If you’ve suffered total loss or damage to your property, what you do next is critical to ensuring your insurance claim process goes smoothly.
Any insurance claim process can be a tricky process. But if you’ve suffered significant damage or total loss to your property, then how you make your insurance claim, can make a key difference to the outcome.
What you’re about to learn in this video is going to be super helpful as you understand more about the insurance claim process and the specific things to be aware of.
In this interview, I speak with David Keane from Solve My Claim.
David Keane has been in the insurance industry for over 24 years now, and he created Solve My Claim to help and assist homeowners navigate their insurance claims and disputes.
In the last three years alone, Solve My Claim has helped homeowners secure more than $35 million (now updated!) in additional insurance claim settlements.
So let’s dive in.
Amelia Lee + David Keane (Solve My Claim)
[Amelia Lee] So you’ve had this total loss or you’ve had significant damage.
How does the assessment process start to roll out?
You know, you’re standing, looking at, surveying what’s happened, you call your insurer. How does that kind of process start to unfold for the person who’s dealing with this?
[David Keane] Sure. And that really depends on the insurance company as to the exact nature of it.
But in principle, the insurance company will appoint an assessor or a loss adjuster to that claim.
Sometimes they’ll just get their builder. And I’ll use the term Panel Builder a fair bit. Panel Builder is just a builder who is on the insurance companies builders panel. And they refer to them as Panel Builders. So it’s one of the insurance companies chosen builders. And sometimes the Panel Builder will actually be used as the assessor.
He’ll come out to assess the claim, to provide a quote, to do everything, which has a lot of dramas of itself.
Because the builder may be a highly qualified builder but have no idea with insurance policy coverage, for example. As a by right, it should be a separate party to the builder, who comes out to assess the claim or to adjust the claim.
So the loss adjuster will manage the claim from inception right through to completion. Whereas an assessor will just come out and assess the damage and prepare, scout the works and outline what repairs are required. So assessing is part of the loss adjuster’s role, but it’s only a part of it.
So anyway, the first step is that either an assessor or a loss adjuster will generally be appointed.
They will then work with the builder if they’re not the builder themselves.
They’ll sometimes get expertise like a building consultant, or an engineer or various expertise, to try and establish first of all the cause of the loss. In something like a bushfire, that’s pretty straightforward.
But where issues are arising too, is that a lot of policies will cover fire damage, as long as there was flame but not just for smoke. And so there are as well is that there are hundreds of homes that have been damaged by the fires, the flames.
How many have had smoke right through them? And really, in many ways are uninhabitable or certainly stinking of smoke. And yet your policy technically can say, “well, there was no flame in your home, so you’re not covered.”
And so they establish cause and whether or not the claim is covered. That’s step one.
Once the claim is accepted, as being indemnified or covered, then they’ll look at what is the nature and the extent of the damage. So how much is the damage? Is it a total loss? Is it repairable? They’ll go through those steps.
Do we need expertise to establish the value of the repair? Once they’ve established that value, they’ll by rights go ahead and either repair it.
Or they’ll look at how to settle the claim from your perspective. Now, you mentioned earlier sometimes people will want to rebuild differently, understandably. And so in many cases, there can be a legitimate request for cash settlement, rather than the insurance company doing the building on your behalf.
And that itself is quite a complex issue, which is probably worth discussion at some point throughout our conversation today, as to which way people should go.
Because there’s no easy answer. It really depends on circumstances. But that’s the general flow of a claim, as the claim is assessed.
The loss is established as either Yes, it’s covered or no, it’s not. And these are the reasons, if it is covered, then the extent of the damage is assessed. And then the repair process or the settlement process takes place.
[Amelia Lee] Gotcha. Okay.
THIS IS PART 2 OF MY INTERVIEW WITH DAVID KEANE, SOLVE MY CLAIM. WATCH PART 1 HERE.
This interview is part of our Rebuild + Build Better series.
Be sure to stay tuned as we share more information and expertise in helping you rebuild after bushfires, or build homes more resilient to climate conditions and in bushfire prone areas.
Resources mentioned in this video:
Get in touch with David Keane, Solve My Claim, here >>> https://solvemyclaim.com.au/
Or check them out on Facebook here >>> https://www.facebook.com/solvemyclaim