Please make sure you have completed a 2016 Adjuster File Update Form. If not, we need this – please email info@provencherclaims.com if you need one! It includes your emergency contact information, state licenses, etc. Heaven Forbid, but if you fall off a roof, we need to know who to contact in case of an emergency! Unfortunately, it happens, even to the most experienced of adjusters! Just ask Jerry!

Got Damage? What Every Insured Should Know

 
If your property is damaged by a hurricane, tornado, hailstorm or similar disaster, here is what you should do to assure quick handling of your insurance claim: 

 

1. Assess the damage to the best of your ability and be prepared to give an accurate description of the amount and type of damage. Make sure you state whether the premises were rendered inhabitable as a result of the damages. This will allow your company to send out an adjuster with the appropriate level of experience, based on the level of damage.

2. Notify your insurance carrier or agent as soon as possible. The insurance contract requires notification as soon as possible after a loss. Be sure to leave a telephone number where you can be contacted and a complete address of the location so the company can get an adjuster to the scene quickly. Be sure to stay in touch with your adjuster and respond to calls promptly.Catastrophes can generate hundreds of claims, so communication and cooperation is vital for a quick resolution to your claim. 

3. If debris (such as a fallen tree or downed power line) prevents access to the covered property, or if such debris could increase your damage, tell your agent when you report the loss. 

4. Make whatever temporary repairs are necessary to prevent further damage, theft, or vandalism. Repairs of this kind could include boarding up broken windows and covering holes in the roof with temporary materials. Making temporary repairs is required by the insurance company, and is good advice regardless (your insurance will usually cover the reasonable cost of temporary 
repairs). DO NOT make permanent repairs to your damaged property unless the adjuster has reviewed your claim and given you permission to restore your property. 

5. Photograph damaged areas prior to making temporary repairs if possible. Doing so will strengthen your claim and help with the presentation of your loss. 

6. If you can, get one or two detailed estimates for permanent repairs from a reliable contractor, and give these estimates to the adjuster. Beware of “fly-by-night” operators who often follow a storm into town. Check with the Better Business Bureau before doing business with any vendor you don’t know. Keep in mind that public adjusters are illegal in some states. 

7. Refrain from signing any contract for restoration or repairs prior to discussing it with your company adjuster. Your adjuster can play a key role in helping you avoid price gouging after a catastrophe, but he/she won’t be able to negotiate a reasonable price for services if you’ve already signed a contract. 

8. Prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed property for the adjuster. Be sure to keep a copy for your records, and be sure NOT to discard ANY items before the adjuster is given a reasonable amount of time to inspect them.

9. Collect canceled checks, invoices, receipts or other documents that will help the adjuster place a proper value on damaged or destroyed property. Keep ALL receipts and invoices for EVERY expense you incur after the loss, including items such as tarps, boards, cleaning supplies, etc. 

10. It is always a good idea to read through your policy and review coverage and exclusions prior to a claim so you will know what to expect. Have a list of your property prior to a loss: You could have a lot of seemingly insignificant items and supplies, but those items add up quickly! 

Warning 

Unlicensed or unscrupulous persons may pose as adjusters or, being an adjuster, may pose a threat to consumers. Public adjusters, in particular, may pose a problem since they don’t work for any company or company-adjusting firm. Unlicensed public adjusters have not demonstrated their competency to adjust claims nor have they posted the required surety bond. You are encouraged to report any such activity to local authorities. Please caution any clients that, if they contract with a public adjuster, they are authorizing the claim check to be made payable to both themselves or a mortgagee and the adjuster.



Reprint from:
Natalie Dominguez with AmWINS Brokerage of Georgia.

Home Emergency Preparedness Kit

As I am typing this, Hurricane Arthur is making an impact on the eastern shore. Are you prepared? Are you evacuating? So you don’t live on the east coast and aren’t affected by Arthur, are you ready for the next one? Are you prepared to evacuate quickly if the need arises? 
 
It doesn’t matter where you live, you are susceptible to an earthquake, hurricane, snow storm, power outage, flood, etc. and any of these things could leave you and your family stranded at home for a few days without power or electricity or being forced to leave your home quickly during an evacuate order.
 
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Before talking about the emergency kit needed for the home, let’s discuss the emergency kit everyone should have in their car at all times.  An emergency could happen while you are driving, so it is always a good idea to have a few essentials stored in a tub in your trunk that includes: a blanket, an extra pair of sneakers and socks (just in case you ladies are wearing heels or sandals and need to vacate your car and walk), a flashlight, a power flare, non-perishable snacks (nuts & granola bars maybe) and water.
If you are a pet owner, you should also have one emergency kit prepared for each of your animals containing items such as: a towel, food, water, and extra food dish, a leash, a toy, and medicine.  Keep the kit(s) stored next to your emergency home kit, so if you have to evacuate quickly you won’t forget about your pets necessities too.


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For a personal home kit, it is recommended you have supplies stored in air-tight tubs or on shelves in your garage or basement. 


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Here are the items that should be in your kit, this list comes directly from FEMA
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Three-day supply of water – one gallon of water per person, per day.
  • Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit and manual.
  • Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper).
  • Matches and waterproof container
  • Whistle
  • Extra clothing
  • Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener.
  • Photocopies of credit and identification cards.
  • Cash and coins.
  • Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries.
  • Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.
  • Other items to meet your unique family needs.

Depending on your climate, this items might come in handy as well:

  • Jacket or coat.
  • Long pants & long sleeve shirts
  • Sturdy shoes.
  • Hat, mittens, and scarf.
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket (per person)
  • Mosquito Spray
  • Sunscreen

As important as it is to have an emergency kit, don’t forget to do these things to maintain your kit:

  • Keep canned foods in a cool/dry place.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers to protect from pests and to extend its shelf life.
  • Discard any canned good that becomes swollen, dented, or corroded.
  • Rotate your supplies to always keep the freshest things in the kit.
  • Change stored food and water supplies every six months. Be sure to write the date you store it on all containers.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family needs change.
  • Keep items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trashcan, camping backpack, or duffel bag.
 
Maybe you would like to build your family an Emergency Bucket Kit. I personally think this is a brilliant idea!
 
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Whatever you choose to do, don’t wait until the last minute to begin preparation. We are already one month into hurricane season. Make sure you are ready to keep your family safe, no matter what sort of natural disaster you are being faced with. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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