Know Before You Go
It is illegal for the insurance company to increase your premium because you filed a claim due to a natural event, so don’t worry about filing a legitimate claim. On the other hand, insurance companies keep record of everything and if you file excessive “zero dollar” claims then you could be dropped. To protect yourself, it is best to know if a claim is necessary before you officially file the claim. Tuttle Contracting takes care of this for you. We will have a trained representative come to your house and inspect your home for storm related damage. Following the inspection the representative will share relevant pictures to explain any damage that is found and make a recommendation as to the necessity of filing a claim or not.
Receive a Fair Insurance Inspection & Assessment
- Insurance Fact: Insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums, not paying claims. The fewer claims they pay the more profitable they are.
- Insurance Fact: Insurance companies have been recommended to minimize the initial claim if they are able to. Research has shown, paying a small claim or a partial claim will often satisfy the homeowner and allows the insurance company to increase their profitability.
Regardless of the marketing campaign or company slogan the insurance company has, the fact remains that their profitability decreases if they pay a claim. It is because of this that insurance adjusters commonly are looking for ways to avoid paying an insurance claim, not looking for damage to your home. Simply put the insurance company and the homeowner are at odds when filing a claim and assessing claimable damage. Tuttle Contracting is here to even the score, so to speak. We have already fully inspected and photographed your home to determine the necessity of filing a claim, so we follow through and prepare a written damage report to be shared with the adjuster, meet your insurance adjuster at your home, and assist with the insurance assessment. This does not create a problem with the insurance adjuster as they often work individually and appreciate a second hand for assistance and safety. Our goal is to ensure the insurance company accurately and completely assesses any storm related damage to the home. Tuttle Contracting and the homeowner want the same thing, to repair what has been damaged and take care of the home.
In addition, Tuttle Representatives are trained in the same inspection criteria and Haag engineering standards as the insurance adjusters. In fact, some of our representatives are licensed insurance adjusters as well. We speak the same language as the adjuster and know if and when they are “blowing smoke” or ignoring damage, and are on-site to address it immediately.
Know if the Insurance Adjustment is Fair
- Insurance Fact: Insurance companies will often minimize what is needed to complete the replacement of what has been damaged, leaving off units or underlying materials needed for the repair.
- Insurance Fact: Insurance companies have adopted standardized unit pricing set by an impartial third-party, Xactimate, which they are obligated to pay.
- Insurance Fact: You are not bound to accept your insurance company’s settlement if it is not in line with the local market pricing.
Just because the insurance agreed to the damage, doesn’t mean the written adjustment will accurately represent the damage. A fair monetary settlement requires an accurate calculation of the units and knowledge of Xactimate pricing standards. Tuttle Contracting has adopted the same pricing system and standards as the insurance companies and our representatives are trained to be able to evaluate the accuracy for your insurance adjustment. Upon receipt of the adjuster’s summary, our representative will meet with you to review and verify everything was accounted for properly. In addition, most adjuster’s summaries are very complicated and consist of many pages; while going through the adjuster summary your Tuttle Representative will answer all questions you have about the claim and/or what the adjuster did to cause the summary to look as it does.
The ability to offer this service started the first day we met with you. After the initial inspection and your agreement to have us work with you, the representative took inventory and measured everything that would be needed to repair the damage to your home. These specifications and measurements were then entered into our software to determine what the insurance settlement should be. This document gives us a point of comparison to be able to effectively assess the accuracy of your claim settlement.
Obtain a Fair Settlement
- Insurance Fact: More than 50% of the time the insurance companies “short” the claim and do not pay the full amount for the repair. They do this by leaving off necessary items and/or in improper calculations. Correcting these inaccuracies is commonly called the supplement process.
Fifty percent is very conservative for the number of claims that need supplementing. In 2010 one of our senior representatives was told by a 30 year veteran adjuster from one of the major national insurance companies that:
This same adjuster went on to explain the lack of training the new/young adjusters have and that they don’t really understand what they are estimating; that they are just doing what the computer program and their manager says. Unfortunately, this is the reality of the insurance adjusting business today. Training can be completed in a weekend course requiring no prior experience in insurance or construction. Even worse, the homeowner is not allowed to request one adjuster or another – you don’t know who is going to show up at your home or what their qualifications are.
This is where customers really start to see the financial value with Tuttle Contracting and the Tuttle Method. If your settlement is inaccurate, as the majority of settlements are, Tuttle Contracting will resolve the inaccuracies directly with the insurance company, with no hassle to you our customer. Our representatives are trained to not only understand the insurance guidelines and paperwork but also the appropriate process to follow to resolve the inaccuracies.
Whatever is inaccurate will be separated from the rest of the claim that is accurate and then a report will be written using Xactimate pricing standards and insurance terminology explaining why the item is necessary to properly complete the storm damaged work. This report will be submitted to the insurance company to be added to the official documentation of your claim. Once uploaded into the insurance companies system, this report requires an adjuster to contact your Tuttle Representative and resolve the situation.
Part of the Tuttle Commitment to every customer is to do whatever is necessary to accurately and effectively settle the insurance claim. We have done this for thousands of satisfied customers and welcome the opportunity to do it for you.
Collect ALL the Money Owed on the Insurance Settlement
- Insurance Fact: Replacement Cost Value (RCV) Insurance Policies are required to pay 100% of the cost to replace the work at the current market value, less the deductible value. But, if you don’t ask for all the proceeds and follow all their procedures, then the insurance company will gladly keep the remainder of your settlement money.
The claim settlement is finally accurate and complete, but what about the money? Almost 100% of all insurance claims will NOT receive full payment in the value of the first check from the insurance company. This is because the insurance company will withhold a percentage portion of the agreed settlement until the work is complete and the appropriate paperwork is filed. This withheld money is referred to as “depreciation.”
Unlike depreciation on a vehicle, which is lost value never to be recovered again, depreciation on a replacement cost insurance claim is money that CAN BE recovered. This is a common misunderstanding customers have when they call us saying they need help because they don’t have enough money to complete the work. The reality is that they do, but they won’t receive the full benefit unless insurance company procedures are followed. At Tuttle Contracting we take the time to explain the process, answer questions, and follow through with execution. It is our goal to not only provide a product and service, but also confidence and peace of mind throughout the entire process.
After the work has been completed, your Tuttle Representative will file the proper paperwork with the insurance company along with any additional documentation requested (pictures, receipts, etc.) and follow-up with the insurance company to verify status and processing. Typically, the insurance company takes about two weeks to process this paperwork before releasing final payment to you. By assisting with this final paperwork, we can promise the only cost you will ever have with Tuttle Contracting is your deductible – that’s it, nothing more.