Catastrophes at Your Home can be Devastating.

Your home and personal property are gone or severely damaged.  Your precious possessions – irreplaceable mementos with sentimental value that goes far beyond dollars – are gone as well.  If a loved one was seriously injured or even a fatality, the loss cuts much deeper.

While you’re emotionally drained from dealing with that personal tragedy, you have to navigate an COMPLEX CLAIMS PROCESS.  Sadly, too many insurance companies use the vulnerability of their clients to minimize the amount they pay out on a claim.  This is accomplished by the insurance company’s control of every damage issue in your claim.  Essentially, their tactics are to make your claim for you and tell you what you will receive.

Know Your Rights

At the onset of your claim, why would your insurance company advise you against retaining representation?  Possibly even make statements defaming Public Adjusters.  The answer is actually quite simple and can be summed up in one word:  KNOWLEDGE!  If you have knowledge, the insurance company’s plan for control will not work.

  • You have the ABSOLUTE RIGHT to retain representation.  The insurance regulations contain a specific provision making it unlawful for insurers to treat their insured’s with prejudice because they retain representation of a Public Adjuster.
  • It is your contractual duty (stated in your policy) to prepare and present your claim to the insurance company.  It is also your contractual duty to mitigate or minimize your damages.  Essentially, YOU CONTROL your claim.  Your claim can include structure and personal property.  Your structure claim may include repair or replacement and your personal property claim may include cleaning or replacement of destroyed items.
  • (A replacement cost Policy is the Cadillac of insurance.  As a consumer, you have paid your hard earned dollars for that policy.  You have the right to receive what you paid for.  Nothing less, nothing more.  In essence, if you purchased a Cadillac but a Kia was delivered in its place, would you accept it?  An insurance policy is a commodity.  Although it has been defined by one consumer advocate as a bag of smoke, it is really no different than the purchase of a vehicle or a computer.)
  • Damage to your home or business is not technically set by competitive estimates.  The objective of competitive bids is to drive down the value of your claim.  If you secure competitive bids, you are agreeing to this process.  Your insurance company has a Regulatory duty to investigate your claim.  They also have a duty to respond to the claim YOU present.  Your insurance company does not have a contractual or regulatory duty to secure estimates.
  • The Legislative intent of the lawmakers was to accommodate the process of the insured presenting a claim, not the insurance company making your claim for you.  The current tactic of insurance companies making your claim is a complete reversal of Policy, Regulations and law.  Should the insurance company make your claim for you, it allows them to CONTROL how much you are paid on the structure claim and personal property claim.
  • The probability that your insurance company will NON-RENEW your policy after a large property claim is nearly 100%.  This makes no sense, what risk would an insured be with a structure rebuilt to all current building codes.  If only to assume, the non-renewal is due to the insured’s potential unsatisfied outcome of their claim.
  • By not presenting your claim as required by the Policy, you may WAIVE your right to contest the insurance company’s representation of your damages.

Who can represent and protect your interests?

A Public Adjuster is the ONLY professional authorized under Washington law to represent YOUR interest on an insured’s property claim. Casualty Loss Consultants, Inc. should be your first choice.

Who can NOT represent and protect your interests?

They are not allowed, by law, to adjust claims on a regular basis.  An attorney may become an important part of your claim, but only if the claim is disputed or denied.  Most attorneys are not familiar with construction, estimating or building procedures.

A competent building contractor will be an important part of constructing your claim.  However, contractors are not allowed, by law, to negotiate ANY phase of your claim on your behalf.

“States have also adopted laws governing claims settlement and prohibiting unfair claims settlement practices” Deborah Senn, former Washington Insurance Commissioner, puts it more bluntly:  “Regulators have been nowhere on this.  Regulation has really failed this issue.”
Delay, Deny, Defend
Jay M. Feinman, Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law, Camden, New Jersey