Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Here come the adjusters

May 8th, 2007 - My insurance company (rhymes with Sentry) has been called and around 10:30AM local the adjuster calls from beautiful Stevens Point WI. He asks some general questions - what happened, when, how bad, anyone hurt, did you have tenants yada yada. I offer to email him a picture and when he receives it he agrees the damage is bad.

Back up a step, the main reason all of my policies are through Sentry; (1) their rates are decent and (2) I used to be a Sentry sales rep. Overall my impression of the company was good although, with my ultra-preferred book of business, I never really had many large claims. When your clientele is 40+ and well heeled but not rich, your claims are going to be infrequent. This would have been the largest claim on my book ever.

Back to the house, since Sentry only has one adjuster in the state of Ohio (I told you, not many claims) they assign a independent claims adjuster. I'm told they will be in contact with me the same day. Sure enough several hours later the independent adjuster calls. She gets contact data and sets up an appointment the next day to walk through the house. I ask if she know a company to board up and secure the property and of course she does. She says that she'll contact them and get them on the care right away.

Securing damaged property is part of coverage provided and finding companies that do it is not terribly hard, in fact many of these companies will visit fire scenes with business cards in hand and offer to do the job on the spot. The trick is finding someone reasonable (at least reasonable so the insurance company will pay for it) and reliable. A honest adjuster should know both. Also since she took care of it, they'll bill the insurance company directly. No small issue since I'm out May rent, security deposits and the mortgage company still wants to get paid. She also asks about current leases, since loss of rent is part of my coverage. I'll pull the latest leases I have and get her a copy.

So a time is set up to visit the property. The adjuster will bring a contractor with her to access the damage and determine costs. In the meantime, I start a search for my own contractor. Since I've gotten out of the sales rep game ( a story for another day) I don't have many current contacts in the industry anymore. Most handymen I know in the industry are too small to handle such a large task, so the search begins.

More tomorrow ..

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