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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How to Prove Your Property Insurance Claim

When your home is damaged by an act of nature, fire, flood or vandalism, you are entitled to an insurance settlement so that you can put the pieces of your life back together. However, receiving that settlement is not accomplished by making a simple phone call. You must prove all of that damage in order to receive compensation for your claim.Here’s how to get that done with tips from the public adjusters at AmeriClaims Inc.


Structural Damage

Check for structural damage and carefully document every crack, nick and missing roof tile. It is also a good idea to have your electrical system inspected by a professional and keep in mind that many insurance companies will pay for such inspections. It is also best to contact a public adjuster to assist you through the process.


stack of receipts, calculator, penKeep Receipts

In some instance, you will need to make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. For example, if a storm caused a hole in your roof, you will need to close that hole to prevent additional damage. Keep receipts for every repair you made and don’t go out and make any major repairs right away. That could hurt your ability to prove your claim.


Document Damage

The first step in proving your claim is to document every shred of damage. That includes listing all of your damaged items and providing a detailed description for each one. Provide the purchase date and the expected cost to repair or replace the item. Another highly recommended task is to take plenty of photos and videos of the damage. And don’t throw out any of those damaged items before your insurance company sends over a North Carolina public adjuster. The more documentation of damage you have, the better chance you have of proving your claim.


Obtain Written Estimates

Find a local contractor and obtain an estimate of what it would cost to repair the damage. Make sure this estimate is very detailed and includes the materials needed, expected timeline for completion and overall labor costs.


file folder, documents, docs, organized, insurance papers, receipts, written repair estimates, records

Organize

Keep all of your documentation, estimates and receipts in order by going out and buying a binder or portfolio. Also include every record of every conversation with contractors, insurance company reps, etc.


Avoid Making False Claims

Some homeowners may become a little greedy and start listing items they really did not own. This tactic could not only disprove your claim, but it could also lead to legal repercussions.


AmeriClaims, Inc. is ready to help you prove your claim and get the settlement you deserve. For the best public adjusters Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have to offer, contact an AmeriClaims representative right away and let us start working for you.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Why Actual Cash Value (ACV) Insurance Is a Bad Idea

When purchasing an insurance policy for your home or business, there is the option of choosing actual cash value. This provides you with cash for your damaged or lost items, but according to many FL public adjusters there are a number of reasons why purchasing this type of insurance is a bad idea.

Actual cash value sounds more appealing than it actually is for homeowners and business owners. The interpretation of actual cash value is one that is not exact. It could be more accurately termed as fair market value in many jurisdictions. The actual cash value is what would be paid for an item if it was sold in its current condition and not what it could cost brand new.

The main problem with actual cash value policies is that it factors in depreciation. It does not matter how much you paid for an item. You usually wind up receiving far less than that amount. Some courts may even consider older model items to be outdated and further reduce their value. Something only a AmeriClaims public adjust can try to fight.

If your home incurred storm damage and your 7-year old hot water heater ruptured as a result, your ACV policy would not pay for the entire cost of a new hot water heater. Instead, it would appraise the old water heater and pay that amount towards the cost of a new water heater. Even if that old hot water was in peak working condition, the insurance company would factor in depreciation along with wear and tear.
AmeriClaims public adjusters, storm damage, nature disaster, tornado damage, home destruction
If an item is stolen from your home, then the insurance company will automatically figure that wear and tear affected that item. So if a barely-used three year-old camera was stolen, the insurance company would assume it had three years of heavy usage. Coupling that with the fact that it is a dated model, the ACV payout is likely to be rather minimal.

The insurance company adjuster will use a formula to appraise these items, which includes age and category of the specific item or property. There adjuster’s account will also be considered as his/her report will influence the final ACV.

What ACV does is actually give insurance companies a lot of wiggle room when it comes to paying you as little as possible for your damaged, stolen or lost property. It can work against homeowners and leave them with much less of a payout than they would normally expect to receive.

AmeriClaims helps homeowners and property owners with all of their insurance claims as a trusted South Carolina public adjuster. Don’t settle for less than you deserve as AmeriClaims can help with your insurance claim today.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What You Should Not Do After You Experience a Claim

There is a detailed process that comes with filing an insurance claim for property damage. How that process is handled can affect your overall settlement. That is why it is just as important to know what not to do after you experience a claim. Here’s a look at some things to always avoid from top NC public adjusters, AmeriClaims Inc.


Do Not Make Repairs

The natural response to damage would be to make immediate repairs, but it is important to resist that urge. The insurance company will need to make a firsthand account of the damage in order to assess the cost of repair. Repairing the damage prematurely could cause you to lose out on a good deal of money. Be patient and wait it out.


Do Not Wait to Notify Your Insurance Company

Immediacy is important when making an insurance claim. Once you are out of harm’s way, the first thing you should do is contact your insurance company. Delaying could lead to your claim being denied and, in some instances, a lawsuit filed against you by the insurance company. One of our NC, FL, or SC public adjusters can guide you through the process.



Do Not Trash Damaged Items

The insurance company will come out and conduct their own documentation of the damage. Until that happens, leave everything as it is. Also, hold onto any receipts you have from the damaged items as they will help legitimize the value of those damaged items. Throwing out damaged items could give insurance companies reason to deny coverage.


Do Not Be Told Which Vendors to Use

Insurance companies will come out and recommend using certain contractors to fix the damage. You do not have to abide by those recommendations. You can select whichever contractor you want. Do your due diligence when finding these vendors and don’t be duped into believing you have to use certain ones.


Do Not Let Settlements Go to Anyone Else

Don’t permit any of your insurance settlement to be paid directly to a contractor. If a payment goes out to them before the work is finished, then that could affect their workmanship and attentiveness. Make sure any insurance payouts are made directly to you and then you can pay any contractors accordingly.


AmeriClaims Inc is ready to stand by you all the way through the claims process. As a top Charlotte public adjuster, we won’t let insurance companies take advantage of you during your time of need. AmeriClaims is ready to start working towards getting the settlement you deserve.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Don’t Stress With Self Repairs or Replace Property When You Have a Claim

Insurance claims are all about fixing something that has been damaged. In instances when a home or business is damaged, property owners will want to make repairs and replace their property as quickly as possible. However, property owners do not have to do either of those things. In this article, AmeriClaims Inc. Public Adjuster gives us a better look at how the repair process works.

Insurance policies were designed so that property owners do not have to make repairs or replace their property. All they have to do is report the damages. And in order to assess the damage in its entirety, insurance companies will need to get a close-up view of the damage.

Now, this process will not happen overnight. The good news is that it will happen as long as you follow the proper protocol and that does not mean conceding to the suggestions of your insurance company.

Within every insurance policy, there is something called Additional Living Expenses. This covers the costs of your day-to-day living while repairs are being made to your property. Keep all receipts and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement. And the longer it takes insurance companies to fix your damaged property, the longer it has to keep paying these living expenses. That could prompt them to speed up the process and take more immediate action.

Nevertheless, you will not have to repair a single thing. You can also select which contractors you would like to make the repairs. They are the ones who will be entrusted with fixing your home. You will still have to maintain mortgage payments that were in place before the damage, but it will not be on you to make any repairs. Any of our public adjusters in Florida, South Carolina or North Carolina can guide you through the whole process.

Any repairs that you do make could be contested by your insurance company and it could also be used to lessen your settlement. In some extreme cases, it could be used to deny your claim.

Clearing debris is not deemed the same as making repairs and this is something property owners can do, in addition to closing up holes that could lead to further damage. However, the extent of that generally applies to boarding up windows or covering a hole in the roof with a tarp.

AmeriClaims provides residents of the Charlotte area with someone they can turn to when faced with any kind of property damage. Our North Carolina public adjusters will walk you through the process and level the playing field so that insurance companies cannot take advantage of you. After disaster strikes, strike back at insurance companies by contacting AmeriClaims right away. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What You Should Do After a Business Suffers a Disaster

Businesses need to take all sorts of protective measures just in case something goes wrong. Disasters can occur at any moment and knowing what to do when that occurs is an essential part of the rebuilding process. Any type of business property loss can be overwhelming to deal with, that is why having some knowledge of what can be expect beforehand is highly recommended by public adjusters. Here is a look at what to do after a business sustains damage because of a disaster.

Let the Damage Speak For Itself
Leave the damage as it is and take the necessary measures to prevent any further damage. That requires all of the damaged items to remain in place and also includes not cleaning up the mess. An insurance company will send someone out to inspect the damage and it needs to be as it was just after disaster struck.

Provide Notice of Claim
Your insurance company will need to be notified that your business has sustained damage.
There are several ways to do this. First, you can contact your insurance agent directly via telephone. Even if the disaster occurred at night, insurance companies have off-hour numbers used for reporting claims. There is also the option of filing a claim online.

Prepare the Claim
Getting paid for a claim does not happen overnight as there is a process involved. It is not as though your insurance company will send someone out, inspect the damages, cut you a check and be on their way. It is up to business owners to put together an inventory of items that were damaged or destroyed. There is generally a 60-day window to file a claim. That gives business owners an ample amount of time to go through all of the damage and provide estimates for repairs. Those estimates are expected to be very specific. The more detailed, the better. A business owner may also seek out a public adjuster to assist with the claims process.

Be Prepared To Wait
Larger claims have a tendency to take longer to pay out. This could include months of putting together documentation of damages and collecting the necessary information that insurance companies will request. There is also a fair amount of negotiating that goes into settling a claim, which means business owners do not always have to settle for their first offer. This insurance claim negotiations process can involve a lot of back and forth before all is said and done.

If you are looking to get the most out of your insurance claim, the professionals at AmeriClaims, Inc. can make sure you have a public adjuster working for you. AmeriClaims has helped property owners from Florida to North Carolina gain fair compensation for their losses from insurance companies and can do the same for you. When it comes time to hire a North Carolina public adjuster, take advantage of the experience provided by AmeriClaims, who will not let insurance companies take advantage of you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What to Do After a Disaster Hits Your Home

Disaster can strike at any time and no home is immune to fire, vandalism, storms, or other acts of destruction and nature. When your home sustains damage, there are several steps that will get you compensated for your loss. It is important to follow these steps in order to be compensated fully by your insurance provider.

Mitigate Damage

Within your insurance policy, it clearly states that you have the right to protect your property from incurring any more damage. That does not mean you need to take excessive measures. However, according to an AmeriClaims public adjuster, it is important to take steps to protect your home that are within reason. The following measures should be taken in the event of a disaster.

•    Board up broken windows
•    Cover holes in roof with a tarp
•    Remove excess water from home
•    Move valuable items out of harm’s way

Do Not Disturb

Following a disaster, there is usually an instinct to clean things up. Avoid that instinct. An insurance company will want to come over to your home and inspect the damage. The only way that can be done accurately is to leave the damage as it is. Also, do not move things around unless they pose a danger or threat. This includes throwing any items in the trash.

Remember that after a disaster, everything in your home is evidence. The way to get paid for your damages is to provide actual evidence. Anything that is thrown away is like lost evidence that might have otherwise proven your claim to be true. Being short on evidence makes any claim a very weak one, with little chance of getting any reimbursement.

Hire Wisely

After a disaster, contractors have a tendency to show up at people’s doorstep unannounced. Some may have good intentions, although soliciting door to door does not scream credibility. The first contractor who contacts you may not necessarily be the best match. It is important to first sort through the details of your claim. Once that is done, it is a good idea to interview more than one candidate. You will want to check references, and their better business bureau rating.  You do not need to hire a contractor right away. 

When disaster strikes your home, AmeriClaims will send out a professional public adjuster who will make sure you get every cent you deserve. For the top public adjuster North Carolina has to offer, contact AmeriClaims today.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Post Insurance Claim Best Practices

The first thing you should do when disaster strikes is contact an AmeriClaims public adjuster in NC SC GA or FL. A public adjuster will be able to steer you in the right direction and make the most out of an otherwise unfavorable situation. Public adjusters understand every part of your insurance coverage and can help you get what you rightfully deserve. However, there are some things you can do to help expedite the process.

Notify Your Insurance Company

In order for the claims process to begin, you need to promptly notify your insurance company that your property has sustained damage. All insurance companies have 24-hour phone service so that you can call them anytime to report the damage. 


Secure the Property Damage

Do not mistake securing the damage with repairing the damage. If there is a hole in your roof, cover it up. If some of your windows break, board them up. It might take some time for the insurance adjuster to inspect the damage. It also helps to dry up any water as the damage will leave its mark. Remember that any damage that is incurred after you report the claim is on you. However, you do not need to clean up the damage because you want the insurance company to get a clear view of it.Your trusted North Carolina public adjuster can guide through the details.

Document the Damage

Go through and document every shred of damage and be sure to leave nothing out. List every item that was damaged, how old it was, its current cash value, and any other information that comes to mind. The more detailed your list, the better it will be. You can even list what it would cost to replace each item. Taking photos and videos are also highly recommended. And if an item has been lost in the disaster, still make a record of it. 


Find a Temporary Residence

In instances where storms and natural disasters severely damage your home, it’s important to find another place to stay. Most insurance policies cover living expenses in a place that is comparable to your residence. That means if you live in a three-bedroom house, you can rent another three-bedroom house and even rent furnishings while you are there.


When disaster strikes and leaves its mark on your home or business, contact AmeriClaims Inc Public Adjusters right away and let one of our public adjusters start working for you. Our team of adjusters will level the playing field when dealing with insurance companies who are looking to pay you less than you deserve. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

What You Should Expect When You Suffer a Claim

The aftermath of any disaster is never a pleasant time. And when your home or business is damaged, it can really take a toll. People often find themselves very down after experiencing such a loss. That could some people vulnerable to insurance companies who are looking to pay out as little as possible, says AmeriClaims Public Adjusters.

AmeriClaims Public Adjusters, North Carolina Insurance Claims for Storm Damage, property damage insurance claims, public adjusters
Some people believe that insurance companies are supposed to swoop in and compensate your losses. That is not the case at all. Don’t expect them to be willing to just throw money at you. It is not their business to lose money, so they will respond by trying to pay out as little as possible.

That means they could try and scrutinize everything about your claim. Don’t take it personally. That is their business and it is the same for the majority of people who file insurance claims. Just realize that your insurance company is not always your friend. And when you file a claim for property damage, they often become your enemy.

There are certain steps you should take right after your home or business sustains damage. That is simply the beginning of what can be a long fight between you and your insurance company.

fire damaged, fire damaged property
 Hiring a Florida, North Carolina, or South Carolina public adjuster will provide you with help in that fight. It is the business of a public adjuster to know the ins and outs of all the games that insurance companies will attempt to play. And all that is done in an attempt to pay you as little as possible. Here are some helpful hints you can do to help in that fight:

•    Make records of all communication with insurance company
•    Gather receipts of all damaged items
•    Follow the advice of your South Carolina, North Carolina, or Florida public adjuster
•    Save all receipts of expenses incurred while waiting for repairs
•    Pay for all contract work with credit card or check

You should also be prepared for a lengthy battle, one which might force you to live elsewhere for a while. It may be an inconvenience, but remember that it is only temporary. Also, keep in mind that doing all the right things through this process could allow you to return to an even nicer home or business when a settlement is reached

AmeriClaims will stand by you through the claims process and advise you on how to handle each step. It pays to have a professional in your corner and AmeriClaims Public Adjusters are ready to take on insurance companies and start fighting for you.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Avoid Reporting Small Claims and Raise Your Deductible to Prepare For the Big One

Home insurance policies are designed to cover costs that would normally cause a severe dent in people’s bank accounts. But when it comes to reporting smaller claims, there are some important things to remember says Charlotte NC public adjuster Bob Freitag.

Minor damage to a home during a thunderstorm or other act of nature often compels people to call on their insurance company to help pay the cost of repair. A common deductible on home insurance policies is $500. Before filing a claim, consider just how much the cost of repair will be.

If it is a mere $50 to $100 over the deductible, then it is not always worth filing the claim. It will return you that extra $50 or $100, but it could also have an effect on your policy moving forward. Remember that the more claims you file, the more it may affect your insurance policy.

Continual claims could cause your insurance company to negate your renewal. Quite often, insurance companies consider a series of small claims a precursor to a bigger one that is all but inevitable. However, negating a renewal is not the only move insurance companies will make.

Your insurance company has many experts working for them and now it’s time to have someone working for you. You should have an advocate working for you. Call us today at 866-310-0195 for a free claim consultation and experience the best public adjuster NC has available.

In the wake of a small claim, insurance companies can add a surcharge to a home insurance policy. That means an increase in your premium. So while it may seem favorable to file a claim that would get you $50 to $100 over your deductible, the increase in premium will actually cost more than that in the long run.

A home or auto insurance policy that costs $600 per year might then be raised by 20% over the next three years. That is an additional $360 over three years, which far exceeds that $50 or $100 that was saved by filing that small claim.

Another way to save money is to raise your deductible. You will have to pay less on your premium and you will still be covered for that big disaster in which insurance is definitely needed.

One thing to remember is that insurance companies do not consider homeowner’s policies as a type of maintenance. It is viewed as a policy that attends to damage on a much greater scale. And if and when that happens, homeowners should be prepared for that big one with an insurance policy that has not been compromised by a bunch of smaller claims.

Policyholders in the Southeastern U.S. are not alone when it comes to disaster recovery. They have AmeriClaims Public Adjusters to turn to for expert knowledge and experience. AmeriClaims has everything you need to help with the homeowners insurance claims process and get the cash settlements you desire. Take the first step by contacting one of our Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, or South Carolina public adjusters today for a free claims consultation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Important Things to Know About Insuring a Rental Property

Buying a home and making it your primary residence comes with the task of purchasing homeowners insurance. However, public adjusters can tell you insurance is a bit different when a home is used as a rental property. Here are some important things to know about insuring a rental property.

Liability Protection

Since people will be coming and going in and out of a rental property, it pays to have liability insurance. If someone gets injured on the property, this will protect the owner. This applies to renters and even contractors who may occasionally do some maintenance. Slip and falls are common, but liability insurance will also provide protection in case of a fire. It also does not pay to be cheap when purchasing liability insurance for your rental property. Think of it as an investment that serves to protect your investment. Liability insurance is not very expensive, which makes it wise to load up.

Dwelling Insurance

It is common to assume a homeowner’s policy is needed when you own a rental property, but there are differences within the specifics of that policy, according to AmeriClaims. For example, a homeowner’s policy protects possessions within the home. Owning a rental property does not always mean owners have to use a policy to protect their valuable possessions. However, the building itself still needs insurance. This is where purchasing dwelling insurance comes into play. This type of insurance will cover the actual building in the event of any damage.

Vacancy Coverage

Not every rental property is always going to be rented. There are some spans of time when those properties are vacant. That provides the chance of vandals going in and causing damage to the place. Insurance companies will attempt to deny claims that are filed without vacancy coverage. One way to ensure that does not happen is to prepare for any unexpected damage while no one is occupying the rental property.

Rental Loss Coverage

If vandalism or an act of nature forces tenants to move out, the right rental loss insurance coverage will see to it that you still receive the equivalent of rental income. This is one more way to get as much money as possible from your insurance company should an unavoidable occurrence force your tenants to move out.

AmeriClaims is ready to stand by your side when you file a claim as we maintain our status as the top public adjuster Georgia and North Carolina has to offer. We are also considered to be an experienced, top-quality public adjuster throughout Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina who can help with every detail of your claim.

Monday, June 27, 2016

You Don’t Have to Accept Cleaning as an Alternative to Replacement on Your Claim

Several types of damage to your property require different types of solutions. However, insurance companies are going to attempt to fix your property by spending as little as possible. That does not mean you always have to settle for what they initially attempt to offer you, especially with an expert public adjuster on your side.


Water damage and smoke damage can affect property in all sorts of ways. In some instances, it may appear that a thorough cleaning will return your property back to the way it used to be. But this is different from actual replacement. Even professional water/fire clean up services cannot undo all damage. And when an insurance company is required to replace your property, you don’t have to settle for just a cleaning.


In instances of smoke damage, an insurance company may claim that cleaning will restore household items like drapes, carpet and furniture. However, there is no way to guarantee this will restore all of your property, even though insurance companies will try to convince you otherwise.


Water damage falls along the same lines. In many cases, insurance companies will offer a cleaning service in an effort to cut on costs. But that does not always account for any underlying damage caused by excess water. That damage might pose problems in the long term.We have public adjusters in NC,SC,FL and GA standing by to assist you through your claim.


The bottom line is that when you have a replacement policy, you have the option whether to repair or replace your property. Replacement claims spell out the fact that replacement is what is required, yet insurance companies will usually try to talk clients into a cleaning instead. Another tactic they will use is actually providing you with a cleaning service they recommend.


Be wary of these ploys as they are ones a public adjuster can detect right away. There are several ways insurance companies attempt to manipulate their clients and pushing cleaning over replacement is just one common example.


Replacement cost policies are intended to reimburse the full cost of your property. You are entitled to receive a new item as if you walked into a store and bought it yourself. That can be costly for insurance companies, which makes sense why they would try to push cleaning services as an alternative. Remember that even if the claim is disputed, you do not have to settle for a mere cleaning.


At AmeriClaims, we know what you are going through. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC we also help clients in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina get fair payout on their claims. AmeriClaims can provide you with a trusted North Carolina public adjuster that won’t let you settle for less than you deserve. You can avoid insurance company tactics by enlisting the services of AmeriClaims, the top public adjuster NC, SC, GA and FL offers its residents.



Monday, June 13, 2016

What Is Covered Under Your Condo and Townhome Insurance Master Policy

Coastal view of Miami, FL
Insuring a condo or townhome is different than insuring a single home because the property is attached to a larger complex. According to AmeriClaims Public Adjusters in GA, there are special considerations to make and certain factors you should know when it comes to townhomes and condo insurance.

Since owning a townhome or condo means that you belong to a larger structure, there are maintenance requirements to account for in most HOAs (Homeowners Associations). There are several common areas that are used by the whole community and these areas also need to be insured. The condo or townhome association takes care of insuring those areas, which is why there are association fees every owner must pay. But keep in mind that personal property and liability within your condo or townhome is not covered by simply paying HOA fees.

Condo Insurance

Condo insurance generally provides coverage on the majority of possessions within your individual unit. A bare walls-in policy covers all real property within a condo, which includes personal possessions, appliances, furniture, and d├ęcor items. Those looking for more extensive coverage in their condo can opt for an all-in policy. However, damages to shared amenities, the exterior structure and land all fall under the master HOA policy.  A South Carolina claims adjuster reminds us that condo owners do not actually own any land, just a certain amount of space within a complex. The risks covered by your condo insurance cover the following:

•    Fire or smoke damage
•    Hailstorm, lightning and high winds
•    Civil unrest or riot
•    Car crash into complex
•    Theft and vandalism
•    Building collapse
•    Falling objects

Townhome Insurance

Townhome insurance extends to all of the areas on the deed. That includes the land outside the townhome in addition to the interior and any balcony. Townhome owners own the land on which their unit is built, which means they need to have liability coverage should someone experience a slip and fall on their premises. The type of association and its specifics will detail what should and should not be covered with individual townhome insurance.

There are some townhomes that have no HOA that provides insurance for common areas and maintenance the way most condo HOAs are set up. In those instances, the same kind of homeowner’s insurance policies for single homes would apply to townhome owners.

In case you live in a higher risk area such as the South Carolina and Florida coasts you will want to make sure your insurance protects against natural disasters. If disaster strikes AmeriClaims can help commercial and residential property owners, including condo owners and townhome owners, through the claims process. A public insurance adjuster will review your policy and make sure you receive exactly what you are entitled to according to your insurance policy.