"Drop your estimate from 1.5M to 30K and let see if they fight us." These were the words of the desk adjuster. So there I was sitting at my desk, with the glow of my computer in my face. I had been there working on claims in hot muggy southern Florida. I had been working Hurricane Irma claims. The carrier that I was working for was normally difficult. I did not enjoy my time with them. They had one motto and it was pretty easy to remember too. DENIED did not matter what the claim was or the reason. We were not allowed to pay for anything above their deductible.
As an independant adjuster this was difficult. I had a serious delema. I didn't work for the insurance carrier directly. I worked for staffing company that would send us work as we got them from the carrier. If I did not do what I was told I would loose my job and be sent home. If I did what I was told I would loose a very large commision and would potentially do harm to the insured who had suffered a terrible loss.
I could not believe what I was being told by the carrier. Drop my estimate to 30k the amount of their deductible and see if the fight. Why should the policy holder have to fight? Why should I be put in such a percarious sitiuation by the insurance company? Why was I so helpless to do anything about it?
I came to realize that the profession that I had choosen was not as noble as I once thought it to be. I realized that incurance companies have one goal in mind. Make more money. If you miss you payment they will drop you in 24 hours. They miss a payment to you and they say sue me.
It is a sad state of affairs and a plague that has swept accross this nation and permiated through all of the insurace companies in the united states. The carriers we once thought were above reproach like USAA and Amica, and other has turned from those they swore to protect. They have embraced the greed and power at the expense of the policy holder.
So what is to be done as the policy holder? I am a policy holder, I have a home insurance, a business insurance policy, life insurance, health insurance. We are all consumers of this product, and rightfully so. There are many perils in this world that can cause us harm. That is why we puchase insurance in the first place. There is only one way to protect yourself as a consumer. It is to educate yourself so you will not be taken advantage of.
How many times have you read all of your insuance policies? once, twice, ever? Most people have no idea what is in their insuracne policy. Most people dont even care as long as they saved 15% right! Atleast they don't care until they need to file a claim. Then it really matters!
As a consumer you should review your policy once a year. The insurance company one a year will renew your policy. You need to be causious of what you are buy or what they may have slipped in. For example the carriers are trying to put actual cash value endorsements on their policies now. This does not sound so bad until you find out what it really means. It means that they are not going to pay for a new roof when it gets damaged they are going to pay you for an old roof. You get to buy your new roof. So say your roof is 25 years old, they will pay you about 12 cents. Which makes you wonder whyou are paying thousands a year for that kind of settlement. the other 50K is going to have to come out of your pocket for the new roof.
What about percentage deductibles. I had a client with a 10% deductible. That does not sound so bad right? the liegh man would say ok on a $10k loss I would pay $100. No so bad right? Wrong!!! This means that if your home is work 500K you will have a 50k deductible and your 10k loss is getting paid by you!
Bottome line get educated, trust but verify. If you dont want to take the time to get educated. Use a profession like a public adjuster or an attorney to help make sure you have a good policy or help you enforce your policy after a loss.