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TrueNorth Fire Damage & Claims Best Practices

posted by TrueNorth Companies on Monday, January 3, 2022

Our hearts go out to those impacted by the Boulder County fires in Colorado. While we've already connected with many of our clients in the area who were unfortunately impacted, it's critical this claims guidance is provided to anyone in need during this difficult time. In response to the most destructive fire in Colorado history, which has devastated more than 6,000-acres in Boulder County, we're sharing the following best practices to ensure you are informed in your claims process: 

Notify the insurance company and locate a reputable contractor

The first step is to get a claim filed with your insurance company as soon as you know your property has been damaged; the sooner they are notified, the sooner an inspection can take place. You will want to find a reputable contractor who can assist with the damage.

Documentation is needed to process your claim

Take photos of the damaged property and include a list of items that were destroyed or are in need of repair.

Obtain multiple estimates  

Having more than one estimate from repair contractors will help weed out potential scammer contractors. You will be able to compare the scope of work from each contractor’s estimate with the insurance company’s estimate.

Inspection of the damages

Once an inspection is scheduled, you will be able to meet with the claims adjuster to point out the damages and ask any questions. If you have a contractor already lined up, they can also meet with the claims adjuster during the initial inspection to determine the scope of damages, as well as costs for repairs. The claims adjuster will review the damages to determine if repairs or replacement is warranted and compile an estimate.  

Payment

Once an agreed price for repairs is reached between the claims adjuster and your contractor, the insurance company will most likely issue a payment for the ACV (Actual Cash Value) less your deductible.  The ACV is the amount equal to the replacement cost minus depreciation of the damages at the time of loss. 

If you have Replacement Cost Coverage on your policy, you may be entitled to receive an additional payment from your insurance company once the repairs or replacement of your damages are completed by your contractor. This payment would be the depreciation owed now that your damages have been replaced.  Depreciation may not be applicable on certain repairs, therefore make sure to address this with your claims adjuster.  

Reconciliation

More damage relating to the fire may be found once repairs are underway. Your contractor will need to submit another estimate to the claims adjustor alongside any supporting documentation (cost to repair newly found damages, photos of damages, etc.) so supplemental payments can be issued. Make sure to address newly found damages with your claims adjustor before allowing your contractor to proceed with additional repairs. 

If you have any questions your claims adjuster did not initially address, please reach out to your TrueNorth agent for further guidance. 

This publication has been prepared by TrueNorth Companies, L.C. and is intended for informational purposes only. Transmission of this publication is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a client relationship with TrueNorth Companies, L.C. This publication does not constitute any type of representation or warranty, and does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice. This publication is not a contract and does not amend, modify or change any insurance policy you may have with an insurance carrier.© 2022 TrueNorth Companies, L.C. All rights reserved.

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TrueNorth is the largest insurance and financial services firm of its kind based in Eastern Iowa. Today, our dedicated staff consists of over 350 colleagues and is organized so each becomes a specialist in their respective practice areas. This collaboration offers our clients a coordinated approach to risk management, insurance services and financial strategies. 



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