When your home, car or other personal property is damaged or lost unexpectedly, coping with what has happened can be a traumatic experience and a painstaking process. There are four phases of a disaster widely recognized by emergency responders to help frame the issues of disaster management as well as prepare for recovery. They are mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. These are beneficial to consider as you consider potential losses from natural disasters, in particular. Here’s a quick primer on the phases of disaster and how your reliable Palm Beach Gardens public adjuster can help you through the recovery phase after a disaster or unexpected damage or loss.
If you live in a floodplain, “tornado alley”, the wild and urban interface or along the San Andreas Fault, no doubt you’ve probably heard about pre-disaster mitigation. These are things you can do well in advance of a natural disaster such as floods, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes to mitigate damage and subsequent losses if such an event occurs. For example, you can incorporate specific building codes or structural attributes to make your home better designed to survive an earthquake or storm. You can thin forests around your home or clear flammable materials to reduce the risk of damage from wildfires.
The preparedness phase addresses how to prepare for a disaster and develop an understanding of how you will be affected. For instance, having a plan for where you will meet up with family if you are evacuated and developing a list of items you need to take during an evacuation (medications, important documents, family heirlooms) are examples of preparedness activities that will help you in the event of a disaster. Thinking about where to stay, important contacts to call and having a property inventory are other key preparedness action items.
Response is, as it sounds, addressing immediate threats such as protecting lives, loss of critical infrastructure, emergency food and water and immediate cleanup and damage assessment. This response phase is where it’s critical to have your public adjuster fully engaged. They will be critical to recognizing the full extent of property damages or loss, documenting losses, understanding all applicable local and state policies that would apply to potential claims and generally advocating for your rights as a policy holder.
Recover is the final phase of a disaster and the one that will likely take the longest. The recovery phase will be a minimum of six months to one year, during which assistance for emergency needs, the process for repair and replacement of loss or damage, and the negotiations with your insurance provider(s) will occur. As with the response phase, having your reliable Palm Beach Gardens public adjuster on the job will ensure that your rights are protected and the maximum levels of assistance and financial recovery are available to you.
Public Adjusters Work for You
So, why is it so important to enlist the help of a public adjuster as you move through the phases of a disaster? There are several reasons. First, it takes knowledge, skill and patience to negotiate with insurance companies when filing a claim. Under the stress of a disaster and the shock of experiencing damage and loss to your property, there’s real benefit in having someone with an objective mindset to weight into the realm of policies, allowable costs, deductibles, replacement/repair and everything that goes into getting a claim processed.
Much goes into properly assessing damage and loss and preparing a claim that is factually accurate, contains all of the necessary documentation, and fully asserts your request for the assistance to which you are entitled. To do this effectively, you need to have excellent documentation skills, be adept at property appraisal and damage assessment, understanding state policies that would impact your claim as well as understanding fully your rights as a policy holder. This skill set is enviable, even under ideal circumstances, much less that when you’re emotionally connected to the loss, which is the case if you’re the affected party. Having an ally working directly for your benefit will save you time, money stress. This, in turn, will enable you to put your energy into recovering in other areas, i.e. your family, getting back to work, and coping with the impacts of your losses.
If You Experience Loss
If you are the unfortunate victim of a disaster, theft or other event resulting in damage and loss of property, there are two phone calls to make immediately. One is to your insurance agent, and the other is to enlist the help of a public adjuster. From there – to the greatest extent possible – begin to document your losses. Your adjuster will help, with photographs, descriptions and other information that will be required for any and all claims. Unless you are an insurance policy subject matter expert, you will need to rely upon the expertise of your public adjuster to understand the details of your insurance coverage and maximize the benefits you are rightfully entitled to.
Disasters, theft or other events which lead to damage, destruction or loss of your personal property are traumatic events. They may take years to recover from fully, in terms of the emotional, social and economic toll. However, you can increase your chances of a timely and proper reimbursement of your claims by enlisting the help of an expert. Remember, public adjusters do not get paid unless and until your claim is successfully processed. Plus, the money they will recover for you – that might have been otherwise missed in the confusion of the claims process – make the decision to hire an adjuster a prudent financial decision. Plus, the time and aggravation you will be spared if dealing with a contentious claim will be worth the costs of hiring a professional. Remember, without a dedicated, round-the-clock advocate for your interests and rights, you may be leaving money on the table that is rightfully yours under the policy and terms you hold with your insurance company. Your Palm Beach Gardens public adjuster in Florida will help your recover from a disaster and emerge with the best outcomes possible.