Lightning Strikes And Destroys A Home

This is a picture of the living room of a rental house that was destroyed by fire last fall. The tenants, a young couple with two small children, had just moved in and bought all new furniture. With the excitement of getting their new home set up, they hadn’t had a chance to buy renter’s insurance.

But then, lightning struck – literally. The house was struck by lightning in the middle of the night and burned for a while on the outside before it was discovered. The mom heard strange crackling noises and, thinking her boys were up, got up to tell them to go back to bed. What she discovered was a lot more menacing. The entire front of the house was on fire. She was able to get the family out safely, thank goodness, but the fire spread throughout the house and destroyed the place and all of the family’s possessions. Inspection of the property the next day revealed their beautiful new rental house, their new furniture, clothing, toys, computers, electronics, video games, food, and books blackened and burned. What the fire didn’t get, the water from the fire hoses did.

The building itself was covered under the landlord’s policy. He filed a claim and, with the help of Robert L. McCormack Public Adjusters, was made whole again. Unfortunately, even a public adjuster could not help the tenants. The young family needed to relocate and rebuild their lives from scratch.

You never expect something like this to happen – struck by lightning?? What are the odds? The moral of the story is: have insurance before you move in. It’s not as exciting as decorating, but it’s pretty great when you have a claim.

Robert L. McCormack Public Adjusters, Inc. has more than fifty years in the insurance adjusting field and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. We have adjusted every type of property claim there is: fire, storms, water, robbery, you name it. Licensed in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, and Texas, we can handle your claim from start to finish. Contact us today via email or telephone 508-588-4243.

 

Take Some Time & Find The Right Public Adjuster

Your relationship with your public adjuster is an important, and possibly, a long-term one. The right fit is essential for a smooth and expeditious process. You need to be comfortable with his or her personality and communication style. You need to like each other.

Public adjusters can show up at your door while your house is still on fire and try to push you into signing a contract. These are not the people to go with. Instead, take a breath, ask for recommendations, and do your research. Find someone who has been used by someone you know who had a positive experience. Was the PA a good communicator? Was he compassionate and patient with your questions and concerns? Did she return your phone calls? If you don’t have a friend with a good referral, take a look at the Better Business Bureau website and read ratings and reviews.

Find a public adjuster who has a good amount of experience. Handling claims is a process that involves nuance that can only be mastered with practice. Your public adjuster should have several years adjusting insurance claims or dealing with insurance policies. An experienced public adjuster also has developed relationships in the industry that could help cut through red tape with the insurance company and with any vendors necessary.

Robert L. McCormack Public Adjusters, Inc. has more than fifty years in the insurance adjusting field and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. We have adjusted every type of property claim there is: fire, storms, water, robbery, you name it. Licensed in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, and Texas, we can handle your claim from start to finish. Contact us today via email or telephone 508-588-4243.

Take some time and find the right public adjuster

How to find the right public adjuster

Your relationship with your public adjuster is an important, and possibly, a long-term one. The right fit is essential for a smooth and expeditious process. You need to be comfortable with his or her personality and communication style. You need to like each other.

Public adjusters can show up at your door while your house is still on fire and try to push you into signing a contract. These are not the people to go with. Instead, take a breath, ask for recommendations, and do your research. Find someone who has been used by someone you know who had a positive experience. Was the PA a good communicator? Was he compassionate and patient with your questions and concerns? Did she return your phone calls? If you don’t have a friend with a good referral, take a look at the Better Business Bureau website and read ratings and reviews.

Find a public adjuster who has a good amount of experience. Handling claims is a process that involves nuance that can only be mastered with practice. Your public adjuster should have several years adjusting insurance claims or dealing with insurance policies. An experienced public adjuster also has developed relationships in the industry that could help cut through red tape with the insurance company and with any vendors necessary.

Robert L. McCormack Public Adjusters, Inc. has more than fifty years in the insurance adjusting field and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. We have adjusted every type of property claim there is: fire, storms, water, robbery, you name it. Licensed in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, and Texas, we can handle your claim from start to finish. Contact us today via email or telephone 508-588-4243.

What is Overhead and Profit?

When you receive the adjuster’s breakdown of your insurance claim, look for the line items Overhead and Profit. Commonly known as O&P, this covers the cost of a general contractor to oversee your reconstruction.

Depending on the size of your claim, your repairs may take several tradespeople to complete. Examples of tradespeople are painters, wallpaper hangers, carpenters, masons, electricians, and plumbers. If your reconstruction needs at least three trades, a general contractor is considered necessary to coordinate and supervise the job. Whether you want to hire one is up to you, but you’re entitled to be paid for the expense.

O&P covers the general contractor’s time and expenses and is usually calculated as a percentage of the overall cost of the job. Overhead covers the cost of equipment, facilities, and operations for the job. Profit is how the general contractor earns a living.

We often see the O&P omitted and if you don’t know you’re entitled to it, you won’t know to ask for it. Take a look at the adjuster’s summary, usually on the last page of the estimate, and check for the line items Overhead and Profit. If you don’t see it and can’t find it anywhere else in the estimate, ask the adjuster to add it. This is a legitimate expense and you are entitled to collect it.

Contact Us Today!

At Robert L. McCormack Public Adjusters, we offer many services, and can truly help you throughout the course of your claim. We’ll make sure you get your O&P and everything else you’re entitled to. Contact us today via email, or by giving us a call at 508-588-4243.

How Can I Place a Water Damage Claim?

Water Damage Claim?

Water damage claims are the source of consternation for claimants. It’s probable that your policy doesn’t cover some types of water damage. It depends where the water came from and what caused it.

Where Did the Water Come From?

If the water came from above the ground, you’re probably covered under your regular policy. An example is a water comes in through a hole caused by a covered peril (like a tree falling on your roof in a windstorm). The resulting water damage is covered. If water came in from the ground outside the house, or below it, you could be out of luck unless you have a federal flood insurance policy. If the flood came from inside the house, then it depends on what caused it.

What Caused It?

Following are some causes of water damage and whether they’re covered.

  • Washing machine overflowed: probably covered.
  • Sump pump failed: you need a special provision on your policy for that.
  • Water damage caused by ice dams: probably covered.
  • Boiler broke down and flooded the basement: probably covered depending on how the boiler was maintained.
  • Frozen pipes burst: probably covered if you’ve made every effort to maintain heat inside the building.
  • Air conditioner leak from your attic: probably covered.
  • Leak from an old roof: the interior damage is probably covered, the roof is not.

You get the idea – water damage is not black and white. Knowing the cause of the water damage and knowing what your policy covers are keys to putting in a good claim. Remember, just calling the insurance company about a claim puts a black mark on your record – even if the claim is denied. You’ll want to be sure about the claim before you call the company.

Contact Us Today!

Robert L. McCormack Public Adjusters offers many services and can truly help you throughout the entire life-cycle of a claim. Contact us today by sending us an email, or by giving us a call at 508.588.4243.

Leaky Roofs and Insurance Coverage

When you start to see water stains forming on your ceiling, the most obvious cause is a leaky roof. Is this damage covered by your insurance? The answer is probably. Can you get a new roof? The answer is maybe.

Causes of Water Damage

A few things can cause water to come into the house through the roof, like a windstorm, ice dams, a fallen tree, and openings caused by normal wear and tear. Interior damage resulting from any of these causes is usually covered by your homeowner’s policy (although commercial policies may be different). But what about the roof?

General Rule of Thumb for Roof Damage

If your roof is damaged by some unforeseen event, like a windstorm, the roof itself, and the resulting interior damage are usually covered. If water gets in through an opening created by the roof’s normal wear and tear, the resulting damage inside is usually covered, but the roof is not.

If you are able to collect on your roof, you may be entitled to a whole slope to make sure the shingles all match.

Contact Us Today!

Water damage is very prevalent in New England during the spring. Robert L. McCormack Public Adjusters offers many services and can truly help you throughout the entire life-cycle of a claim. Contact us today for help with water damage claims by sending us an email, or by giving us a call at 508.588.4243!

Late Winter Storms & Damage Costs

Winter storms, whether they are snow and ice related, or water and wind-related, cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage in the United States every year. Therefore, it is crucial to understand your homeowner’s policy to know what you are covered for. Flooding is one of the things that are not always covered by a regular homeowner’s policy, so if you live in an area where flooding happens even occasionally, you may want to invest in flood insurance.

Common Claims in Winter

Roof Failure: Due to the snow and ice of the winters in New England, we often see that the weight of this snow and ice can cause a lot of problems with roofing. One way to prevent this is by hiring a professional to clean heavy snow off your roof.

Trees Falling: Trees fall during the winter due to high winds or the weight of snow. Fallen trees can wreak havoc on your house, shed, pool, fence, and backyard. Tree claims are usually covered.

Sump Pump Failure Caused by Power Outage: We have a ton of these claims this month and it’s hard to tell people it’s probably not covered. Any type of sump pump failure, even if it’s due to a power failure outside of your home, is not covered unless you have a special endorsement on the policy.

Ice Dams: Ice dams can cause interior water damage. We saw a lot of this type of damage back in 2015 during all of the blizzards. Damage caused by ice dams is usually covered.

Frozen Pipes: The water flowing through your pipes can freeze which can cause them to burst and create a flood. This type of flooding is generally covered unless you haven’t maintained an appropriate level of heat in the house.

House Fires: While seeming like the least obvious claim that you’d have to make in the winter, house fires are common because of the increased use in heating and lighting systems in the wintertime.

Contact Us Today!

At Robert L. McCormack Public Adjusters, we offer many services, and can truly help you throughout the entire life-cycle of a claim. Contact us today by sending us an email, or by giving us a call at 508.588.4243!

Springtime Damage & Public Adjusters

Springtime is a time for new beginnings. The snow starts to melt and we’re on our way to flowers, summer, and sunshine. But this blissful outlook can flip like a switch when spring actually begins in full force. The spring thaw and the storms that typically occur during this time period can cause a lot of damage to your home, and you need to make sure you’re covered for whatever happens.

What Kind of Coverage Do I Need?

The first thing you should do when getting new insurance for your home is read the whole policy through to know exactly what you are covered for. Not all policies are the same. Don’t be surprised at the worst possible moment. Robert L. McCormack Public Adjusters can look over your policy to ensure you’re covered for any event.

What Can Cause Damage in the Spring?

Trees

Trees have a tendency to fall at the most inconvenient times and in the most inconvenient places. During storms in the springtime, it’s common for trees to fall, causing damage to homes as well as backyards and pool areas. Fallen trees are generally covered by your homeowner’s policy.

Hail

Hail can cause very bad roof damage, as well as damage to your siding. Damage caused by hail is generally covered.

Water Damage

bob estimating water damageA spring thaw could bring flooding which can devastate a home. Remember, some flooding is only covered by federal flood insurance, so be sure to double check this coverage so that you can be properly compensated in the event of a flood.

At Robert L. McCormack Public Adjusters, we offer many services, and can truly help you throughout the entire life-cycle of a claim. Contact us today by sending us an email, or by giving us a call at 508.588.4243!

What Is An Adjuster?

The claims process is a confusing one. The person you work most closely with is the adjuster. But what does an adjuster do? To shed some light on this, I want to define what an adjuster is and the different types of adjusters there are.

Why are they called adjusters?

Growing up with a dad who is a public adjuster, I never understood why the word “adjuster” was used. What are they adjusting? They are adjusting the amounts of money each element of the claim is worth according to age, amount of damage, condition, what your contractor charged, what the prices are where you live. During the claim process, the numbers jump all over the place according to these conditions. The adjuster is adjusting those numbers to fit the claim.

There are a few different kinds of adjusters.

The person who comes to your house to estimate the damage is the adjuster. Some companies employ their own adjusters and some outsource the job to independent adjuster organizations. From the claimant’s perspective, they perform the exact same function and would be your contact person for the duration of the claim.

You may also hear the terms inside adjuster or outside adjuster. The outside adjuster is the person who comes to your house, whether he or she is an insurance company-employed adjuster or an independent. The inside adjuster is the person who deals with the claim from the insurance company’s office – a liaison between the outside adjuster and the other parts of the company involved in the claim. Inside adjusters are employees of the insurance company.

Public Adjuster

A public adjuster is hired independently by you and acts as your representation against the insurance company adjuster. A public adjuster handles the whole claim process and will maximize your settlement and save you a lot of time and aggravation. The public adjuster will level the playing field between you and the insurance company providing you with the peace of mind that you’re getting the best possible settlement.

Is the insurance company adjuster my friend?

The insurance company adjuster may be the nicest person in the world and do an excellent job. But keep in mind, these folks work for the insurance company whether they’re independent or company employees. They represent the company, not you. They have the power in the situation which may or may not be to your detriment. It’s definitely not to your advantage. But your public adjuster is your friend. Your public adjuster represents you and works for your benefit.

At Robert L. McCormack Public Adjusters, we offer many services, and can truly help you throughout the course of your claim. Contact us today by filling out our contact form, or by giving us a call at 508.588.4243.

What Does Additional Living Expenses Mean?

Additional Living Expenses coverage (ALE) helps you maintain your standard of living after a covered loss.

additional living expenseWhat does Additional Living Expenses mean?

As a standard part of a homeowners’ policy, Additional Living Expenses (ALE) reimburse the insured for the cost of maintaining their standard of living after experiencing a loss. ALE applies to expenses following a covered loss that exceed the insured’s normal expenses prior to the loss.

For example, ALE would cover an insured’s hotel bill while fire damage to the home is being repaired. Here are some other examples of what Additional Living Expenses cover:

  • Any extra gas used if it takes longer to get to work from your temporary living quarters
  • Any expenses for dining out if you can’t use your kitchen
  • Costs related to moving, furniture rental, and storage
  • Laundry if you need to use a laundromat
  • Any extra utility fees over what you usually pay

It will only cover additional expenses

The operative word here is “additional.” For example, your kitchen is unusable and you need to eat out at times you normally wouldn’t. Once you make a claim, the insurance company will look at what you usually pay for food. From here, they adjust accordingly and then reimburse you for anything additional you needed to spend on eating out. It only applies to that over and above what you usually pay.

How to get the reimbursement

Additional Living Expenses is an incurred payment. In other words, you need to actually have spent the money to be reimbursed. Keep all receipts and canceled checks. You can submit these to your public adjuster as the expenses are incurred. They can submit all proof of additional expenses.

What’s the limit of coverage?

Under homeowners’ forms HO 2, HO 3, HO 4 (tenants’ policy), and HO 5, ALE coverage is equal to 30 percent of the dwelling limit. Under a condominium owner’s policy (HO 6), the limit of ALE is 50 percent of the personal property limit. You’ll find all of your policy’s limits on the declarations page of your policy, which is usually the first or second page.

We can help you!

Robert L. McCormack Public Adjusters has plenty of experience dealing with ALE. We can help to set up your new living arrangements and ensure you maintain your standard of living. We can also assist you with submitting your receipts to the insurance company and make sure you get everything that you’re entitled to. Contact us today by filling out our contact form, or by giving us a call at 508.588.4243.

Check out this article for more information on ALE.