Insurance rights and resposibilities.

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Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:03 pm
Location: traverse city mi.

Hi relatively newbie, I was just wondering if anyone had much experience with insurance claims. I was asked to help repair a trailer in my park, it has a bad floor in the kitchen needs to be replaced. The owner is reluctant to file a claim, and the insurance company wants a price quote for the job. In all of my past experience, my insurance company sent an adjuster out and he assessed the damage gave me a price they would pay. Isn't this the common practice? I know that different companies probably handle claims differently, but I thought this would be common practice. I just want to help her out she doesn't have much money to start with, and I thought this would be a good way to handle it. Anyway this place is a big help keep up the good work :!:
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Posts: 5696
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

It sounds like a double edge sword to me. If a claim is filed the rate will most likely go up. If there is any way she can pay for the repairs it may end up costing less in the long run.

In my mind I would think that this may fall into the maintance catagory rather than a damage result, and the insurance company may argue the same way. Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
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Posts: 2690
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:57 pm
Location: Fresno, CA

n my experience with insurance companies as a contractor, Foremost and other major insurers of mobile homes don't raise rates when a claim is filed, but rather when a large claim has been paid. If you call the claims department they can probably give you accurate info on this point.

I have a customer that has had 2 fairly major claims (all over $3000), in the last 5 years with no raise in her rates (Foremost). The last claim was in January, so her rates are likely to go up on her policy renewal date.

Also, it makes a difference whether you hace a Replacement Cost policy or an ACV (Actual Cash Value) policy. With a replacement cost policy, they will give you an amount that they get from their software for repairs, but you can get estimates from contractors yourself. If the contractors estimates, specifically the one you would hire to do the work, is higher, the insurance company will add that amount as a supplemental. On the other hand if you have an ACV policy, you have to take the amount offered by the insurance company. This amount will include a lot of pro-rated cuts for depreciation and is usually not enough to get all the work done. You can dispute the amount offered if you see specific items that are not in line with the values and you can usually find items that were damaged (even minimally) that were not included in their claim report.

So you need to find out if it is worth accepting payment for the claim first. If it is a large amount, then maybe it is. That is what insurance is for. But if it is a small amount, and you can get by for a lot less by only focusing on major repair issues for now, then maybe it would be best not to accept a settlement offer. Hundreds of dollars is certainly not worth it.

I'd call the claims dept to find out if rates can go up just from getting a claim report / estimate from them and go from there.

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All information and advice given is for entertainment and informational purposes only. The person doing the work is solely responsible to insure that their work complies with their local building code and OSHA safety regulations.