|Image courtesy of flickr.com|
Like many other Americans, this week the family and I are on our last vacation of the summer. Vacation is a bit different for me as a business owner versus my decades as an employee for a large national insurance company. Back when I worked as an employee of the insurance company, I could just go. My job and the office would be there when I returned, but I didn’t have to worry about work while I was away on vacation. Now when I go on vacation, I have to be sure to take my phone and laptop (and chargers) with me, both of which allow me to communicate in various ways with coworkers, insureds, and others. With the systems we use, I can work virtually from anywhere, as long as I can connect to a network, or get Wi-Fi, without missing a beat.
In fact, just yesterday, as I was completing the last driving leg of our trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, I got a call from an adjuster I was expecting to hear from the day before, and in just less than 10 minutes at highway speeds, we were able to settle the claim. My insured, Ms. “P”, will be very happy. Ms. “P” suffered a water leak in April when the shower valve in her daughter’s bathroom sprang a leak in the wall cavity between the bathroom and the laundry room. They immediately shut off the water and called a plumber, who located and repaired the source of the leak. She then called a contractor who extracted the water and dried the structure. In the meantime, Ms. “P” got a closet-full of shoes out of her daughter’s room, and began drying and cleaning them. A few days later, the insurance adjuster showed up, and Ms. “P” said she could tell it was not going to go well from the start. The adjuster began by saying he needed photos of odd things, like the mailbox, and the exterior of the home (none of which had any damage or were related to the claim in any way). The adjuster suggested the water was leaking for “quite some time” and questioned the insured’s truthfulness regarding certain aspects of the claim.
|Image courtesy of flickr.com|
Sure enough, about a week later, the insured was officially told her claim would be denied because the insurance company felt the water leak was an ongoing maintenance issue that occurred for weeks or months, and not just hours or days as the insured had claimed. Fortunately for Ms. “P”, her water restoration contractor told her about me, and one month after the leak was discovered, she hired me to help recover on the claim. As soon as I saw the damages, exactly as the insurance company adjuster saw them, I knew with certainty the loss should have been covered. I took my photos, made some notes, and had an estimate prepared. The estimate was sent in to the insurance company with a request to meet with an adjuster (either the same one, or a new one). They sent a new one, about a month later. When we met back at the house, the adjuster acknowledged he was not familiar with the claim, or why it was not covered, but assured us he would consider it with “fresh eyes”. I remained sure the claim would be paid. Ms. “P” was encouraged, but not yet convinced. Until today, when I communicated (via email from 3 states away), the general terms of the agreement the adjuster and I came to in the car yesterday. He confirmed they agreed to fully cover the claim, and even agreed to the vast majority of my estimate, plus something to compensate the insured for saving and cleaning her daughter’s shoes.
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While on vacation, the TVs where we are staying are programmed to have the weather channel appear when the TVs are turned on. For most guests, I imagine this is so the visiting tourists can check the weather and plan their days. Of course, for me, I get to see where the storms are, and remain in “work-mode”. Today, for example, I see Tropical Storm Earl is heading for Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and that Maryland is recovering from recent heavy flooding. So, while my family is at a local theme park, I am taking the day off from vacationing to catch up on some emails and write this blog. Tomorrow, though, it is back to family vacation fun, I promise – but I may need to take a work call or two, and check email and text every few hours. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love that I can help people any day of the week, no matter where I am!
Mark Goldwich is president of Gold Star Adjusters, a group of public insurance adjusters dedicated to helping citizens get the maximum settlement for any insurance claim.