Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about how having Impact Claims Services as your personal claims adjuster are answered here!
A public adjuster is an insurance claims settlement expert who work in a fiduciary role with the policy holders. They are professionals at policy interpretation, damage assessment and claims negotiations.
If you have suffered a claims related loss, you will always benefit from the services of a public adjuster. In our experience less than 1% of claims are settled fairly when adjusted by the policyholder, registered agents, Association Managers and/or insurance retained adjusters.
As soon as you can. Often times the services of a public adjuster are retained after a claim has encountered a dispute. Retaining a public adjuster at the onset or filing of a claim will result in a much quicker and less stressful settlement of the claim.
No. Insurance agents understand selling insurance policies. I have never met one that has experience adjusting claims, additionally many agents are compensated when their clients DO NOT file claims, which has many times resulted in agents giving inaccurate or counterfactual advise to their policyholders. You may love your agent, but just remember to ask yourself, "Who does he work for?"
Contractors are not public adjusters. A contractors interaction with a insurance company is limited to the communication of the necessary scope of repairs from a professional prospective. Insurance companies know the limitations of a contractor and use it to their advantage. A contractor will only be aware or construction related damages or repairs, omitting other moneys owed that may be outside their area of expertise such as business interruption, debris removal, loss of use and many others. A public adjuster will get your claim settled faster, and at a higher settlement amount.
A recent study completed by the Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPAGA) on claims settled in Hurricane Karina with vs. without a public adjuster showed that claims settled by a professional public insurance adjuster averaged a 747% higher settlement amount. Impact Claim Services current average claim increase is 947%
The claim settlement process varies greatly from claim to claim, and the time of claim settlement will also. All claims a different and consist of many moving parts from the insurance company's criteria and procedures for claim handling, to the personality of the adjusters, the complexity and severity of the loss and many other factors. Knowing these dynamics and having the necessary experience to strategically navigate this process and arrive at a speedy and accurate settlement of the claim is the goal of Impact Claim Services.
Fees will range from 10%-20% depending on the details of the claim. We work strictly on contingency, so you only pay for performance. Given our current average increase of 947%, the fee is recouped immediately.
Yes. The combination of automated estimating tools, inexperienced and unlicensed adjusters and the lack of claims knowledge amongst homeowners, makes the underpayment of claims the standard result of most initial claim investigations.
I would suggest utilizing our no obligation consultation, we can quickly evaluate the extent of the loss and whether it has been paid appropriately.
Common discrepancies can range from small construction items, roof size and measurements to disagreements on, causation, coverage, code required construction items, general contractors overhead and profit and the reasonableness of the price of a contractor. Each insurer has set their own criteria for what they feel is reasonable, and anything outside of these items is omitted. It's our job to get them paid for.
No. In 99.9% of claims this is not a issue. The insurance company is required to immediately pay you once coverage for a claim has been afforded, so the acceptance of payments is inevitable. Unless a “release” has been signed, retaining a public adjuster is within your rights. The involvement of a release is a very unusual and rare instance and usually would involve attorneys.
Yes. Usually the difference in insurance companies is in the quality of service in paying claims. You will still need the service of public adjusters with most insurance companies to obtain a fair settlement of your claim, but the better companies will arrive at a fair settlement faster and more reasonably. We recommend reviewing the "Top 100 Best and Worst Insurers List" at www.badfaithinsurance.org to see how many common insurer's rank.
NO! You are 100% entitled to use the restoration contractor of your choice. In fact many states have laws prohibiting an insurance company from forcing you to use another contractor. The insurance owes you the fair costs to restore your damaged property to a pre-loss condition, by the contractor of YOUR CHOICE. Don't let your insurance company affect your contractor choice, find a general contractor that has the experience, reputation and warranty to complete your restoration in the quality manner your home was built with.
Absolutely NOT! NO, NO, NO! In our experience this is a HORRIBLE decision that will lead to disaster for an insured. Most preferred contractors are on the “preferred list”, because they have agreed to complete restoration work at the price generated by the insurance company’s adjusters. Given the deficiencies in estimates generated by the individuals you are essentially allowing them to force cheap construction and corner cutting upon you. Impact Claim Services has been retained to evaluate many faulty construction projects in the past, the vast majority were roofs completed by the insurers Preferred Contractor. Most of these projects were grossly installed, and required replacement. In ALL of these circumstances the insurer and the PSP, were unwilling to remedy the faulty construction. In our opinion using a PSP is asking for trouble.
Yes. The appraisal process is the dispute mechanism contained in most policies that acts as the forum for unbiased assessment of the value of a loss. These are powerful tools for policyholders when executed properly. Impact Claim Services offers a variety of appraisal services intended to arrive at accurate appraisals of property losses.
Yes. Overhead and profit is a standard charge for general contractors to perform their services. We advise hiring a general contractor for your restoration project. Your home was built by general contractor and you deserve to have a quality general contractor complete your restoration. Many state regulatory agencies have written bulletins regarding overhead and profit and consider this a reasonable charge for policyholders to incur during their restoration.
A formal opinion from a building department is often the best way to obtain clarification on building codes and ordinances. However, the manner in which the code question are presented can often be the determining factor in obtaining accurate responses. Insurance companies tend to ask building officials questions in a way that favors their desired response. It is important to have a qualified general contractor very familiar with building code and ordinance obtain accurate written confirmation as to the proper application of the building codes.
Generally speaking No. Most insurance policies owe for “direct physical damage” by a covered peril. While cosmetic damage exclusions are becoming more common, the standard ISO forms state that “we will pay for direct physical damage or injury to property, by a covered peril.” Under this policy language any damage or injury would be owed for including damages which are considered cosmetic, or that don't affect the waterproofability of the roof system.
No. If an insured property is damaged by a covered peril they must pay for the damage, regardless of the condition or age. While it is true that an insurance company does not owe for damage caused by wear and tear, worn and torn property that becomes damaged by a covered peril would be owed for. This is a very common erroneous denial amongst roof claims.
Retain the services of an experienced licensed public adjuster. It is very common for insurance companies to sets internal standards and guidelines for the replacement procedures which can fall outside of what is owed for in the plain language of the policy.
Yes. Depending upon the claim specifics and current stage of the claim you have many options. The appraisal provision is a very powerful provision in arriving at fair market pricing for a covered loss. This provision was put into policies to prevent lawsuits from being filed over pricing and scope of work related items. It is a very powerful tool for homeowners and a significantly cheaper precursor to taking any legal action against an insurer.
Hire a professional public adjuster. Often times insurance companies deny roof replacement that are rightfully owed for. If you have seen all of your neighbors getting their roofs replaced but you were denied, chances are you have been wrongfully denied. Contact our office and we can evaluate your claim at no charge.