New Jersey Disaster Recovery Services
Everyone who lives in a home, whether it be a tenant or homeowner, or owns a business, must by law, invest in an insurance policy to cover them in the case of a loss. The period immediately following a personal loss is a difficult and stressful time for individuals and businesses alike and requires making many important decisions in a relatively short amount of time. Most policyholders are unaware that the burden of proof is on them to prepare and present their claim. A typical insurance policy contains hundreds of provisions and stipulations, continuously changing endorsements, and many complex details that are required in the case of a loss. Many homeowners feel lost when faced with the intricate details of a property damage claim on top of dealing with a major interruption in their lives. To get a fair settlement, a public adjuster can be utilized to alleviate all of those headaches and get you back to life as you once knew it with as little disturbance as possible.
A public adjuster is an insurance claims adjuster who advocates for the policyholder in appraising and negotiating a claimant's insurance claim. Aside from attorneys, public adjusters licensed by state Departments of Insurance are the only representatives that can legally represent the rights of an insured during the claims process. A public adjuster is most beneficial when seeking proper identification and valuation of a loss. Why waste your time trying to sort through documents filled with complex jargon and calculations when a professional public claims adjuster can navigate this process for you and watch out for known pitfalls? Our adjusters understand depreciation, replacement costs and actual cash value, important tools in aiding you with your claim.
Know Your Adjuster
All public adjusters employed by Light It Up Electric LLC are licensed by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. The Division of Insurance issues licenses to insurance companies, producers and other risk-assuming entities, reviews insurance produts and rates for compliance with existing regulations, and monitors the financial solvency of licensees to ensure product availability in the marketplace. We are also fully insured and bonded per the regulations of the Department. Find out more information about the Department of Insurance at www.state.nj.us/dobi.
As an adjuster we will review your existing policy of insurance to determine what your policy covers, observe any damage and prepare an estimate detailing those damages, provide required claim and supporting documentation to back up your claim, appraise your damages and negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company’s claims adjuster to ensure that you are being fairly treated.
In the case of business owners who suffer a loss, and usually don’t have their own claims adjusters, they face a distinct challenge when navigating property insurance claims like flood, fire and natural disaster recovery. Executives often find they have to interrupt their critical business recovery operations for damage mitigation. Recovery is also stalled due to the fact that they have to use precious human resources to deal with the admittedly complex insurance claim process. Most find that relying on a licensed public adjuster to handle all claim settlements accelerates their financial recovery.
Steps Taken By An Insurance Adjuster Representing a Claim
- Evaluate your current property insurance policy to properly strategize how to best present your claim to your insurance carrier
- Value, document and substantiate each loss detail
- Negotiate on your behalf with your property insurance company
- Ensure that you’re informed of our progress each step of the way
- Settle your property insurance claim for the largest amount possible with the least heartache.
The challenge for many is knowing whether or not they are getting the full compensation their policies should provide. We expect insurance companies to stand behind us when disaster strikes but far too often we see carriers denying or underpaying on legitimate claims. These companies are known to focus on their bottom line and will try to cut corners when it comes to paying on claims.
Underpaying on claims happens a lot because many policyholders have little understanding of the nuances of their coverage. There are also emotional considerations. After snow crashes through a roof or gale-force winds shatter windows, many homeowners just want to deal with the emergency at hand, avoid a prolonged battle and cut their losses. A vulnerable state to be in.
Residential and Commercial property claims can including coverage for the following:
- Falling Objects
- Plumbing Failures
- Weight of Ice or Snow
The average insured does not know what they are entitled to and the insurance companies prey on this. Homeowners will look at something that is broken and try to figure out what it will cost to fix. However, there are other damages they are not trained to look for which public adjusters have inside knowledge about.
If disaster has struck your business… could this be you?
- You’ve got taxes due, shipments promised, and payroll to make.
- You’re worrying how you’ll get your equipment rolling again and how much of a production lag you’ll be facing.
- You’ve got tenants out on the street, posing loss-of-rents problems for you.
- Your inventory is completely destroyed, and you don’t have the capital to replace it.
- The fire destroyed only a third of your building, but everywhere else is black with soot and smoke.
- You’ve got three different insurance carriers to deal with, but your office – and all the records you need – is in ruins.
- What the fire didn’t consume, the fire hoses drenched beyond recognition.
- Your building was nearly 90% complete, but now you’re looking at day-by-day behind-schedule penalties.
- What about your new carpet – it’s damaged beyond use, but is it part of your building claim or your contents claim?
- You’ve been meaning to replace your security system and are kicking yourself now for not having done so.
- Most of your pre-sales were contingent upon a completion date that is no longer possible.
You shouldn’t wait for an emergency to fully review and understand your existing policy. The language and terms are intentionally very ambiguous so that the average consumer cannot interpret it accurately. Policyholders are often underinsured or face exclusions for the things they need. A prime example is when you have a homeowner with a house built in the 1970s and it no longer conforms to the updated building standards of today. Once you apply for a building permit, the township will require you to make certain upgrades to bring it up to current code. This is something that should be covered in your policy but if it doesn’t contain the language, you are out of luck. A public adjuster can sit down with you to review your policy to make sure it is adequate and fits your needs.
Public adjusters can also assist when a claim is initially rejected. For example, a policyholder may state that their claim was denied because mold was not covered. If it is found that the mold, subsequently, was caused by a water leak than it may be covered as it was the direct effect of the water damage, which may be covered. The insurance company may not bring these things to your attention, causing you to believe your claim is non-existent.
The adjusters at Light It Up Electric LLC can also fully inspect your homes electrical system to ensure that it has not been effected as a result of damage in another part of your home. Some damages can be hidden behind the walls, often some of the most dangerous types. Did you know that if your home loses power that you are supposed to be informed by your utility company prior to them turning the power back on to prevent electrical surge damage? Your homes electrical wiring system can be damaged by the initial surge of power created when the power is turned back on. If you lose power you are supposed to unplug all of your appliances and fixtures to eliminate the damage an electrical surge can cause to your things.
Some common electrical issues with property claims involve the following:
- 2 prong outlets
- Knob and tube wiring
- Aluminum wiring
- Crackling wires
- Wires that spark
- Smoking outlets or lights
- Dimming lights
- Breakers that won’t reset
- Buzzing noises coming from switches and outlets
- Push-a-matic breakers
Another common issue is the absence of grounding rods which are used to protect you and your family in the event of a ground failure. When a surge of electricity occurs it travels down the electrical wire, back into your electrical panel and – if correctly grounded – the surge of electricity will trip your breaker and shut off the power supply. When your home is improperly grounded, or grounding is absent altogether, there is nothing to stop the surge when it reaches your electrical panel, causing a potential electrocution as well as a fire behind your walls. Homeowners who do not have proper grounding are at risk every time they plug something into the wall.
Another common issue that we encounter when seeing electrical system claims is the presence of frayed wiring in attics due to animals chewing on wires, leaving them exposed and unprotected. Most attics are full of wood and insulation, both of which are highly flammable. If you hear the pitter patter of little feet, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by a professional.
How Are Public Adjusters Compensated?
The fees associated with hiring a public adjuster are percentage based. We provide services in advance of payment and calculate a small percentage of the total amount of what you receive when your claim is settled and you are paid. We are not paid anything until you are paid. Please keep in mind that we are typically able to get our clients an average of a 40% increase over what your own insurance company will try to give to you to settle. Insurance carriers train their adjusters to look after the interests of the shareholders, not their customers.