ASARP Networking Event

ASARP Networking Event

Globe Midwest Adjusters International recently participated in a networking seminar on June 27th hosted by The Association of South Asian Real Estate Professionals, ASARP, in Des Plaines, IL. At the event, experts from various industries joined together to present and discuss various aspects of real estate transactions from legal, funding, commercial, to post closing insurance needs.

Among the presenters was Stuart Dorf, JD, Senior Vice President of Globe Midwest Adjusters International. Stuart spoke on the importance of securing the right type of coverages when purchasing residential or commercial property insurance. Stuart educated attendees on different types of endorsements and clauses that are contained within an insurance policy as well as the obligations an insured has in the event a property insurance claim is made.

Globe Midwest Adjusters International is a proud member of the Association of South Asian Real Estate Professionals, whose mission is to be a leading resource and the standard bearers of Indian/South Asian Real Estate Professionals and the advocates of private property rights, in conformity with the standards set up by the National Association of Realtors. ASARP’s members action plan is to continuously provide and educate South East Asian and local real estate professionals in finding the specific needs of a community and effectively acting on such.

Stuart shared “We are proud to be a member of ASARP and we take great pride in our long-standing relationship with Mr. Pradeep Shukla.”

As the Midwest’s largest and oldest public adjusting firm, Globe Midwest Adjusters International’s core focus is exclusively representing property and business owners, during the insurance claim process, to maximize and expedite our clients’ insurance claim settlement.

With offices in Southfield and Grand Rapids, Michigan, as well as Chicago, Illinois, we are experienced with the types of natural disasters that strike the Midwest, the companies that insure here, and how local claims are handled.

Since opening in 1924, the firm has represented over 15,000 residential and commercial policyholders during the insurance claim process to ensure each received a fair and just settlement.

How to Deal Effectively with Business Interruption Claim Denials

How to Deal Effectively with Business Interruption Claim Denials

There may be a day when you, a business owner, will find yourself face to face with a situation where your business is far too damaged to remain open.

As a business owner, you already have a lot on your plate.

The last thing that you need is to deal with the detrimental consequences of a tornado, flood or fire that has disrupted your already-chaotic operations of business.

We understand that it’s difficult to be proactive during a time like this but one thing that you can do to deal with losses more quickly is to make sure that you have business interruption insurance in place.

Here are a few strategies for business owners to use when an insurance carrier denies a business interruption claim.

Tip #1: Have the Right Coverage

When taking out a policy, review your coverage to make sure that the policy meets your business’s needs.

Not all business interruption events are covered by business interruption insurance policies but most are.

Discuss the potential issues you may face if forced to shut down due to some sort of unforeseen event.

Insurance agents are generally able to discuss different scenarios and what would happen after specific types of events but at the end of the day, they are there working for the insurance company, not for you.

This is when it would pay off to discuss coverage issues or related questions with a public adjuster to ensure the coverage being considered is appropriate.

It’s the public adjuster’s mission to fight on your behalf when up against an insurance company.

Tip #2: Have an Updated Inventory List

Time is always important.

When a business is not open for a significant period of time due to a covered event, there must always be records available to verify the losses claimed.

After a catastrophic event, it’s often impossible to substantiate a business’s inventory.

Always carefully track inventory so that there are no questions of the types and quantities of inventory at any given point.

Industry experts strongly recommend for business owners to back up all records offsite to minimize the potential for claim delays.

Payroll losses are also covered by most policies so that ensures businesses don’t find it necessary to replace employees after a forced closure.

Know that you can discuss this section with a public adjuster to avoid potential employee retention and training issues after a loss.

Getting your business back up and running may also require a great deal of specific cleaning and other various projects.

While this is not generally a problem area, be aware that there may be times when an insurer will not be eager to pay the costs of a company’s specific needs.

Tip #3: Dealing with Business Interruption Delays and Denials

In most instances, company owners will be able to negotiate a fair settlement to cover their losses during a business interruption.

However, insurers may not always be willing to step up to the plate and provide the promised coverage.

The most common reasons for a claim being denied are insufficient coverage, improper or insufficient documentation, and poor property maintenance.

If a claim is denied, it’s vitally important to seek the professional guidance of a public adjuster quickly.

While the help of an attorney may be required, discussing the issues with a public adjuster will almost certainly be necessary.

While proper preparations and having the correct documentation are important, that may not always be enough to obtain a settlement.

If your business interruption insurance claim is denied, seek help from a public adjuster immediately.

Business Owner’s Guide to Getting the Most for Your Property Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your business is no easy task. Download our Disaster Recovery tips as a resource to help you through the turmoil.

4 Ways to Get the Most from Your Homeowners Insurance Claim

4 Ways to Get the Most from Your Homeowners Insurance Claim

When your residential property is damaged by a fire, wind, water or other disaster, the burden of proof to prove your loss falls on you, the policyholder. It’s also up to you to manage your claim and make sure you’re fully compensated for everything you are entitled to under the terms of your homeowners insurance policy.

The property insurance claim process is complex — the larger the loss, the more complex the process. Follow these four tips to get the most from your homeowners insurance claim.

Base who you trust on reality, not TV

Every year, the insurance industry spends more than a billion dollars to convince you they are your friend, your neighbor, the one you can depend on when disaster strikes. And every year, the courts hear case after case where homeowners are taken advantage of by insurance companies reducing claims payouts to bolster corporate profits.

Not every insurance company will low-ball your settlement offer, but even the friendliest insurance representative is not your friend. He or she has a job to do, and part of that job is to maximize corporate profits by minimizing losses — which inherently conflicts with your best interests.

If you have questions about your homeowners insurance claim, seek advice from a licensed public insurance adjuster.

Show that you know

Demonstrating your ability to move your property insurance claim through the process is a good signal to your insurance company and claims adjuster that they can’t take advantage of you. To ensure you succeed, you’ll need to:

  • Know what your policy does and does not cover.
  • Follow the claim process outlined in your policy, making certain you meet all of your contractual obligations and deadlines.
  • Understand which parts of your policy are subject to interpretation.
  • Develop your claim strategy based on your reasonable understanding of your coverages, endorsements, exclusions and policy limits.
  • Document everything.
  • Present your position and documentation to your insurance claims adjuster.
  • Negotiate for the settlement you want, need and deserve.

Be diligent

The property insurance claim process is complicated, time consuming, and stressful — all
things that work against you when you need to be thorough, persistent and strong.

When the going gets tough, remind yourself it is a process that moves through predictable stages:

  • Notifying your insurer and taking steps to prevent additional damage
  • Allowing your insurance company access to investigate your damages
  • Removing debris, and documenting and valuing your damages for your Proof of Loss statement
  • Soliciting and comparing bids for the work you’ll need done
  • Selecting contractors and overseeing needed construction and repairs
  • Presenting receipts for all covered Additional Living Expenses and, if applicable, the difference between the Actual Cash Value you were awarded for your destroyed personal property and the
  • Replacement Cost Value you paid to replace said property.
  • Negotiating your total property insurance settlement offer

Get expert help if you need it

Much like you would consult a CPA for complex tax matters, or an attorney for legal issues, a public insurance adjuster is a licensed professional who can advocate exclusively for you throughout your homeowners insurance claim process.

You need your homeowners insurance to cover what it will cost to return your property to pre-loss condition. If you have any doubt about your ability to maximize your insurance settlement offer, you may want to consult with a public insurance adjuster licensed to operate in your state.

Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your home is no easy task. Download Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim as a resource to help you through the turmoil.

Tips for Avoiding Commercial Property Insurance Claim Delays

Tips for Avoiding Commercial Property Insurance Claim Delays

Your Business Owners Policy (BOP) or commercial property insurance policy legally binds your insurance carrier to its duty to process your claim and pay you what is owed for your damages in a timely manner. Timely, however, is a subjective term, and commercial property insurance claims are delayed for many reasons.

Below are some tips to help you avoid some of the most common problems that could cause delays settling your BOP or commercial property insurance claim.

Know your policy

Your property insurance policy is packed with enough legalese to make anyone’s head spin. Even seasoned claims professionals routinely argue over business insurance policy interpretation. Still, it is critically important to read and understand what your policy covers, what it excludes, what it obligates you to do, and the process you must follow to settle your commercial property insurance claim successfully.

If you have gaps in your understanding of your policy, seek help from a business insurance claims professional, like a licensed public insurance adjuster. He or she can review your claim and advise you on how to achieve the maximum settlement under the terms of your specific property insurance policy.

Take immediate steps to mitigate additional damage

You are required to make temporary emergency repairs to prevent additional losses resulting from the original damage. Any damaged window, door, roof or other opening must be covered so rain, animals or hooligans cannot enter and do further harm to your property.

This is a no-excuses step you must take, as your policy provides coverage for the cost. Prior to entering the damaged premises, contact your utility companies and fire department to ensure you are cleared to enter.

Collect abundant documentation of all damage

When you suffer insured commercial property damage, the burden of proof to substantiate and document your loss is squarely on you, the policyholder. To that end, there is no such thing as too much proof. Too little, though, can be the cause of significant delays in your commercial insurance claim process.

Before anyone moves or removes anything from your damaged premises, take photographs — many, from all different angles, of each damaged area and item. Write detailed descriptions of the damages you observe that correspond to the pictures. Include when the loss occurred, and any questions you have or reasons to suspect there may be hidden damage (for example, if smoke or soot permeated your walls, ductwork, machinery, etc.).

This initial documentation will be very valuable when you develop your Proof of Loss statement.

Get multiple bids from repair contractors

Some insurance carriers may encourage you to believe you have to select your repair professional(s) from the carrier’s list of preferred providers. Others may suggest you’ll save big money with their chosen providers. The fact is, you have every right to select the provider of your choice to do your contracted work.

Solicit several bids, and get everything you are promised in writing. Bid prices often vary, and those price differences often reflect the use of different materials and methods. Make sure the contractors you’re considering aren’t the lowest priced, but the ones best able to return your property to pre-loss condition.

Submit a proper Proof of Loss statement

Developing a proper Proof of Loss statement is one of the most important steps you can take to help your commercial property insurance claim process resolve successfully and without delays.

Your insurance company will send you a Proof of Loss form. Be sure the information you provide is accurate — and thorough. This is commonly where people unknowingly shortchange themselves on their claim settlement amounts, by providing insufficient information, documentation and evidence of their losses.

Organize the photographs and written descriptions of your damages to show what happened, when, where, and the resulting damaged property, inventory, equipment, personal property, etc. Provide copies of the estimates you obtained, and a value for the full extent of your loss.

Here, too, a licensed public adjuster can be an invaluable asset to help you avoid delays, calculate a fair estimate for the full extent of your damages, and maximize your commercial property claim settlement.

Keep a claim journal

Filing a BOP or commercial property insurance claim takes time, effort, knowledge, determination, and communication. Throughout the process, it is wise to keep a claim journal, so when you need to look back at any of the process, you will have detailed notes about what happened, when, and who said or did what.

Wherever possible, communicate by email. If you are contacted by or speak with anyone by phone, note in your claim journal the date and time of the call, the person’s name and title, what you talked about, the conclusions reached, any additional steps needed, who is responsible for taking those steps, and any deadlines set. Get the person’s email address. Follow up the call with a written summary of the conversation, and ask him or her to review and agree to the information included.

Be respectful, but firm

Achieving a fair settlement for damages to your business can be challenging, stressful, frustrating, even infuriating. Take a deep breath and remind yourself: you have the right — and the obligation — to stand up for yourself and your business. The more organized, direct, respectful and firm you are throughout your commercial property insurance claim process, the better your chances of avoiding delays and achieving fair compensation for your loss.

Business Owner’s Guide to Getting the Most for Your Property Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your business is no easy task. Download our Disaster Recovery tips as a resource to help you through the turmoil.

What to do When Your Homeowners Insurance Claim is Denied

What to do When Your Homeowners Insurance Claim is Denied

Homeowners insurance claims are denied every day — sometimes legitimately, sometimes in error, and sometimes for reasons no one understands. If you’ve suffered an insured property loss, and your insurance company denied your claim, there are steps you can take to challenge your homeowners insurance claim denial.

Understand why your claim was denied

Your insurance company will mail you a formal letter explaining their reason for denying your claim; if your insurance company does not send you a formal letter, your claim has not been denied. This letter explains the specific language in your policy that justifies the claim denial. Read the letter carefully, and compare their explanation to your understanding of your policy. If there is a legitimate reason for denying your claim, i.e., the premium wasn’t paid, or the type of loss (peril) is explicitly excluded from your coverage, there is nothing more you can do.

However, if after comparing their explanation to your understanding, you still believe your property damage should be covered, discuss your differing views immediately with your insurance company’s claims adjuster and your agent, if you have one. Persuading a company adjuster to reverse a claim denial is not easy. Don’t give up if you can show where coverage is promised in your homeowners insurance policy.

File an appeal

If you aren’t getting any satisfaction from explaining your position to your insurance company’s claims adjuster, you will need to file a formal appeal. You only have a limited amount of time to do this, and the clock starts ticking when your claim is denied. The appeals process that you must follow is outlined in your homeowners insurance policy.

Filing a formal appeal triggers a review of your denied claim. Include with your appeal as much evidence and documentation as you can to support the position that your damages should be covered. The more organized you present this information, the better your chances of getting more than a cursory review of your denied claim.

Consult a property insurance claims professional

Seeking advice from a licensed public insurance adjuster is the smartest move a homeowner can make after suffering an insured property loss — even if the claim is already denied.

A public adjuster can verify your coverage, document and value your losses, and negotiate the maximum settlement allowed under the terms of your homeowners insurance policy. The sooner you contact a public adjuster, the more he or she can do to help you recover.

If you’ve already reached the point that you have to sue your insurance carrier, find a qualified attorney with expertise specifically in property insurance claims. Be sure to get references that show a successful track record settling property insurance claims, not just an understanding of property law.

File a formal complaint

The insurance industry is exceedingly regulated, yet courts in every state are overrun with property claims disputes and bad faith lawsuits.

As a policyholder in good standing — that is, your premiums are paid — you insurance carrier is obligated to process your property claim fairly and based on its own merit. If the treatment of your claim falls short of this minimum benchmark, you have the option to file a formal complaint with your state’s insurance commissioner.

Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim

Dealing with a disaster recovery for your home is no easy task. Download Successfully Navigating Your Homeowners Insurance Claim as a resource to help you through the turmoil.