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Insurance Claim Tips
Old 13th November 2012
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
blackmajik2021's Avatar
Insurance Claim Tips

My insurance company is sending an adjuster over to assess the damages in the studio tomorrow afternoon. Any tips on what I should prepare for?

I have receipts, photos, and a list with every objects current market value (new, or used if unavailable new, with links to all the sites where I determined the values (amazon, staples, ebay, sweetwater, etc)

I'm still afraid they are going to try to lowball me though :(
Old 13th November 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
Hey my Dad was an Insurance Broker his whole life, he taught me lot's of things to watch out for.

Under insurance is one of those things.

I have copied and pasted an example off the web for you to get the idea.

It depends on your policy form and by how much you're underinsured. Often, "coinsurance" applies, and you could find that if you suffer a loss, your claim might be reduced because you're underinsured. For example, let's say you should insure your house for the full replacement cost of $100,000, but to save money you only want to insure it for the amount you owe on it, or $50,000. Because you are only insuring 50% of the value, the insurance company will discount your claims to match that 50%. In other words, let's say you have a kitchen fire and the cost to repair your kitchen is $25,000. You might expect to receive $25,000 (less your deductible) since you have more than that in coverage limits. BUT, because you are only insuring to 50% of value, the insurance company will only pay you 50% of your claim, or $12,500 (less your deductible.)


So be careful, make sure you not claiming more than your policies total amount,
or in any way give them the impression that the studio was more valuable than the total value of your policy.
If they feel that you should have had more insurance than you did they can invoke this rule!

So for example, and it sounds crazy but let's say they look at a rack of gear and say what about this, and you say oh forget that, I didn't insure this
they can take this an an example of under insurance and add together the cost of gear you didn't insure to arrive at a new percentage of what they will pay out on the gear you did insure. I'm not saying they would do this, just they can if they want to be awkward.

People forget to add the cost of their carpet to their house insurance, and then after a fire the insurance company invoke the underinsured rule to pay out less on the stuff that was insured!

Be careful, they can be very tricky.
If your in doubt maybe get some professional advice on loss adjusters, this is just stuff I was told over the years by my Dad.

I hope things turn out OK.

best
tht
Old 13th November 2012
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
From the thread Let's talk insurance! on 28th May 2008

Be careful they dont trip you up with asking if you make money with the gear or use it for work. That could wipe out your chances of being covered for loss under a home contents insurance policy..

Probably obvious but ... anyway...
Old 13th November 2012
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
blackmajik2021's Avatar
Thanks for the tips. I've been talking to insurance people and I'm worried they are going to try to get me with a loophole since the studio is in a detached garage and qualifies as a second structure. I only lost $4000 worth of stuff so hopefully since its so minor they wont fight me much.
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Old 13th November 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
Here in the UK, in my experience, you can't get studio insurance for external structures with a flat roof, it has to be an angled roof for water clearance reasons. Hopefully that's not in the small print or your garage doesn't have a flat roof.

tht
Old 13th November 2012
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
blackmajik2021's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Here in the UK, in my experience, you can't get studio insurance for external structures with a flat roof, it has to be an angled roof for water clearance reasons. Hopefully that's not in the small print or your garage doesn't have a flat roof.

tht
the roof is angled!
Old 13th November 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackmajik2021 View Post
the roof is angled!
Good news

I will cross my fingers for you, let us know how you get on.

tht
Old 14th November 2012
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackmajik2021 View Post
Thanks for the tips. I've been talking to insurance people and I'm worried they are going to try to get me with a loophole since the studio is in a detached garage and qualifies as a second structure. I only lost $4000 worth of stuff so hopefully since its so minor they wont fight me much.
Fingers crossed.
Old 14th November 2012
  #9
WKG
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackmajik2021 View Post
Thanks for the tips. I've been talking to insurance people and I'm worried they are going to try to get me with a loophole since the studio is in a detached garage and qualifies as a second structure. I only lost $4000 worth of stuff so hopefully since its so minor they wont fight me much.
Being a second structure is not an issue under a standard HO policy, it's whether a business is being run out of it. Having an auto repair or woodshop business from the garage disqualifies loss of the equipment in the event of a claim. Professional usage generally does as well as Jules posted. If you had separate coverage for business pursuit that would not usually apply.

I handle claims for a large IA firm and have seen this scenario more than a few times. Many of our guys are out on the east coast handling losses from Sandy. Make sure you are organized and have the documentation you need. I'd compile your list of damaged items along with any photos, receipts, etc and if possible put them on a CD. Most adjusters will appreciate that as it will expedite their task and they are handling an enormous amount of assignments under often difficult timeline requirements.

Be complete also. It's easy to just write off a few cords etc but it's surprising how quick it can add up. Don't try to minimize the loss by expecting less than what was actually damaged thinking the insurance company would look favorably because "it's only a small claim". That's as much of a red flag to an adjuster as overinflating it. They will look at it through the lens of the policy which was in place before it happened, all damages, up to the policy limits and subject to it's stipulations. If it is an excluded peril then no coverage applies.

The field adjuster can be your best friend in the process, don't start with him on a combative footing. Be as cooperative and organized as you can and work with him, he wants to get your claim processed as completely and quickly as you do. Remember also that if things do go south in regards to the settlement with the carrier there is an appraisal clause in the policy, don't be afraid to pursue if need be.
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