The Complexity of Fire Losses

There are a variety of reasons why adjusting a fire loss is expected to be one of the more complex claims an adjuster may face. They can range from anything as minor as smoke damage to as severe as a home being reduced to nothing more than a pile of ashes. The complexity of these losses is not just the magnitude of the property damages but many times the emotional burden that is undertaken as you help an insured who has lost everything.

FIRE LOSS ADJUSTMENT NECESSITIES 

A DELICATE BEDSIDE MANNER 

Fire damage can be emotionally devastating for people who have lost their homes, belongings, or have had their entire family displaced. It’s the most delicate time to try and have a complex conversation about the details of a loss. The adjuster must have the wherewithal to consider the emotional effect the fire has on the policyholder, and proceed in a way that helps sooth anxieties as much as possible, while keeping the claims process on track.

HONESTY AND ACCURACY 

The insured, of course, will be anxious to learn how much coverage is available and if living expenses, cleaning and/or restoration services are covered. Sadly, sometime these are difficult conversations if the policy is underinsured or has limited coverage.

It is important for insurance companies to work with reputable claims firms who are well known for hiring adjusters who exemplify compassion and customer service. At Vector Risk Solutions, it is of paramount importance to us that our adjusters understand empathy and know how to communicate clearly and compassionately with clients, especially during times of high vulnerability and stress. 

A PRELIMINARY CHECKLIST 

Assuming there is no origin and cause questions, some of the major items an adjuster must first take into consideration involve whether the risk is over or underinsured, owner or tenant-occupied, and what coverages and limits are available such as Personal Property, Additional Living Expense, Ordinance and law,  or Replacement/ACV coverage in the existing policy. 

UNDERSTANDING IMPORTANT TERMINOLOGY 

It can be helpful for adjusters to clarify the meaning of these terms for policyholders who may not be as well-versed in the vernacular of insurance claims:

Actual cash value (or ACV) is considered to be replacement cost less depreciation. 

Replacement cost coverage is replacing materials with that of equal quality. 

Personal Property is defined as contents

Depreciation is a loss of value due to wear and tear, deterioration, or destruction. 

ALE (or additional living expenses) are debts that would not have incurred had the fire damage not occurred.

A loss that completely annihilates a structure, or renders it useless, is referred to as a total loss. Total losses completely exhaust a policyholder’s applicable insurance limit, which is why an asset may be referred to as “totaled.” 

At Vector Risk Solutions, we pride ourselves on the measures we take to educate our team so that our adjusters can provide outstanding service that exceeds the expectations of our clients. Our knowledgeable and experienced claims adjusters are posted nationwide, to be available at a moment’s notice at any local claims site. 

For more information on the complexity of fire losses, contact Vector Risk Solutions by calling us at 1-800-451-0798 or fill out the form on our contact page. We’ll be happy to help you find unique solutions to complex issues created by fire damage.

Vector Risk Solutions is the Team to Hire for Claim Services

Here at Vector Risk Solutions, we have built our team of independent insurance adjusters around three founding principles: integrity, ingenuity, & excellence. These principles can be traced through the core of our company, as we strive for internal consistency throughout our staff – a team of independent adjusters who know the claims industry inside and out. As a unified team, we are able to provide unparalleled service in all areas of claims adjusting.

As an insurance adjusting firm, we provide claim, TPA, and consulting services ideal for self-insured clients, captives, mutual insurers, re-insurers, and insurance carriers. Claim handling is what we know best, and what we have learned through years of service is the value of knowledge an IA firm’s team can provide.

With our unique way of analyzing a client’s claims process and performance metrics, we are able to provide innovative and efficient changes that can significantly lower loss adjustment expenses. It also allows us to reduce overall loss exposure, increase settlement accuracy and improve customer service and client retention.

Just as our company is based on three founding principles, our consulting plan revolves around three simple ideas. First, a “Claims Processing Assessment” in which we identify and analyze the issues that are hurting performance metrics. Next, a “Strategic Adaptation” plan is created. In this step, we ensure that everyone is on the same page from the employee to the client. Third is the “Training and Implementation” process, in which we provide training for your corporate leadership, management teams, staff adjusters, and other claims professionals.

Whether you are in need of an adjusting firm for outside or inside adjusting services, Vector Risk Solutions has the resources to meet your needs.  We are here to help our clients navigate away from the complexity of end-to-end claims processing, and toward a model of efficiency and stability. We seek to build a relationship with our clients that encompasses our founding principles and leads everyone to the highest level of success.