Just imagine that your insured has lost everything in a house fire. You receive the inventory, and before you even make your way to the scene to start verifying contents, two more house fires cross your desk. This means more contents to verify, more claims to process, more individual policies to research, more living expenses to pay for displaced families, and yet more heartbreak as your insured’s life is put on hold by unspeakable tragedy. It all piles up, as time seemingly stands still.
The services of a contents specialist can speed an insurer’s residential and commercial contents claims processing, and allow the displaced policyholders to move on with their lives or business more quickly. Most importantly, a contents specialist acts as a dedicated partner, meticulously sifting through debris to identify contents room by room at the loss location—and identifying when reported contents are not there—all while ensuring that policies exclusions and limitations are applied.
When a contents inventory is conducted by trained adjusters—not simply by contracted contents counters—then a carrier receives an accurate content adjustment from start to finish. As such, the claims adjuster is not burdened by researching the items weeks or months after the loss or after the contents are disposed of. It is all taken care of by multistate-licensed adjusters and contents specialists during the on-site inventory, which includes high-quality digital photographs, building diagrams and pack out management. As a value-added claims service, contents specialists can also bag the contents for removal, further separating the contents and building, and reassuring the insured that all items have been accounted for and verified.
No Room Untouched
Contents claims have the potential to exceed the structure loss. The personal property portion of these claims requires the same attention to detail as the building claim. A contents specialist ensures the inventory is controlled, minimizing misrepresentation or inflation, and guaranteeing accuracy of the inventory. Precise inventory control saves time and thousands of dollars in accurate claims evaluations, and it serves to retain the trust and business of your valued customers.
The accuracy of a contents inventory lies in the touching of every item during a room-to-room inspection. When a contents specialist completes an inventory, it will be evident that every item has been documented. Each item is described in great detail and includes photographs and descriptions such as the manufacturer, model number, size, color, condition, age and gender. In many areas of origin, items can be nearly unrecognizable. A contents specialist will consult with the insured to identify the items and prevent future disputes. The insured is left with a complete understanding of the contents claim process.
Full Contents Adjustments
After the inventory is captured, it is submitted to the insured with a request to provide replacement costs, purchase documentation and ages. This information is reviewed and verified by the content specialists, and any necessary adjustments are made with supporting documentation of the adjustments. The adjusters then apply any applicable coverage limits, calculates the actual cash value and settle the loss with the insured or their representative. When utilizing an adjusting firm with licensed adjusters, all aspects of the claim can be settled.
In lieu of requesting the replacement costs and ages from the insured, contents specialists can also research the replacement costs with supporting pricing documentation, and this information can be provided to the insured. This will expedite the settlement of the claim.
Auditing Vendor Charges
A pack out audit service includes a physical inspection and photos of the packed out contents to determine if the charges from the vendor are appropriate. These audits successfully reduce invoices due to improper packing techniques. Adjusters also review the invoices to determine if the charges are appropriate and can obtain an agreement with the vendor for a reduced amount. This stand-alone service can reduce indemnity payments on nearly every pack out.
The thorough nature of an inventory investigation by a contents specialist provides for the proper scope and valuation, and greatly reduces claim disputes. A contents specialist not only puts the claims process on the fast track, but it also helps retain your valued customers with an outstanding claims experience.