Understanding Theft & Vandalism Losses
Although the majority of strategies and methodologies in adjusting theft and vandalism damage claim is similar to that of other losses, there are unique aspects of this peril that require special attention and expertise.
Typical questions posed by insurance companies after receiving notice of a theft/vandalism claim are: Did a theft/vandalism actually occur? Did the policyholder actually own or possess the items being claimed stolen, and if so, can proof be provided? What is the value of the item or items being claimed? Was there any related property damage such as broken windows, doors, locks, or equipment related to the theft or vandalism?
With respect to the theft/vandalism event, most are substantiated and supported by official police reports which document the actual event. These reports are used by insurance companies to verify an event happened and also to assist them in future subrogation avenues it may pursue.
It is absolutely critical that a police report be filed in claims involving theft and/or vandalism. You should make sure the police report and the report of items being claimed is accurate as to the list of items stolen. Should you discover additional items later be sure to update the police report and tell the insurance company you have filed a supplemental police report.
With respect to ownership and value, insurance companies rely heavily on documentation provided by the policyholder to prove ownership and substantiate value. This documentation could take the form of video, pictures, receipts, credit card statements, appraisals, insurance policy endorsements, etc. Try to provide as much documentation as possible to help substantiate the claim for theft with your insurance company.
In the event no title or ownership documentation can be provided; in the case of larger losses, most insurance companies will invoke their right to an examination of the insured under oath also called EUO. In addition to EUOs, the company may also request financial documentation from the insured to establish a basis of ownership and in some cases, tax returns and support showing a person had the income and lifestyle for the items they claimed were stolen.
In addition to ownership and measurement of loss issues, a very detailed review and evaluation of the insurance policy must be completed. Most policies contain limits or exclusions for certain scope items related to theft/vandalism claims and in many cases, certain items must be scheduled in a policy in order for coverage or higher limits to apply. Often this can be accomplished by what is called an inland marine floater insurance policy. Third party appraisals will be required to schedule items and a limit will be set as to the maximum amount you will be paid in the event of a theft.
A problem we have seen over the years following a loss for an item on a schedule is that the insured will assume they will be paid the dollar limit on the schedule as it was based on an appraisal. This is always true, as an insurance company will often go out in the market and seek a price from companies that have buying power to reduce the estimated replacement price, particularly on jewelry. They will then offer you the money based on lower price or offer to buy it for you. This is true despite the appraisal you had that they accepted and charged you a premium on. Also, appraisals can vary greatly in opinion of a value. So you may want to ask the insurance carrier to give you the name of the company they use or will use if a loss occurs and go to that firm to get your appraisal for the scheduled items.
Although theft/vandalism claims are very common, they can be some of the most complicated and time consuming matters to resolve. Let Alconero and Associates Public Adjusters guide you through the process.
What does a Public Adjuster for Theft and Vandalism do in Miami
Home insurance is designed to provide peace of mind to the client, who is covered against a series of possible incidents. In the case of theft or vandalism, one can feel extremely unprotected in one’s own home. The insurance comes to cover this lack, but in some cases the answer is not what we would like. A situation of theft and vandalism in Miami could be solved simply with the replacement of the value of the damages and missing objects, but insurance companies do not make it that easy.
Insurers are private companies pursuing their own profit, which is logical. The problem is that, many times, their own interests go against those of their clients. To reduce costs, they will try to minimize the damage they consider valid or offer an amount less than necessary for repair or replacement. They may even try to completely deny the Miami theft and vandalism claim.
That’s where a public adjuster with the track record of Alconero & Associates can make a difference. Throughout the claim process, you will be advised by the best professionals so that the result is as expected. From the correct evaluation of the total costs to the proper presentation of the documents, the public adjuster will be in charge of defending your interests and representing you before the insurance company.
How to make a Theft and Vandalism claim
When making a claim for theft and vandalism in Miami, a fundamental point is to correctly calculate the damage to the property. These include the value of the items stolen and the cost of repairing what has been destroyed. But that’s not all, you also have to consider the emotional and psychological damage that the feeling of insecurity in your own home can represent. In the worst cases, they can lead to health problems such as panic attacks, anxiety or insomnia.
Within the material damage that can be caused to your property, there are common patterns that are often repeated. The breaking of doors or windows, the dirt thrown against floors, walls or ceilings, are just some of them. Graffiti on the exterior or interior of the property is also quite common in these cases. But there are events that are more serious, such as the theft of electronic devices, jewelry or cash stored inside the house. The presence of strangers inside the property implies a greater risk for the inhabitants of the home.
Faced with a situation of theft and vandalism in Miami, you will want to call your insurance as soon as possible to begin to solve the problem. Perhaps, the best thing to do would be to first think about calling a trusted public adjuster for the best advice. The presentation to the insurance is not as simple as it seems. If you want to have a successful claim, nothing better than having the advice of people with more experience in similar cases, such as the public adjusters of Alconero & Associates.
What to do if my insurance won’t pay
Insurance companies may deny payment of a claim for a variety of reasons. In general, a denial may be justified if the policy does not cover damage from theft and vandalism in Miami. To be sure, you can read the document in detail. We know that this is not always easy due to the technical language and the endless number of terms and conditions. Therefore, a public adjuster can be of great help in correctly interpreting the policy.
Even if the coverage is correct and the insurance should cover the expenses, in some cases the companies still reject the request. These types of maneuvers are strategies used by insurers to reduce their costs. Using some technicality or using hidden clauses in the contract, they can try to gain an advantage in this delicate moment. Of course, the insurance company has a technical advantage over the average citizen, since he has knowledge that the average citizen does not have. This inequality can represent a problem for the client, if he does not have correct advice.
Finally, it can also happen that the insurer decides to cover the costs, but does so for less than the necessary amount. The company conducts its own theft damage assessment and vandalism in Miami, but many times this does not coincide with the real value. In those cases, the compensation offered by the company is hardly enough to replace and fix the damaged objects.
Hire a Public Adjuster for Theft and Vandalism in Miami
Faced with all these difficulties that may arise in the claim process, a public adjuster can be your best ally. These professionals have the technical knowledge and experience to stand up to the insurance company on equal terms. Thus, your interests will be well represented in the negotiation and possible lawsuit against the company.
Right out of the box, having a public adjuster is an advantage in Miami theft and vandalism cases. First of all, it can help you review your insurance policy in detail to find the most beneficial arguments in the damage coverage and identify the scope. This, which may seem simple at first glance, in practice it is not so simple if you do not have the technical knowledge and experience of having done the task countless times.
Perhaps the most important moment in a Miami theft and vandalism claim is evaluating the costs. At that point, a public adjuster of Alconero & Associates can be decisive. Valuing the damages according to their real cost and identifying each and every one of the damages is essential to be able to obtain the best deal when negotiating with the insurer. Counting on the best public adjusters in Miami, you will be able to receive the maximum compensation and in the shortest possible time, to continue with your life after this unfortunate episode.