If you were affected by the Tornadoes, or any of the recent bad weather events to hit Rowlett or Garland, Texas… or anywhere else, and you have found this page, you are in the right place, at the right time. All we do is insurance claims, for you, the Unprotected Insured.
Why do I say that. It is actually quite simple. Call your insurance company, or ask the adjuster when he is face to face… Do they work for YOU, the insured, or the insurance company? If they tell you anything but your insurance company, you have already caught them in lie number one. They do not work for you. In Texas, there are only three people who can legitimately work for you, the Insured. #1, You, the Insured, which I do not recommend anymore than I recommend you being your own defense counsel… even if you are an attorney. #2, a licensed attorney. It is my belief that there is a time and a place where an attorney may be needed. Not now, not in the beginning, not until you have recovered all money available. (An attorney can only charge on new money, anything we have recovered prior to their involvement, is off limits.) #3, a Licensed Public Adjuster. The difference between a Licensed Public Adjuster and the adjuster you insurance company sends could not be clearer. They work for the insurance company, we work ONLY for You, the Insured!
- Good Will – If you had what looked like a total loss to the average person, your insurance carrier may have come out within a few days, and issued the full payment of the aggregate limit of your policy. While this may look like they are attempting to “do the right thing”, it is actually a very specific Texas Law that states an insurer MUST pay the Aggregate Limit shown on the declarations page of the policy if the Dwelling was considered a total loss… Within FIVE Business Days of the loss. By doing this, insurers abide by the law, and create a a false sense of “good will”. Why do I feel this way? Facts. Thousands of claims. Ask yourself this one question. Did they pay 100% of my CONTENTS upfront? No… Why not? Because it is not included in the law.
- Contents – Have you received all the proceeds towards your contents… or just a portion.
- ALE or Additional Living Expenses – Are you staying somewhere comparable to the home that was damaged? For how long? Is it farther to work, to school… to anywhere? Your policy accounts for every single aspect of a loss, whether your adjuster tells you this or not. (It is very easy and very profitable for an insurer to conveniently forget these things…)
- Debris Removal – Normally additional monies are set aside… notice the keyword ADDITIONAL. These are amounts in EXCESS of the aggregate limit the adjuster did not tell you about.
- Landscaping – Again… normally additional.
- Special limits – Did your adjuster sit down, and explain things like jewelry, antiques… guns… all have limits. Example: You have 10 guns worth $500.00 a pieces totaling $5,000.00. You put all on contents, believing they are all covered. There is normally a $2,500.00 limit. This would automatically cut that price on your inventory by $2,500.00.
- Replacement Cost and Contents – If you bought a couch for $800.00 dollars two years ago. And you list the couch at that price. Then, when you purchase, you realize with inflation, the same sofa is now $1,100.00. When you submit for “reimbursement”, the adjuster on the other end of the phone… the bean counter… asks you why you are trying to profit from this… The couch only cost $800.00 and you charged $1,100.00… SHAME on you! REALITY CHECK, REPLACEMENT COST COVERS THE COST TO PURCHASE THE ITEM TODAY, NOT TWO YEARS AGO. THIS IS COVERED TO THE FULL $1,100.00 OR THE LIMITS OF YOUR POLICY, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST. (Shame on them for attempting to use you morals to shame you into less than you are owed!)
- Inflation Guard/Index – When was your policy purchased? It makes a huge difference. If you purchased your policy in January of 2015, and received a total loss on December 26, 2015 your policy was at a high level of maturity. This can mean many things depending on the policy, but most equate to the same bottom line. The Aggregate Limit of your policy will INCREASE according to the index used at the time of policy inception. Again, in simple terms, when the Aggregate Limit raises, almost every single limit in the policy raises, because they are all directly tied to that limit.
- Building Ordinance and Law vs. Warranty and Common Practice – This is probably one of the trickiest portions of a policy. Too much to even attempt to explain with a bullet. 😉
- Overhead and Profit – Do they owe it… Of course they do. Unless the policy specifically states otherwise… and I will need to see that one for myself.
- Increased Coverage – Do you have a very commonly up-sold endorsement that increases the limits… I had a gentleman walk in the other day who thought he was completely underwater with what was paid. When I checked his declarations page, and pointed out there was an additional 50% of the stated Aggregate Limit available… he about fainted. The additional limit mounted to at least $105,500.00 ADDITIONAL!
- To Rebuild or Not to Rebuild – In reality, that is no one’s business but your own. A decision that cannot be known until all the facts are uncovered and all monies available are accounted for. Then, and only then, should an Insured make that type of decision. Once they have all the tools.
- Time lines – Texas has very, very specific timelines for an insurer to complete a claim… in short 15 days to acknowledge, 15 business days to investigate, and 5 business days to pay any “undisputed” amounts. There was not a declaration by Governor Greg Abbott extending the insurance companies time lines, therefore these are in effect. Keep in mind, like speed limits, these are not merely “suggestions”, they are laws, and they are broken as easily and frequently as we all break the speed limit.
- The Texas Department Of Insurance Licensing Department – Check everyone’s license… especially if they claim they can “work” with your insurance company. If they are not licensed Public Adjusters, they cannot. In the entire state of Texas, there are only approximately 750 people who have the honor of holding that license.
It is not my job to get you more money. It is my job to perform every aspect of the claim to the best of my abilities. When that is done properly, the end result is more money… that was owed. I do not want them to ever pay more than they owe… I just want them to do what they promised…
What is our fee? Funny you should ask. We have a strict No Recovery, Absolutely No Fee Policy.
We have these, and many more answers to all the questions that you have.
Feel free to come see us at the local office here in Rowlett, or Abilene, or Galveston… or the Norman, Oklahoma Office.
February 20, 2016
Call 877-41-2BUST or simply fill out the form below.